ECookShop is the official website of Dawson's Department Store. We specialise in kitchenware and tableware, providing competitive prices on some of the most popular lines from manufacturers like Denby, KitchenAid, and Spode, as well as Spode's parent company Portmeirion Group, and its sister company Royal Worcester. You can order using our secure online shopping cart. Alternatively, you can call us with any questions you have or call in to Dawson's to see the full range of kitchenware that we have on offer. If you place an order of £50 or more, we will deliver your items completely free of charge to your UK address.
Having worked for a number of local potters, Josiah Spode I established Spode Pottery in Stoke-On-Trent in 1733. Friend of Josiah Wedgwood, Spode concentrated his efforts on producing high quality ceramic goods. He is known for having produced underglaze transfer printing, and is credited with creating Bone China, which he first referred to as Stoke China. Although Josiah Spode I died unexpectedly in 1797, his legacy continued thanks, initially, to his son, Josiah Spode II.
The Spode brand has a long and illustrious history. They have won royal patronage, were the biggest porcelain manufacturers in Stoke, beating off competition from the likes of Portmeirion and Wedgwood, and lines including Italian Blue and the Christmas Tree line, helped the company conquer global markets.
During the 20th Century, Spode struggled with the continued use of traditional techniques, and eventually outsourced much of its production overseas. Buyers recognised a drop in quality, and the company was eventually bought out by Portmeirion Group. Following this acquisition, much of the work that had been taken overseas was brought back to the UK, and specifically to Stoke, and the quality of their work once again reached industry leading levels.
The brand continues to produce some of its most popular, historic lines. Blue Italian, Blue Room, and, of course, the Christmas Tree line, are reminiscent of the company's early designs and Spode has added new ranges such as Delamere Bouquet and Delamere Lakeside. The Spode brand continues to evolve and improve, under the guidance of the Portmeirion Group and has reinvented itself as a great British brand once again.
Spode Christmas Tree China
Spode Christmas Tree china has a rich history of its own. In the 1930s, Sydney Thompson, who was the sole agent for Spode in the US, asked designer Harold Holdway to produce a Christmas design, having unsuccessfully looked through old design books for something that could be improved and modernised.
Holdway used a Christmas tree as the central motif for his design, but Thompson pointed out that the addition of wrapped gifts under the tree was traditional in the US. Holdway adapted the design and conceded that the placement of the gifts helped balance the overall look of the piece.
Following these changes, a 10" plate was produced and salesmen were inundated with orders. This first Spode Christmas Tree plate included an inscription that read "Wishing You a Merry Christmas 1938".
Although the design of the tree has changed over the years, the basis of the design remains true to Thompson's vision, and the plates and accompanying Spode Christmas Tree dinner sets remain popular, especially in the US where festive dinner sets are used over a period of two weeks, as a pose to the UK where they are really only brought out for one day.
As well as plates, it is now possible to buy full Spode Christmas Tree dinner sets comprising large and small plates, coasters and place settings, and even cups and bowls.
Buying a full Spode Christmas Tree dinner set enables you to enjoy this rich heritage with the added convenience of being able to buy every item your table demands. Alternatively, you can buy the items individually, which is ideal if you need a replacement or if you need additional pieces to expand your Christmas table set. Individual items like candy cane shaped trays can also be purchased.
Glasses And Glassware
Although Spode is renowned for its production of bone china, it also sells glasses and glassware as part of its design ranges. Although the glasses are produced outside the UK, they are designed at Portmeirion's studios in Stoke, and they incorporate the latest Christmas Tree design.
Buy individual glasses, sets of 2, or sets of 4 Christmas Tree glasses that are perfect if you entertain family and friends on Christmas Day. The glass sets also make beautiful gift ideas, especially suited to recipients that have a love of Spode or of fine items that are perfect for the festive period.
One of the reasons for the popularity of Spode China is the quality of the material itself. Josiah Spode II is credited with having created the forerunner to modern bone china. His father used a material that he first called Stoke China, but renamed to Bone China because of the high concentration of ox bone in the formula. This was further improved by Josiah II and, in 1822, the pottery company started using a material that was known as Felspar China. It was widely considered to be the best quality China in use at the time.
Not only did Felspar China look beautiful but it also ensured a uniformity in the glazing and painting that would follow its production. Whether you buy a full dinner set, an individual plate, or Spode Christmas Tree mugs, you are buying a piece that is steeped in history and that helped set Britain up as the leading manufacturer of high quality china.
Enjoy A Spode Christmas With ECookShop
Spode is renowned for its production of high quality, fine China. There are many popular Spode designs, including those that have evolved from earlier designs, and although the Christmas Tree design is 80 years old, it is actually a relative newcomer to the Spode design catalogue. Nevertheless, this design has proved timeless and popular.
The Spode Christmas Tree remains popular in the US, and has become increasingly popular in the UK as people look to enhance and improve the appearance of their festive Christmas table displays. The availability of individual items like plates, as well as sets like mug sets and plate sets, as well as the convenience of full Spode Christmas Tree dinner sets, means that you can buy everything you need for the table, no matter how many people you are entertaining.
At ECookShop we have a large catalogue of Spode items, including the Spode Christmas Tree mugs and plates. We offer competitive prices and, when you place an order of £50 or more on our website, we will provide free delivery to any UK address. We always ensure that items are well wrapped so that they arrive at your door in the same condition as they left, and we have developed a formidable reputation for first class customer service.
Order today, through our secure online store, or call and speak to one of the team with any questions or queries you have. Alternatively, you can call in to our Clitheroe based shop, Dawson's Department Store, and stock up on houseware and giftware ready for your magical Christmas.