Dating spode pottery

The most popular version of the pattern had pattern number S518 and was introduced in 1933.The pattern was printed in brown and then hand coloured.The flowers, leaves, birds and branches were then painted with a water soluble resist with the wonderful name of 'ackey'. When the paper of this transfer was washed off the 'ackey' was also washed off leaving the main pattern visible.This could then be hand coloured and gilded in stages after the glost firing.

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The most common type of sheet pattern though is one which gives a uniform appearance.

Some examples are Marble, Parsley, Star sheet, Fibre sheet, Thyme sheet (of which there seems to be two versions), Shagreen or Broth, and Moss Sprigs.

These sheets could be used on their own printed in a plain colour.

A sheet pattern is a design which is not engraved to specifically ‘fit’ different objects.

Perhaps only three or four engravings are needed for a whole range of tableware and toilet ware. One type of sheet pattern is that which is a complete design in itself and was not intended to be used in combination with any other design.

A list of most of the scenes used for the various centres and their sources can be found in Spode and Copeland Marks and Other Relevant Intelligence by Robert Copeland (for details see my booklist).

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