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Robert Copeland carried out the most reliable and detailed research of backstamps used by the company and his 'marks book' is a necessary requirement for the serious collector.
Start of the Spode business to 1833: the company was known as Spode.
Pieces were not always marked and sometimes just a pattern number appears and no Spode name at all.
Painted marks are often in red and marks can also appear printed usually in blue or black, (although other colours were used) or impressed into the clay so appearing colourless.
1847 to 1970: the company was owned outright by the Copeland family and a variation on Copeland or W. Copeland was used; again often in conjunction with the Spode name. In 1970, to celebrate the supposed bicentenary of the founding of the company, the name reverted to Spode with a new logo designed by John Sutherland Hawes.
This is the name used until the closure of the factory in 2009.
Marks appear with this name printed or impressed and often include ‘late Spode'.
( A great help to dating wares from the late 1800s to 1963 is that there are often impressed marks on pieces which give you the month and the year.
These are usually on flat pieces, for example on a saucer but not on a cup.
From 1870 to 1963 impressed datemarks were used - on earthenware from 1870 until 1957 and on bone china and fine stone from 1870 until 1963.
These take the form of a letter over two numbers, for example J over 33, which would give you a date of January 1933.