Spode was founded in 1770 by Josiah Spode and was based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire from 1776. The company remained at this site until 2008.

The firm is known for perfecting the art of transfer printing onto earthenware, which led to the introduction of their famous ‘Blue Italian’ range in 1816. They also refined the formula for bone china; this soft-paste porcelain recipe became the industry standard for decades.

Josiah Spode died in 1797 and the business continued to trade under his two sons until April 1833, when it was taken over and renamed Copeland & Garrett, after William Taylor Copeland and Thomas Garrett. This partnership dissolved in 1847, and the firm was renamed W. T. Copeland (& Sons Ltd).

W. T. Copeland (& Sons Ltd) continued in business until 1970 when some restructurings saw it become Spode Ltd.

In 1976 the company merged with Royal Worcester but by November 2008 the group went into administration.

In April 2009, the intellectual property and trade names of Royal Worcester and Spode were acquired by Portmeirion Potteries, which subsequently changed its name to the Portmeirion Group to reflect this merger.

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