Interactive Web site is the most comprehensive resource
for the study of Spode blue printed wares
Wilmington, DE, November 10, 2010—Winterthur announces the launch of the Spode
Exhibition Online (, a free interactive online exhibition for a wide
range of users, from the person who wants to know about grandmother’s favorite Spode
teapot to the serious student or collector of decorative arts. The most comprehensive
resource available for the study of Spode blue printed wares, this project was spearheaded
by the Transferware Collectors Club in collaboration with collectors and museums in the
United States and England.
Since Josiah Spode popularized blue printed pottery in the late 1700s, it has had a universal
and lasting appeal that still resonates today. Found in the kitchens of stately English homes
and in archaeological recoveries from the quarters of American servants, blue transfer
designs have a universal and lasting appeal.
Josiah Spode Sr. and Jr. were potters to the royal family and made an enormous impact on
both Georgian society and the history of ceramics. Their unique blend of innovation,
technical expertise and entrepreneurial skill led to the two most significant achievements
in English ceramics: underglaze blue printed earthenware and what soon became the
standard English porcelain—bone china. While focusing on the blue printed patterns of
Spode c. 1784–1833, the Web site explores the wider world of the Spode family history and
business and offers ways to discover more about life in the Staffordshire Potteries.
The central printed pottery database allows users to search every known Spode pattern
and many shapes and colored versions as well as the source prints and original Chinese
porcelain designs that served as inspiration for Spode’s designers. Of special note is an
interactive version of Spode’s 1820 Shape Book. Visitors will be able to virtually turn the
pages of this rare document of which only two copies are known, one of them in the
Winterthur Library. From about 1785 until the Spode family ceased potting in 1833,
hundreds of blue printed patterns were introduced, themes and colors changed with the
prevailing fashions, and published illustrations were used as pattern sources. All of the
information and images can be freely accessed at the click of a mouse.
The project was spearheaded by the Transferware Collectors Club in partnership with
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Delaware and The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. Citrus Studios in Santa Monica, California, was
selected to design and develop the site. It was funded by a generous donation from
transferware collectors Klaus and Marcia Zech and a research grant from the Transferware
Collectors Club.
Online Exhibition of Spode Ceramics Launched
Holly Victor
[email protected]
Fax: 302.888.4950
Winterthur—known worldwide for its
preeminent collection of American
decorative arts, naturalistic gardens,
and research library for the study of
American art and material culture—
offers a variety of tours, exhibitions,
programs, and activities throughout the
year. General admission includes a tour
of some of the most notable spaces in
the 175-room house, as well as access
to the Winterthur Garden and Galleries,
special exhibitions, a narrated tram
tour (weather permitting), the Campbell
Collection of Soup Tureens, and the
Enchanted Woods children’s garden.
$18 adults; $16 for students and
seniors; $5 for ages 2–11. Tickets are
valid for two consecutive days.
Museum hours
10 am–5 pm, Tuesday–Sunday
Winterthur, located on Route 52, six
miles northwest of Wilmington,
Delaware, and five miles south of U.S.
Route 1, is closed Mondays (except
during Yuletide), Thanksgiving, and
Christmas Day.
Winterthur is committed to accessible
programming for all. For information,
including special services, call
800.448.3883, 302.888.4600, or TTY
302.888.4907, or visit
Winterthur, Delaware 19735
302.888.4600 •