X-Z

X Pattern Numbers
Pattern numbers prefixed with X are for Sample Patterns. Patterns would be designed and samples made as speculative product. These would be offered to Spode's retailers as samples to see how they would sell ie to test the market. If successful and put into production then the pattern would be allocated its unique pattern number within the appropriate series of the main pattern books. The X numbers date from the late 1800s into the 1960s and are recorded in books now in the Spode archive. The entries are mainly written records with no illustration. The pattern number is usually seen on a paper label on the back of the piece.

Sample of a variation of the pattern 'Potters Poppies', bone china and its X label c1924
 
If 'Potters Poppies' with this number of X8340 had been accepted into production it would have had a pattern number beginning with R which denoted a pattern in bone china. The R series ran from 1901 to 1927. This plate is in the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery reserve collection.


Yellow Rose
Yellow Rose pattern is mentioned at the end of the Billingsley Rose entry on my B page.


Zoological Gardens
Dish, Zoological pattern, Wood & Brownfield c1840
Zoological Gardens was newly introduced by Spode in 2000. The design was taken from hand-engraved copper plates which are thought to have been purchased by the Spode company in about 1900 from a company called Wood & Brownfield, previously known as Robinson, Wood and Brownfield. Originally called Zoological it was one of their blue printed patterns produced on their dinner wares in the mid-1800s.


The Tiger Cages, 2002
The Spode company probably bought the copper plates at a sale of stock when Wood and Brownfield ceased trading. It was not unusual to buy copper plates from other factories at their closure if Spode thought they were of a quality and style that matched their own high quality wares.

Wood & Brownfield's Zoological series used different centres on each piece which included Antelope, Camel, Lion Cages, Tiger Cages, Zebra Pen, Rhinoceros Pen, Ostrich Pen, Kangaroos and a variety of birds. When this design was first produced in the 19th century many of the exotic animals were regarded as curiosities and were not widely known.

The scenes feature the animals in landscaped gardens being admired by the visiting public. Sometimes the flimsy low fences, just up to the animal's knees in some cases, don't seem to afford much protection from these wild creatures for the strolling ladies and their companions!


The Tiger Cages, backstamp, 2002
In the 21st century, Spode produced a version with the floral border is taken from another Spode pattern called Rhine or Severn which was also originally produced by another factory called Davenport and bought at their sale of stock in 1887.

In 2000 the plates in the Zoological Gardens pattern formed part of Spode's Blue Room Collection dresser plates. The images show the Spode version of the Tiger Cages for a 10" plate and its backstamp, which includes a datemark for 2002.

Also see Spode and Rhinoceroses. And on another blog, Dishy News, you can find out about Ridgway's Giraffe pattern.

There are pattern books in the Spode archive from Brownfield which may have come via another company Jackson & Gosling purchased by Spode in 1932. It is not entirely clear. The pattern books include two names for the firm: James Brownfield on one book and William Brownfield and Sons on another. So without further research it is not possible to know if the pattern books and the copper plates were bought disparately by 2 different firms perhaps at different times.