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It is possible to have a combination of all three. Above is the image of a backstamp with the Spode name, the pattern number 967 and another small red cypher, which is a workman's mark. 1833 to 1847: the company was known as Copeland and Garrett.

Marks appear with this name printed or impressed and often include ‘late Spode'.

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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.

The history of printing on ceramics is an evolving story.

Until recently, it had been thought that the process was invented in England.

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.

By about 1775 underglaze printing had become the main technique for decorating blue and white porcelain and it was the basis for the success of the Caughley factory.

The pearlware potters then began to undercut the porcelain factories as producers of blue and white ceramics.

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.

This means formerly Spode as the name continued to be used because the Spode brand had become so well-known.

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