Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Royal Worcester Spode
The Spode and Royal Worcester brand names and trademarks, patents, etc. have been purchased from Royal Worcester Spode by Portmeirion Potteries for $5.27 million. Portmeirion plans to continue making the brands' products and some patterns. Portmeirion's chairman says some of the brands' patterns, including Spode's Blue Italian (shown here) and Christmas Tree and Royal Worcester's Evesham, will be "reinvigorated."


Anonymous said...

They've certainly bought this company for a song!

"Portmeirion Group PLC is a British Group based in Stoke-on-Trent and listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. A significant force in the homewares industry, Portmeirion has a strong international following and an established reputation for high quality and innovative design. Portmeirion markets and manufactures an extensive range of high quality tableware, cookware and giftware. Its product ranges include ceramics, glassware, textiles, placemats, trays and candles.

In North America, Portmeirion USA, a wholly owned subsidiary company, distributes its product from a warehouse and office complex in Connecticut. The main US showroom is located in 41 Madison Avenue, New York. The Group employs over 500 staff. The Group also has a joint venture in Canada, which has an office and showroom facilities in Toronto."
This information comes from the company's web site. Somehow, seeing Spode patterns lose their connection to the actual charming old factory is saddening. I would love to for sale some of the actual transfers that one could frame as a memory of the good old days!

Simon said...

I agree it's a shame that the historic Church Street factory in Stoke is unlikely to produce ceramics ever again. I used to be a regular visitor there and enjoyed the many factory tours I went on over the years. The sense of history, both in the factory and museum, was very inspiring.

However, Spode's "Italian" and "Woodland" are now being made exclusively in Stoke once again - at Portmeirion's London Road factory. I believe "Christmas Tree" will follow. Some former Spode employees have been hired to work on these ranges which require high levels of skill. This has to be very good news indeed.

I think people are growing weary of cheap and nasty imports from the Far East, the quality of which simply doesn't compare to English made ceramics. There does seem to be a swell of opinion for a "Made in England" revival. I myself have over 500 pieces of Spode - Italian, Blue Room & Stafford Flowers - each and every one made in England. I can't bear to touch "English" china made in...well...China.

Let's hope Portmeirion will be able to re-introduce some of the classic Royal Worcester patterns and also the bone china ranges in the course of time.

But for now, very well done Portmeirion.