English. Circa 1841.


Height: 29" (74 cm); Diameter: 37 7/16" (95 cm).

Of satinwood, gilt-brass, giltwood and composition, and porcelain. The circular porcelain top with green ground centered by a round white reserve with painted floral group surrounded by three white reserves painted with floral festoons, each enclosed by raised gold scrolling decoration, within a molded gilt-bronze border. The whole supported by a shaped central stem with foliate gilt-bronze base, the three outer gilt bronze legs terminating in foliate decoration. The whole raised on a tripod base supported by three gilt brass feet. Gilding to some parts of the base refreshed.

Backstamp to reverse of porcelain top: ‘COPELAND AND GARRETT’ surrounded by floral spray with crown above.

The Goldschmidt-Rothschild Collection, Probably Villa Grüneberg, Frankfurt
Thence by descent

This table features an exceptional and very large porcelain top by the firm of Copeland & Garrett, the 19th century extension of the Spode pottery works operating between 1833-1847, and is marked with the firm’s backstamp to the reverse (figure 1). Its design was recorded in 1841 in the company’s Fixing Books, part of a series of production records, and was almost certainly executed as a special commission. Following exhaustive research and wide-ranging consultation with porcelain experts we can confirm that this appears to be the largest circular tabletop ever produced by Copeland & Garrett and it also seems to be the only extant circular porcelain tabletop by the firm. As such, it constitutes an incredibly rare survival of the firm’s output and visual record of production.

The Spode pottery works was founded by Josiah Spode I (1733-1797) in the 1770s. He began his career at the age of sixteen as an employee of the English potter Thomas Whieldon, who recorded hiring the boy in his memorandum books in an entry dated April 9, 1749: “Hired Siah Spoade, to give him from this time to Martelmas next 2s. 3d or 2s.6d. if he Deserves it.”1 After his tenure with Whieldon, Spode seems to have found intermediate employment, possibly at the pottery of William Banks before opening his own factory at Stoke-on-Trent; it was Banks’ potworks that were sold to Spode in 1776.

His son, Josiah II, assisted him in running the business and opened a London warehouse and showroom in 1778 for the firm to serve their metropolitan clientele. The two greatest contributions of father and son at this time had been perfecting blue under-the-glaze transfer printing in the 1780s, which proved to be a lucrative substitute for Chinese blue and white porcelain, and developing and refining the formula for bone china in the 1790s. Spode also served as potters to the Royal family and various members made visits to the firm; in September of 1806 the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Clarence, the Marquis of Stafford and other dignitaries toured the Spode factory, and in 1817 Queen Charlotte and Princess Elizabeth visited the London shop.

Josiah II returned home from London upon the death of his father in 1797, leaving the premises in the capable hands of his partner William Copeland. In 1827 the third generation took over when Josiah Spode III inherited the factory. He died just two years later, however, at which point the business was acquired by Copeland’s son, William Taylor Copeland, who took into partnership Spode’s principal salesman, Thomas Garrett.

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.