This is a beautiful Spode plate made around 1824. The plate is made of creamware and is decorated with the famous "Tumbledown Dick" pattern on a brown cracked ice ground.

 

I have a series of Spode Chinoiserie plates available, please see other listings on the Spode page!

 

Spode was the great pioneer among the Georgian potters in England. Around the year 1800 he perfected the bone china recipe that has been used by British potters ever since, and he was also the leading potter behind the technique of transferware, making it possible for English potters to replace the Chinese export china, which had come to an end around that time, with their own designs. This was fundamental to a thriving industry that would last for about 150 years and provide half the world with their tableware. Spode porcelain is regarded as one of the highest quality porcelains around; for a soft-paste porcelain it is surprisingly hard and fine, and has a wonderful bright white colour.

 

Blue on white decorations were done in East Asia for many centuries, and were made popular in the West by the Dutch Delftware potters in the 17th Century. In about 1800, Spode created a transfer printing process that could mass produce beautifully decorated blue and white wares, making this a very common and desired choice of tableware for the two centuries to come. Potters all over Britain quickly started to make use of this new technology and copied the famous Spode patterns. Once the blue on white transfers had caught on, Spode started to print in colour; mostly printing in one colour (in this case: grey) and then filling in the other colours by hand. This way, they could offer wonderfully colourful dinner services at a much lower cost, as they needed only a skilled engraver for the plate that provided the outline of the image, and the transferring and colouring could be done by less skilled people. These were often women and apprenticed teenage children.

 

The Tumbledown Dick pattern was first recorded in about 1820 with pattern number 2987, and then was done in many different colour combinations. This pattern is number 3716 from about 1824. The pattern is an imitation of an original Chinese design from the Yongzheng period (1723-1735). 

 

There are various theories about how this pattern got its name; most probably it is a play on a Simple Simon nursery rhyme. These rhymes have been around since Elizabethan times, first recorded in 1685, but were brought out as a children's book in modern English in 1764, which would have been relatively recent in the year 1824. In it, Simple Simon is (unsuccessfully) going to hunt a "dickie-bird", which is a small bird such as a tit, tumbling through the trees.

 

On this plate, you can see the bird hanging by the stem of some wonderful peony flowers. The ground of the plate is in the "cracked ice" pattern, which is also an imitation of an original Chinese design from the same era. 

 

The cracked ice pattern and the outline of the flower and bird design were first printed in blue by paper transfer, after which cracked ice transfer was applied in brown, giving the illusion of a brown ground. Then the flow blue, orange, red and purple colours were hand enamelled, after which the plate was glazed and finally gilded. As the enamel was applied under the glaze, these plates have less wear than usual. This was a more complicated process than most transfer printed and hand coloured designs, so the Tumbledown Dick dinner and dessert services must have been labour intensive and expensive. 

 

The plate carries an imprinted SPODE mark and an imprinted number 3, which was probably the workman's number.

 

CONDITION REPORT The plate is in very good antique condition without any damage or repairs and no significant wear. As is usual for creamware plates, it has fine crazing throughout.

 

Antique British china is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.

 

There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!

 

DIMENSIONS 21.3cm (8.4") diameter

 

SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.

Spode creamware plate, Tumbledown Dick patt. 3716, ca 1824

SKU: A-SPO56
£145Price
  • Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 

     

    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.

     

    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 

     

    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

  • Cancellations can only be accepted before the item has been shipped. Once an item has been shipped, the transaction cannot be cancelled anymore.


    Returns need to be requested within 2 days of receipt of the item and completed within 14 days from the date they have been agreed in writing.

    If you want to return an item because you changed your mind, you will be responsible for the return shipping. For international deliveries, this will need to be a fully tracked shipping mode. The item is expected to be received back in the same state it was sent - any damage due to insufficient packaging will be your responsibility. We will only pay for return shipping if we have mutually agreed that the item did not satisfy your expectations. A refund will be made immediately after receipt of the item.

    You are subject to the EU Consumers Rights Act, which protects your rights buying over the internet.

     

    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

Covid-19 - we are open for business! 

We can ship normally to most destinations, but some are currently closed.

For the time being we have had to raise shipping prices as shippers are now charging more.

As we are living under lock down and can't always reach our stock, lead times will be a little longer than usual.

For now, please bear with us as we do our best to get your parcels to you as quickly as we can! 

If needed we are happy to hold your parcel for you until the end of the pandemic.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss and thank you for your business - it is a vital support for our business! 🙏

© 2020 by Gentle Rattle of China, London UK  

copyright on all images and text

  • Instagram Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon