Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Memories with Christmas Tree....

For everyone there are certain things which remind them of Christmas. It can be foods, smells, experiences or things, but each one brings back memories of Christmas past and without them, the holiday is somewhat lacking.

For me, one of those things is the Christmas Tree china from Spode.


Spode Christmas Tree China
Photo Courtesy Spode

Introduced in 1938, this pattern was one of the most important designs for the Spode Company. In May 1938, Sydney Thompson, sales agent for Spode in America wanted a new design for the Christmas season. Thomas Hassall, art director for Spode asked Harold Holdway, one of the Spode designers to produce a design. Holdway created a plate with a central design of a Christmas Tree with presents hanging from the branches.

After a few revisions to the design, salesmen were swamped with orders. Over the following years, the Christmas Tree pattern developed into an entire table setting as well as extra serving pieces. While the most common border of the plate is a green band, it had also been available with a red band,

About 1962, the pattern switched from transfer printing and hand-painting to slide-off lithography.

For years this china has symbolized Christmas gatherings for many Americans and is the worlds most recognized holiday design. But despite its popularity, the Spode factory closed in 2009 and today, new production is made in China.

Personally, I think the Chinese production is not as warm as the English china. Am I biased? Perhaps, but thankfully there is still a market for the English made Christmas Tree china, and I seek it out when I can, leaving the new Chinese pieces for others.

So with December upon us, once again the beloved Christmas Tree china has made its appearance. And last years regulars are now augmented by new finds and additions to brighten the holiday and bring back memories of Christmas past.