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Vintage Spode Blue Italian Dessert Plate Countryside Sheep and Horses
From the ever iconic Spode pattern, Italian is this salad / dessert sized plate. The Italian pattern was first introduced by Spode 200+ years ago in 1816.
It was in 1784 that Josiah Spode I perfected the process of underglaze printing on earthenware with tissue paper transfers made from hand-engraved copper plates. Initially the designs were sympathetic reproductions of the Chinese porcelain that had been incredibly popular during the 1700s, but soon Josiah I launched original designs such as Willow (c1790), Blue Tower (1814) and Blue Italian.
These blue and white collections were not only popular in Britain but also in America where the tableware reminded the settlers of home. After this huge success, Spode’s collections were quickly copied by competitors but no other range could equal the detail and quality that Josiah I instilled into his ware.
Still produced today under the Portmeirion Group who bought Spode in 2009, Blue Italian is now considered a design icon. Inspired by scenes of the Italian countryside featuring remarkably detailed figures amongst Roman ruins and framed by an 18th century Imari Oriental border, the incredibly detailed design captures the essence of a sunny Italian day to great effect.
The design contains little idiosyncrasies that have evolved over time and make for a fascinating element to this stunning collection. Depending on the designer, a piece may have three sheep whilst another piece might have two and these little differences brought about by personal preference continue throughout the whole collection
Wonderful condition with minimal gold loss