Wedgwood is all very well, but Spode set the standard

Hugh Pearman’s article ‘Wonder of Wedgwood’ is great (Private View, DW 15 January), but I would disagree that it was ‘especially Wedgwood’ of the two Josiahs who had the most influence in the development of ceramics at the turn of the 19th century.

It was Josiah Spode who perfected the formula for fine bone china and mastered the difficult technique of underglaze transfer printing – and in so doing revolutionised the tableware industry. Over the next 200 years it was actually the firm of Spode that would set the standard for English ceramics.

Both men, however, were geniuses. Wedgwood was a brilliant engineer, inventor, and businessman. The name of Wedgwood is better known across the globe because it has always been a much bigger international concern.

But Spode, which is still operating from its original site in Stoke-on-Trent (at least for now), has played a pivotal role in the manufacturing of English china, and has created some of the finest ceramics ever known.

Simon Wade, by e-mail

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