Once you’ve figured out the letter and number, the mark is easy to decode.

According to the Spode History blog, the letters translate to: J for January; F for February; M for March; A for April; Y for May; U for June; L for July; T for August; S for September; O for October; N for November and D for December.

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Portmeirion Group bought the pottery company in 2009.

From 1966, the company underwent a number of changes of ownership, during which the business was merged with Royal Worcester.

Dating Spode & Copeland Using Datemarks Yes, datemarks were also used on pieces from the late 1800s through 1963 in addition to the many manufacturers marks noted above.

These can help in dating many Spode and Copeland pieces without the guesswork of matching up the manufacturers marks to the correct production period.

British porcelain got its start around 1770 when kaolin clay was found in Cornwall, England.

In about 1880, the English made those ceramics lighter in weight, more translucent, and stronger by adding ground bone ash from farm animals to the wet clay, according to A Brief History of Spode Josiah Spode apprenticed as a potter in the mid-1700s, and by 1754 he went to work for William Banks in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

These are often written in red, and shouldn’t be confused with datemarks which were impressed in pieces from the late 1800s through 1963.

Newer pieces, including the popular Christmas patterns, are marked with more elaborate Spode manufacturers marks that include pattern names, which make them much easier to identify.

Spode Marks As noted above, the company went through a number of changes in ownership and developed many partnerships over its long life, not to mention varied factories producing pieces in different locations.

The result is many, many different Spode marks being used.

In fact, by Chad Lage (Collector Books; now out of print), shows 31 different examples of Spode and/or Copeland marks dating from the mid-1700s through modern production.