Spode Butchart Pattern

In 1937 Spode named one of its existing patterns “Butchart” to honour the Butcharts and the Butchart Gardens.

Spode Butchart pattern (courtesy of Bill Coles)
Spode Butchart pattern (courtesy of Bill Coles)

Our thanks to Spode collector Bill Coles for the above photo from his collection.

Here is an excerpt from our Butchart Gardens History:

“…..In 1937, the Butcharts were honoured by the Spode chinaware of Stoke-on-Trent, England.

Spode was founded about 1770 by Josiah Spode (1733-1797) has been in business since.

The pattern named for the Butcharts was originally introduced in 1930 as Spode Pattern #2/9165, and appeared on Spode’s Charlotte shape dinnerware. Most Spode patterns do not have names; instead, Spode refers to them simply by their pattern number. But there is some indication that Pattern #2/9165 may have been informally named “Hollyhock” when it first appeared in 1930.

Pattern #2/9165 was re-named “Butchart” in 1936/37 through the efforts of Fred Robertson, the proprietor of Victoria’s Spode Shop. Robertson first sought Jennie Butchart’s approval for changing the name of Pattern #2/9165 to “Butchart.” In November 1936, he sent the following letter to Jennie Butchart, who was vacationing in Los Angeles, California.

November 24, 1936
Dear Mrs. Butchart,

We venture to ask you for a favor which if granted will be very much appreciated. That is to allow us to give a new Spode decoration we have the name “Butchart” as we feel sure that many people would consider pieces with this name a happy reminder of their visit to your beautiful gardens. The decoration consists of large and colorful hollyhocks and is depicted on one of Spode’s oldest dinner ware shapes, namely the Charlotte shape. We only propose to use this privilege on the dinnersets. With kind regards and best wishes for your wonderful trip.

We are, yours faithfully,

Robertson Ltd.

Jennie Butchart replied a few days later.

November 27, 1936
Dear Mr. Robertson,

Your air mail letter came this morning. We both appreciate the honor you do us in naming the Spode dinnerset “Butchart”, and hope it will be a success. I do not wonder that the Americans buy and like our china. It’s so much nicer than they get here. I hope Mrs. Robertson and you have a happy Christmas and health and happiness. My husband joins me in thanks for the compliment you pay us.

Very sincerely yours,

Jennie Butchart”

Fred Robertson and his Spode Shop seem to have had enough influence at the Spode factory in England to have the name “Butchart” put on each piece of china bearing Pattern #2/9165. The photo below shows Pattern 2/9165 as recorded in Spode’s Pattern Book.

Spode no longer manufactures Pattern 2/9165 “Butchart”. The Spode Society has no record of the date it was discontinued…..”

Page from Spode Pattern Book showing Pattern 2/9165 “Butchart” (Photo used by kind permission of the Spode Museum Trust)
Page from Spode Pattern Book showing Pattern 2/9165 “Butchart”
(Photo used by kind permission of the Spode Museum Trust)

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