A Set of Six Spode Dessert Plates decorated withThe Tumbledown Dick Pattern,
The set of six plates are decorated with a cracked ice ground design in a buff colouration with the main decoration being polychrome flowers and an exotic bird. One plate with crack and chip.
Marks: Each plate is also marked with the pattern #3715, impressed SPODE mark and blue printed SPODE mark
Reference: The Spode Company Web Site:
Pattern no.: earliest 2987
Tumbledown Dick was first recorded in about 1820 with pattern number 2987. The pattern is a copy, or close representation, of a Chinese design of the Yung Cheng period (1723 - 1735).
The pattern was produced at Spode in many versions. It was often printed and then coloured. It was also printed and then painted with 'ackey' (a water soluble resist) which allowed the pattern to remain unaffected when a subsequent transfer print of a 'sheet pattern' was applied over the whole surface. At the 'washing-off' stage (when the transfer paper is removed) the areas of the transferred sheet pattern which were over the 'ackey' were washed away leaving the outline of the first pattern. this could then be hand coloured after the glost firing.
This technique was used for a number of patterns when a combination of prints was used. Tumbledown Dick was often used with Marble Sheet as in pattern 3716 of 1823.
The name Tumbledown Dick was probably a factory or a collectors' name rather than one chosen for marketing purposes. One theory is that the name derives from an upside down dickie bird!
Spode by Leonard Whiter, illustration # 117 for pattern number 3716 version of pattern.