There are more than 300 identifying marks, datemarks and backstamps on Copeland Spode pottery going back as far as 1770, according to Heirlooms Antiques Centre. These marks are divided into four main categories, including early Spode from 1770 to 1833, Copeland & Garrett from 1833 to 1847, WT Copeland from 1847 to 1970 and Spode from 1970 to 2014. The word England is on all Spode pottery made after 1890.
A single letter on top of two digits indicates the month and year of manufacture. For instance, the letter J over the number 96 means the piece was made in January of 1896. Pattern number datemarks begin with 0001 during the early Spode period. More recent pieces include numbers with a W, S, O or 2/ in front of them from 1939 onward.
Marks on Copeland Spode are impressed, painted or transfer printed onto individual pieces. Some pieces also have a workman's mark in addition to the company's mark from the Spode factory that ran from 1780 to 1833.
Marks on the pottery changed every time the company changed ownership. According to Kovels.com, Josiah Spode established his company in 1770 in Stoke-on-Trent, England. The firm was bought by William Copeland and Thomas Garrett in 1833 before a merger in 1976 created Royal Worcester Spode. Portmeirion Group bought the pottery company in 2009.