The Spode Christmas Tree collection evokes images of a holiday table set for dinner, and for many people it is the epitome of a traditional Christmas. The porcelain dinnerware and serving pieces depict a lavish tree adorned with decorations and laden with Christmas presents. The Victorian-style tree was designed by English company Spode in 1938, specifically for the American market. Until about 2006, the Christmas Tree china was made in England but production then was moved to Malaysia. To some collectors and enthusiasts, not having this set made in England -- where Spode itself was born -- reduced its exclusivity and appeal.
One of the quickest ways to tell if your Christmas Tree china was made in Malaysia or China is to check the back. Spode has printed the country of origin on all of its pieces. If you purchased your set before 2006 it likely will state "made in England." Otherwise, the piece it will state "made in Malaysia," or China.
Many people who have purchased the set made in Malaysia report the glazing is very different, with the difference being particularly noticeable on the back. Customers have reported that the tree can be felt by hand, whereas the tree on the set made in England could not be felt. They have also noticed that sometimes there are bubbles in the finish. This difference in glazing and quality is another way to confirm where your Spode collection was made.
You will also be able to tell if it has been made in China/Malaysia by the difference in quality of color. People have noticed that the red coloring in the tree design is a different shade from that produced in England.
The Malaysian and Chinese-made Spode collection also feels slightly heavier than the original English china. The quality of porcelain is different and people have reported that it feels more bulky.
Tips & Warnings
- If you are collecting the Spode Christmas Tree set and are looking to add some pieces, you may want to try looking on eBay. You may be able to find a more exact match for your collection.
- When you are buying this set online, be careful to check where it was made--very often websites have not updated their descriptions and will still erroneously state that it was made in England.
- Many customers who have purchased the china made in Malaysia have been concerned about lead content. Because of health problems associated with lead paint, such as birth defects, you may want to purchase a home lead kit to test your collection.