Today I visited Trelissick Mansion near Truro for a viewing of the Spode-Copeland china collection.
Trelissick has been around since the mid 1700s, but the Copeland family didn’t own it until 1937. The house is now owned by the National Trust, although the family is still in residence.
The Copelands were Master Potters back in the 1700s when William Copeland and Josiah Spode were partners in the Stoke Potteries business. Copeland later bought out Spode and continued making china under the name of Spode right up until the family sold out to Portmeirion in recent years.
We were given a talk and tour by William Copeland, great-great-great-grandson of the original William Copeland.
The house is set in gorgeous grounds, overlooking the River Fal and planted with hydrangeas, rhododendrons and an amazing array of trees.
But the highlight, of course, was the china. There were cases and cases displaying spectacular pieces, all part of the collection accumulated by Ronald Copeland (the current William Copeland’s grandfather) at the Spode factory.
There were plenty of examples of the blue transferware that we’re all familiar with, but also stunning pieces of Parian ware:
… and lots of quirky little pieces, including items made for the royal family over the centuries, and a couple of these lovely little milk jugs:
I especially liked seeing things like these setters used for firing plates:
Even the gift shop was lovely, with big boxes of apples for sale from the estate’s orchard:
The gardens at Trelissick are open year-round, but if you want to see the china collection you’ll have to plan your trip carefully. It’s open by appointment, and only between 2 and 4pm on Thursdays from May through September. But it’s well worth a visit.