Into the archive: 85 Years of Christmas Tree

Into the archive: 85 Years of Christmas Tree

Loved for its quirky festive touch, the Spode Christmas Tree collection has been gracing our dinner tables for a magnificent 85 years and has had lots of fun doing so.  

First designed in 1938 by Spode designer Harold Holdway, the collection features a Christmas Tree decorated with colourful baubles, crackers, and lanterns and topped with a jolly Santa Claus. Full of nostalgia, the collection is loved all over the world and is a must-have for family festive homes. Read on to discover the inspiration behind the colourful design and the new pieces joining the collection for 2023 that are perfect for bringing a touch of joyful nostalgia to your home this Christmas. 

The story of Christmas Tree

Never having seen a Christmas Tree before when first asked to design the collection for the American market, Spode designer, Harold Holdway, first sketched the presents suspended from each branch. After realising this would make the branches droop and being told of the tradition of surrounding the tree with gifts underneath, his final design instead featured the tree proudly standing on a floor laden with gifts. Finished with a festive green border and a sprig of holly and mistletoe, it has become an iconic design perfect for creating the most evocative of yuletide tables. 

New for 2023

Whether you’ve just begun, or you are decades into building your Spode Christmas Tree collection, continue your love for the nostalgic range with something new from our 2023 collection. Despite being an 85-year-old pattern, Christmas Tree is made for the modern home, with tableware and serveware that’s dishwasher and microwave-safe. The ideal collection for full, festive homes.

Each year we release a new Annual pattern for Christmas Tree featuring a limited-edition design. The iconic Christmas Tree pattern still sits centre stage, but a new border wraps around the edge of each piece. This year, a woodland border of red berries and green foliage in a watercolour style accompanies the 85-year-old tree design across a collector’s dinner plate, mug, a dessert tray, mug and spoon set and a selection of bowls. Wonderful gifts for the dedicated Christmas Tree collector. 

For additions to your classic Christmas Tree collection, we welcome two statement serveware pieces perfect for your festive buffets – a tiered chip n dip and a large, divided server – as well as exclusive pieces to finish off your Christmas table in style, such as a salt and pepper set, cranberry server and spoon, and a fabulous pie dish for your sweet and savoury creations. We also have a must-have melamine children’s set so your little ones can have matching tableware to you.

If you’ve enjoyed discovering the story behind the Christmas Tree design, explore the inspiration behind our other heritage patterns, Blue Italian and Zoological Gardens, below: