New Stone
This is a stone china body. For more information please look under Fine Stone on the F page and Stone China on the S page...
New Stone backstamp c1822-1833

New Stone backstamp c1920-1960

Click on Ohio for my Spode and Ohio blog where you will find information about this shape.

Old Bailey (The)
Find out about Spode II's tussle with criminals as reported in the Old Bailey records - click here.

To further search this fantastic archive of criminal proceedings at the famous court please go to the Old Bailey Online - click here.

Olsen, Eric
Leaflet, 1933
Eric Olsen was born in Norway in 1903. He studied at the Oslo School of Art, St. Martin's School of Art, London and at the faience studio at Sèvres. He worked at Wedgwood as a designer and modeller in 1931 designing a range of Art Deco relief-moulded ornamental earthenware. A Spode Company Minute book records he was formally appointed by Spode as a designer in 1934 although it is thought he had worked with the company from about 1932. Although it is not recorded in the Spode archive it is said he had his own studio and he was given carte blanche to use any of the glazes and bodies at the factory. Another story is that apparently his studio was 'off limits' to everyone and even his close friends never set foot inside. Some of the Olsen pieces made at Spode were beautifully thrown and in the style of studio pottery. Stunning glazes were used on these one-off items.

The company minutes of 23rd April 1940 record that Olsen was appointed as 'Designer and Modeller...' with the 'responsibility for new designs and shapes and the maintenance of all shapes now being manufactured to their original standards. His salary to be increased to £6 a week exclusive of war bonus from 1st April 1940'. Olsen excelled at modelling rather than surface design. He is best remembered for his animal figures. These were produced in the Royal Jade and Velamour glazes. More on Velamour can be found on my T-V page.

Velamour was an earthenware body with a cream coloured matt glaze introduced in about 1932 and produced until 1940 and then from c1953 until 1969. A promotional pamphlet from this period explains 'The texture of the smooth matt glaze gives it a quality of its own avoiding the glare and crude reflections emitted by the bright glazes ordinarily employed.'

Royal Jade was a matt green glaze produced from about 1932 until 1938 - an image of a leaflet is illustrated. Some were also produced in Onyx introduced in 1932 - a grey body with a clear glaze. (See Onyx entry in this page). Although very beautiful it did not appear to be commercial and neither Onyx nor Royal Jade were made after the 1930s.
Spode 'Onyx' Greyhound designed by Olsen from Mats Linder
Olsen's greatest popular successes were probably his Toby Jugs of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. These were so popular that an entire department was set aside for their production. Subsequently Olsen designed a statuette of Churchill leaving No.10 Downing Street, modelled after a photograph.

Although the company did not encourage their designers to promote themselves as individuals Olsen's reputation was growing. In 1936 he was selected as a National Register Designer by the English Board of Trade and in 1937 an exhibition of his studio type wares in London was opened by the Queen of Norway.

Spode archive papers show he was also known as Erling Olsen and there are details in a report of his visit to Scandinavian Potteries following his holiday in Norway in August 1938. In 1942 Olsen left the Spode company to join the Norwegian Quartermaster General where he was a camouflage expert. After World War II he emigrated to the United States where he became chief designer at Haeger Potteries in Illinois.

Update 2016: for more information on Olsen please click here for Mats Linder's wonderful 'Scandinavian Design' website.

Click here for my Spode and The Olympics? blog where you will find a bit more information on this 20th century pattern designed by Harold Holdway.
Detail of the central design of Olympus pattern

Onyx is both a pattern name and a body but unconnected with each other.
Onyx pattern
Onyx pattern is in classical style and I know of it in the 1920s but am unsure of its date of introduction but suspect it to be around 1900.
BackstampOnyx vase shape K17
Onyx body is soft grey with a clear glaze. It was introduced in 1932. I and others who like Art Deco love it but it seems it was not a commercial success. The date it was discontinued is not known but after the restrictions on manufacture during World War II (1939-1945) it was never reintroduced so it was only made in the 1930s. See the entry for Olsen on this page for more on designs as well as using this link for Royal Jade and there is more on Velamour on my T-V page. this will help to understand more of the items likely to have been made in Onyx in the 1930s.

From memory I cannot think of ever seeing a leaflet or catalogue for Onyx so include a page from a leaflet for Velamour from the 1930s where you can see a range of shapes including K17 mentioned in the backstamp image for Onyx. The K prefix denotes a shape number which were recorded in a series of K books an explanation of which is on my K page.

Velamour vases. Some were also 
made in Onyx and Royal Jade

To read about my research into Spode, Bateman and orchids please click here.