Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Collecting Ironstone


Sometimes design trends change too fast for my sluggish soul. Hemlines go up and down; colors have a shelf life no longer than sour cream. But in my house one thing is constant and always fresh: Ironstone.
I began collecting it when I was a bride. As the decades passed, fads and fancies caught my attention, but my love for white pottery never wavered. I didn't care if it was "real" Ironstone or not, if it was white, or cream, I loved it.

Of course, that was many hundreds of years ago, way back in the 70s, when boxes of ironstone could be found at garage sales.

I could write an Ode to Ironstone. It is hardworking, and glamorous. It's the "little black dress" of pottery. Why? It can be dressed up or down--it works with any color. And you never need a "set" of anything because the disjointed pieces are united by color.

It loves being grouped.


Or in little vignettes



But it doesn't mind being alone..

Or filled with green apples


If you'd like more information about collecting Ironstone, Expert Village has a series of videos--just CLICK HERE.

Martha Stewart tells a bit more:
http://www.marthastewart.com/article/white-ironstone

Ruby Lane has a Staffordshire Kensington sugar and creamer for $12.

A set of real English Ironstone can be found in another corner of Ruby Lane for $211.00, service for 6.

And here's an Ironstone salad plate for $7.11

at THE FIND.

If you collect Ironstone or white pottery, do you have any tips? Favorite places to shop?

Have fun,

Gollum

45 comments:

  1. Gollum, I have to sadly admit this is one thing I don't collect. I do love seeing all the beautiful pieces. I'm not sure why I've never been bitten by the ironstone bug.. I'll be looking forward to reading what the others have to say..hugs ~lynne~

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  2. Well, I'm ruined. I seriously want me some ironstone now! Noooo, not another china...you already have so many...says the little angel on my right shoulder. Yessss...start searching eBay right now...says the devil perched on left shoulder. Ok! Devil wins! :-) It's a dishease as one of my fellow bloggers told me recently...she's right! :-) Susan

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  3. Hi Gollum! I love, love, love your ironstone! Gorgeous!! We had those octagonal dishes when I was a child! Seeing that salad plate triggered my memory. I'd run my fingers along those ridges and get in trouble for having my hands on my plate. LOL

    I don't collect it, but I might now. hee. I do love dishes, and have way too many sets... according to my husbad, anyway - I'm a bit of an addict. It's fun deciding what to use when friends come over. But I have to admit that my favorite is white. There's nothing better on the table to me. It makes the food the star! It's not very exciting, but my everyday is Pottery Barn's big white collection - Just heavy, huge white restaurant plates. Yum. I put my mismatched vintage silver with it along with oversized white buffet napkins, and it's the dinner table here in Museville for day to day dining. I'll have to hunt for some ironware around here. I'll let you know if I'm successful!

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  4. I actually ordered some white/cream china from Macys a few weeks ago...it won't come until January. Thought it would be a lot more versatile and allow for more tablescapes. Ok, that's how I justified it! LOL I wanted to see the nest and eggs and on the lamps you mentioned. :-) You know how I love bird things! I have one egg plate, too. It's out on my porch. Ummmmm, this is giving me an idea for another post. :-)

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  5. I have some Wedgewood "Raspberry Cane" discontinued now and I need to find a few replacements I use my white John Lewis set most all the time, I love how you can dress it up or down, you are so right Gollum, your Ironstone is beautiful and it does look so good with green apples so fresh and also with the White Tulips, I love the jugs and urns. They have Athena and Baroque pieces at best-price.com soup bowl for $7.50 or 96 oz soup tureen 60 bucks. go here: http://www.jafgifts.com/frmItem.aspx?ItemCode=111867 This one is very pretty. or here http://www.jafgifts.com/frmItem.aspx?ItemCode=111838
    Don't know this company though, Enjoy. I will have to go searching next time I go back. Kathy.

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  6. I have some ironstone serving pices, and you're right--you can use it with anything. I have two ironstone platters that belonged to my mother and grandmother. I had noticed some of your ironstone in other postings, but I loved getting to see close ups of it. You have some of the prettiest pitchers I've ever seen. So curvy (sp? or is it even a word?) and feminine looking. laurie

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  7. Wow, Kathy--what a great dish place! I think you need to blog about this! I have the Baroque for my everyday pottery.

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  8. Hi Gollum - funny your blog should have this featured. I just bid on a piece of Ironstone at ebay. I have plates and soup tureens, etc - but wanted a large pitcher. I am getting ready to pair it with some pink and white transferware in my newly painted black hutch. I LOVE the rooster! Is he also I-stone? Also, thanks for the nice comment on my space while I was sick. Blessings, Barb

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  9. The following link may help you with your question regarding Spode.

    http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/stoke/spode/Spode-sale/article-361971-detail/article.html

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  10. A great collection. Then again, I'm not sure if I've ever seen a piece I DIDN'T LIKE!

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  11. Glenda--thanks!
    Barb, the rooster came from a discount shop that was never open. I stalked the rooster. Finally, one Saturday morning, the store was open--I brought him home in my lap!

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  12. I'm afraid I don't collect ironstone either, but I'm certainly going to think about it now! I would have never thought about all of its advantages if you hadn't shared this. I love all your curvy pieces. I remember seeing one of them at the top of your blog at one time. :-))

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  13. Gollum, how right you are. Timeless, beautiful....no bright color needed, the graceful shapes say it all. LOVE THIS!!!

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  14. gg, I have never been a person to collect things, but I noticed all your ironstone from the very first time I saw your beautiful spaces. I now find myself looking for it. I have even turned my oldest daughter Lace on to it. Her collection is growing faster than mine...thanks vickydarnell

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  15. Good Morning Gollum,

    I started a collection of scupltured,Ironstone serving pieces, made in Portugal. There were three serving pieces and a pitcher. One of the serving pieces and the pitcher, slid of the shelf and broke when I was cleaning one day.:( I was heart sick, I saved the pieces, I just couldn't bring myself to throw them away. I've searched and searched, but I've never been able to find anything else like them. I get too attached to things, and can't move past the idea of replacing them, so I haven't allowed myself to look for different pieces. Love the look and your pieces make a lovely collection.

    'D'

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  16. Thanks for providing those links. i can't wait to browse through them. I've always loved white and your RMS post with Misters decorating skills was a favorite of mine. I need to find a spot, oh wait, I think I have a spot and the perfect starter piece to my new collection is already sitting there! : )

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  17. Oh Gollum, I can boast having a few pieces myself! I love yours better, though. May I ask a favor. Towards the right are some gorgeous pictures of your home decorated for Christmas. Can you make them clickable so as to blow them up. I'm spying some new eye candy! Oh, forgot! Please?????

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  18. Morning, Dear Gollum. My life has been poop the last few days and I'm trying to catch up and look what you go and do! I almost missed all your treasures and decorating tips and tats! Oh, I love the ironstone and have a few pieces. I wish I had started many years earlier with it. Yours is so beautiful and you know exactly how to place it around your lovely home. Hope your days are not poopful as mine have been.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  19. Back in 1972 when I was a 20 year old bride, for some reason I thought brown, gold and orange were the way to go. Ten years later I realized my folly and gave the dishes to my brother who was just starting out. Those dishes were sold in a yard sale never to be seen again (if we're lucky). I wish I had the hindsite to go with the white Ironstone as you did. Live and learn.

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  20. Hi Gollum...You are so right about cream or white dishes and serving pieces! I have a set of Wedgewood Queensware and they go with everything. My mom had a set of ironstone from the grocery store back in the '70s. Hmmmmm...I wonder what happened to it. Have a great day...Debbie

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  21. Well I think I'm now in love with Ironstone! It is really versatile! I'm going to have to start looking for some pieces to start my own collection.

    Buffie :)

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  22. Gollum, love your ironstone. How many pieces have you collected so far? I only have a few and you are right they are wonderful to decorate with. I only purchase them when I find a bargain.
    blossom

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  23. Well I don't collect ironstone but what I have learned from several bloggers and RMS'ers was that when setting my first table last Christmas I easily opted for the simple white dishes. I find myself attracted to the simplicity of them. They work with everything, one of the best purchases I made;) Your pieces are lovely;) French

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  24. Hi G,I totally agree!I was a bride in 1970 and started off with a set of white ironstone from Sears called Heritage.I still have the creamer and sugar bowl.You never get rid of a good creamer.I have enjoyed adding red,blue,black transferware to the mix and I also have green lettuce leaf and everybody is happy together.Your postings are always so inspiring and the pictures are magazine worthy for sure.Right now I have the ironstone and the red transferware in the glass front cupboards in my kitchen.Can't wait to see more, Smiles to you,Kathysue

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  25. I had no idea what ironstone was until after I started RMSing and then blogging kicked my need for it into high gear. Sadly I only have one piece and I found it at Goodwill of all places. It's a little sugar canister (I think) in a wheat pattern and I bought it for about 10 bucks. I felt like I had found the Holy Grail that day LOL I envy your collection :)

    Now I'm off to tweak my Christmas decor and try to keep my IC at bay ;)

    hugs,
    rue

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  26. I had to swing back by and correct my blunder of blunders.. I've been stripping out the office for the carpet man to come..and guess what I located? Oh yes.. white pottery. I use it on top of the entertainment center.. I actually have more than a couple of pieces.I think I can see some of this mixed with some red and white toile china... Now, how on earth did I miss that one? Like Susan I feel an idea for another post coming on...
    hugs ~lynne~

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  27. GG & friends- HELLLLOOOOO from the desert, where I've been "STRANNNNNDED"! My "fancy-schmancy" NEW computer had a "nervous breakdown" (I don't KNOW the "proper computer lingo"!). Finally, tired of seeing me sad n' moping around WAITING for its return, DH "surprised me" by finding & setting up, at least temporarily, his OLD laptop so I could ATTEMPT to get thru to some of you while my new system IS being "repaired"... it's been about a week now & TALK ABOUT WITHDRAWAL!!! I've been TOLD I should have it back by tonight, but, "we'll see!"--- I don't even know "this" old E-mail address, but remembered I could leave an anonymous note (w/o an e-mail address) here... Just wanted y'all to know that (1) I've MISSED YOU ALL (2) that I'm "reading/catching up" today on all the FAB Christmas pics/ blogs, etc, but can't comment cuz THIS is taking forever on THIS lil' computer I don't know anything about! TTYS!!! Love & holiday hugs to all, Linda/ "Mom..."

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  28. Gollum I believe this is my first visit here and I couldn't resist commenting on my favorite subject, ironstone! I started collecting 7 or 8 years ago, I'm in love with it, I find my pieces very inexpensively at fleamarkets and junque shops, a few pieces were bought in antique shops and antique markets. I think the most I ever paid was 25.00 for a large pitcher. Please stop over and look at my pictures, I posted some of my collection! Sue

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  29. What a great collection you have Gollum and you won't believe this but with all the things I collect I don't owe one piece of Iron stone...but maybe I should start collecting this also...now where to put?? thanks for sharing more of your great home..hugs and smiles Gloria

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  30. I have two ancient ironstone platters and a small pitcher .... I'm blessed.

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  31. Oh no, more sources for ironstone. I'm truly lost, now! I can't wait to dig in.

    I ordered a Parchment Christmas accent plate today, from Mikasa. I found three at HomeGoods and looked around for more, but couldn't find any at the shops. Wanted four for the dining room table. So while I was at Mikasa, online, I dreamed awhile among the cream and white dishes....ahhh....

    Fabulous post dear Gollum!

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  32. Hi, Gollum, my ironstone wants to be just like yours when it grows up! I have some odds & ends of creamware, not really even REAL ironstone & I've just fallen in love with it in the last couple of years. I'd love to have more, but don't think I have room to display more. I really need a huge wall piece for more. Your collection is just stunning!! Love it. Most of mine has come from yardsales or thriftstores.

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  33. Hi Gollum! You have beautiful ironstone pieces. My favorite is the casserole with the bunny lid. My Charles Faudree book just arrived and I am so excited, can't wait to flip the pages. Thank you VERY much!....Christine

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  34. Gollum... you are so right... the white ironstone is a timeless beauty... It will never fail you... and you have your pieces displayed lovely... When I got married I collected brown ironstone... as I got older I replaced it with a newer pattern... Many times I have regretted this decision... Thanks for this beautiful posting...

    (((HUGS)))
    Donna

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  35. What a way to end a day ... the Charles Faudree book arrived on my doorstop late this afternoon... I can't wait to savor each page, each photograph, each word. Thank you again so very much!

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  36. Wow, gorgeous collection!!!!!!!! I love the way you arrange things. When i finally move into another house that's actually mine, would you like to fly down here and decorate for me? You'd have to buy the shit too though. LOL

    Justine:o )

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  37. Oh girlfriend I do I do!!! *waves hand in the air* I've collected ironstone from the 70's myself!! And I was only 10 at the time!....Did my nose just grow an inch? *winks* I
    ADORE it!! You have such a wonderful collection! Thank you for sharing it with us! Vanna

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  38. Good Evening Gollum,

    I always loved Ironstone, I just never knew what it was called or that there was so much of it around. I searhed on Google "Images" for Ironstone and I must say, it takes my breath away! Your pieces are beautiful! Sue from canwetalk.blogspot.com collects Ironstone as well. She has a lovely collection.

    I just may start my very first collection.

    xoxoxoxo
    Donna Marie

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  39. Hi Gollum--I always admired your white ironstone pieces that showed up by surprise in your postings on RMS, so I love that today you dedicated your blog to the subject. Ironstone is so versatile and useful at the same time. I do have some white pottery, but some of it broke over the years. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Fieldstone/Pam

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  40. Hi Gollum, I'm back, stop by my blog, I've got a little something for you...Robyn:)

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  41. White ironstone....It is the backbone in my dishes....When my husband and I married in 1960 the service station that he bought gas from(oh, so cheap back then-but salaries were alsoe) gave coupons to redeem for ironstone dishes....might not have been 'real' but it certainly brightend up my kitchen...

    I intermingle mine with many, many other patterns and am always pleased with the look....Betty

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  42. My wife has just recently acquired a plate and creamer. It is green and has white ivy type leaves. Does anyone know the name of the pattern and if so, where she can obtain more plates like this one. Thanks for your help

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  43. I'm so happy I clicked over to this previous post. I adore white ironstone. I like to keep our mother of pearl flatware in some of my pieces. The MOP looks so prettin poking out of the white ironsone.
    Thanks for sharing your collection. ~ Sarah

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There you are! I'm so glad you're here. Love, MLee xxoo

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