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Thursday, May 27, 2010

My ironstone collection

My mom bought my first pieces of ironstone. Because she collected antiques, she knew what she was looking at when she found three square ironstone bowls at a yard sale. Because she didn't collect ironstone, she gave them to me. The plain and simple design did nothing for me, but I hung onto them anyway.

Ironstone pitchers were common in our house. Mom used them for bouquets of flowers, and even an empty pitcher was a pretty, country decoration. I never really thought much of them. The small ovals we used as bar soap dishes; I think they were originally used at the table for vegetable servings.







Several years after we bought our house, I was going through a box of stuff that had never been unpacked and found the three bowls. By then I was warming up to the idea of these pieces. Shortly afterward, my sister and I cleaned out Mom and Dad's house and got their things ready for auction. Mom had some oddball ironstone plates and soup bowls as well as a small collection of the pitchers and soap dishes, and I brought them all home with me.





A while ago Country Living magazine did an article about a man who collected ironstone, and they showed a huge wall in his home. It was lined with shelves full of beautiful pieces, and it was very impressive. However, I've grown to love finding small pieces of ironstone to add to my collection. They are easily affordable but hard to find. I love this little butter pat; it's also nice for holding a tea bag.


I had been buying these wheat leaf plates off ebay to add to the pieces my Mom had. I thought they would be pretty to use paired with my pink Depression plates; but then something about the old, crazed lines kind of freaked me out about serving food on them. Who knows what kind of bacteria might be lurking in there! So I just use them for display. In the back of this picture there is a coffee cup. It's the only one I've been able to find. And isn't the little custard cup really cute?!

I don't often attend auctions, and most of my pieces I pick up in antique shops in our town. It's fun to look for unusual pieces, and it's easy on the wallet.

11 comments:

Vonna said...

I have a thing for ironstone, and particularly in the pitcher and platter variety. LOVE your collection!

Sue said...

I like the collection. Your pieces are very pretty and look like they're in great shape.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, Mary!

Hugs

At Home With Amy said...

Beautiful collection Mary. I just read an article on collecting butter pats the other day and had no idea what they were talking about. Boy do I feel stupid.
Hope you find more pieces to add to your wonderful collection.
Have a special day friend!
AMY

Shakerwood said...

What a great collection!! And so personal! It is so addictive, isn't it? I just added to my white enamel coffee pots after I said I didn't need anymore!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Lovely pieces! You have a nice collection. I could get into ironstone. And, no matter what color I change my kitchen to... Ironstone would always "go"! -Tammy

Deb said...

I love your collection of Ironstone. I have a few pieces from my grandmother and I just love them. I probably should add to the collection at some point.

Screen Door said...

a girl after my own heart---dishes...beautiful for every season.....

Barb said...

Lovely Ironstone, I have a few platters and just love them! Your pieces are in beautiful condition, just a treasure for sure! Blessings sent your way from my part of PA!

Karen said...

Sounds like you collect things like I do, with patience! I always wait for things like that to come to me, and it's exciting to see how they get here! Enjoyed your post! Karen

Angie Berry said...

I love your wonderful collection! I don't ever buy off the internet because I just love the thrill of the hunt! When I find something while out shopping... it's like Christmas time for me! =] I love all your pieces and the way you have them arranged. So do you have a wall of ironstone yet or are your pieces scattered about?

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

I'm enjoying collecting small pieces of ironstone from thrift stores and from garage sales: I like the pieces small so I have room and I especially like pitchers. I am so glad to have found your blog and if you don't mind, I think I'll have a look around! I think you and I are interested in many of the same things!
XOXO
Joni