Friday, August 21, 2015

Perfect Imperfection: Ironstone

It does not matter if your style is Shabby Chic, French Farmhouse, Vintage Cottage 
or Traditional Classic, ironstone complements every style.

By the way, I couldn't find lacy shelf paper so I used curtain valances folded in half.

With its pure white simplicity and its hefty weight, 
its perfect imperfection works in almost any decor.
I love the pieces with crazing--that fine crackling on the surface 
that speaks of age and untold stories.

I admit it. 
I have a growing addiction to ironstone, seeking it out at thrift stores and estate sales, 
even the occasional antique store. 

Whenever I'm scouring thrift store shelves, the first thing I do when I spot a potential white treasure is turn it over to see if its sporting one of those gorgeous English crests that mark real ironstone.

First produced in Staffordshire, England in the 19th century, 
ironstone was a cheap alternative to porcelain. 
Mass produced for the colonies, it was sturdy and inexpensive. It's still sturdy. 
Collectors have created a demand for the creamy goodness of Ironstone 
and the price has risen accordingly.

I appreciate how it blends seamlessly with my Mom's "good dishes." 
I remember her telling me about her first Thanksgiving dinner for her new husband and in-laws. 
And her, with no good dishes. 
She ran to the store to buy a set of Homer Laughlin Eggshell Georgian gold-rimmed, 
"Rambler Rose" dishes and saved the day.

 I found an old 1950s ad for a 53-piece set of these dishes for $7.50!
Little did Mom know how valuable these dishes would become. 

Growing up, we never saw those dishes unless it was Christmas or Thanksgiving. 
They were the good dishes, for special occasions only.
I inherited these dishes, complete with sugar, creamer, cups, saucers, platters and plates.
I love how they look in my china closet with my ironstone.

And yes, Mom, I save them for special occasions too.

Linking with:  DwellingsRustic & RefinedCedar Hill Farmhouse,
Savvy Southern Style, Knick of TimeVintage NestFrom My Front Porch to Yours,
French Country CottageCoastal CharmShabby Art Boutique


  1. What a beautiful arrangement in your hutch. You have some lovely pieces. I'm popping over from Cindy's blog - Heart of Your Home Party.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  2. Love your hutch with such beautiful white ironstone lovelies along with your great find, more pieces for your mom's gorgeous china.
    Have a lovely week.

  3. I enjoyed this post so much! I have been starting to notice Ironstone at our local vintage market. I have tried to stay away because of my problem dish collection but it is just so pretty. I decided next month that I am just going to buy a pitcher. I will be sure to look at the bottom for the crest. Thanks for the tip! I loved the story of your mother's dishes too. It is so pretty and the ironstone does look lovely with them. I think your valances look much nicer than paper. Beautiful display!

  4. Pat,
    I adore the personalization of this post, dear one!!!
    I l o v e Homer Laughlin China!!!
    I have an ironstone Homer Laughlin gravy boat used at family dinners!!!
    I see by your collection, that we have many similar ironstone platters!!!
    I adore the piece holding the flatware!!!
    Thank you for sharing this amazing collection at Rustic & Refined!!!

  5. You have a wonderful ironstone collection and have displayed it beautifully with the Rambler Rose, Pat.
    Have a great week.

  6. I love your ironstone.....I just hope you haven't found all that is available in Colorado :^)
    Your Mom's dishes are beautiful...what fun for you to use them too!!
    Blessings to you,

  7. I love your collection and arrangement of dishes!!! I'm a dish-a-holic..yikes!!!

  8. I am a white ironstone person too, and you are right it goes with any decor.............I love every pc. I have, course,
    mine are not antiques or anything, just pcs. I have found that are new or at a thrift store, but lovely all the same.
    Love how you have them all displayed ............beautiful............
    Nice you have your Mom's dishes as well, sweet............that you get to use them too.
    I think this is my first time to visit with you, sure enjoyed it.
    Blessings, Nellie

  9. I have always loved just plain white dishes, as I always thought the food displayed better on it. :) and then Ironstone became so popular. I was in heaven! I have new ironstone that we eat on and old ironstone....the more crackled and heat torched.....the better I like it, on display. Loved this post ~ Lynn at The Vintage Nest

  10. I'm right there with you! Ironstone fits just about any style in my mind. I like to use it for serving, eating, and creating beautiful vignettes. You have a lovely collection!

  11. Lovely, lovely! You have a wonderful collection!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  12. Love your collection and your moms dishes! I just recently started collecting ironstone in the past year. It is so hard to find but like you I live the crackle and grazing. Thanx for partying at THT!

  13. What a beautiful collection. Using a valances are brilliant.

  14. I too love ironstone! And I agree that it mixes in with so many other styles. Sheila