Ironstone china or ironstone-ware commonly called just Ironstone
type of pottery first made in United Kingdom early 19th century ( 1800’s)
First patented in about 1813
Classed as earthenware in appearance and properties – looks like fine stoneware
No iron in ironstone – name came from it’s strength durability.
Due to the strength, originally used in washrooms
they made large pieces such as vestibule vases and even mantelpieces.
If it is heavier than it looks it is ironstone
Heft and luster are indicators of authenticity
Flick it with your fingers – if it rings it is ironstone
Ironstone is more opaque than Porcelain
Earlier colors have a blueish tint – can be bright white or creamy white
Not uncommon to have some crackling in glaze
—–crackling doesn’t bother me – adds to look and the history behind dish
Adds to the charm
Came in huge variety of sizes with many patterns
(hard to find hexagonal or octagonal shapes)
Later they even made pieces with motifs on them
as years went by – motifs became more elaborate
Most of the ironstone produced came from England
1850’s U.S started producing it
Most of the white resturantware china is ironstone
Undercoated tableware was most popular in the U.S.
British manufactures began adding transfer printed designs
Trying to copy the look of china from Japan – like “blue willow”
Transferware came in blue, red, green or brown.
Know as the “poor man’s porcelain”
Makes a “stunning collection”
especially in this decorating era of shabby chic, cottage all white look
Although true country decorators display a lot of ironstone.
There are hundreds of ironstone makers but not all pieces are marked
Very collectible – prices go from $1.00 to thousands depends on shape, color, size, what it is, motif, condition
I don’t mind flaws, crazing, chips – just adds character
Ladles were used a lot so they broke often – hot collectors item. Matching dinner plates and smaller plates are hard to find.
Makes a great display – a stunning display