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

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