Sign up to get your daily dose of Miss Mustard Seed:

I Love Ironstone


From the moment I spotted a hutch full of white Ironstone in a magazine, I knew that’s what I wanted to collect and I have hunted it down for the past ten years.   I don’t look for the high end stuff, though.   I look for the bargains.  Pieces that are chipped, crazed, stained, missing tops, missing bottoms…whatever.  I don’t mind.  Of course, if a fabulous piece falls in my lap, I don’t turn my nose at it.  Here’s a look at some of the collection I’ve amassed…









 If loving Ironstone is an illness, may I never recover!

What do you collect?

(If you’d like to know more about Ironstone, you can check out my post, Ironstone 101.)

Related posts:


  1. What a pretty collection! I love it all. I have always adored the ironstone I see in magazines and on blogs, but am not sure how to tell if something is ironstone in person. Does it say ironstone? Does it have a certain feel? I’m sure I have come across it but not known that that is what it was. Any tips for someone who has no ironstone but wants to look for some on future thrifting trips?

  2. I absolutely love ironstone too! I just started collecting a couple of years ago. It’s so fun to scour stores for it. When my husband and I go shopping he is always on the hunt. He normally spots it before me. 😉 My son found a really nice old piece for me for Christmas and it was special because he didn’t know exactly what ironstone was but he knew I loved it so went to the local antique shop and asked. The piece didn’t say “ironstone” on it so he came home and was trying to get a look at some of my pieces but everything was covered with greenery, etc. so he couldn’t. I saw him hanging out in my dining room and asked what he was doing and he told me he was just looking at the sugar cookies I had put on a cake pedestal. I told him he could have one and he really didn’t even want it. I wondered why he didn’t scarf it down right away. :) =P My daughter bought me a large bowl too! I haven’t gotten it yet since she lives away. She sent me a photo. Luckily I get to see her a three weeks so I’ll get my bowl. 😉

  3. Tammy says:

    I love how you use your pieces–even for paintbrushes :) I also like the character of worn pieces. We heading over to Gettysburg for my b-day tomorrow. I wish you had a shop there so we could visit:)

  4. You and me both, girl! I can’t get enough of it, the more crazed the better.
    I also have a weakness for enamelware and old clocks, too.

    Gorgeous photos!
    Thank you for your help yesterday, I truly do appreciate you, Marian!

  5. Your collection is lovely, it’s drool worthy. Ironstone would be fun to collect and if anyone needs to justify their craving to start another collection, such as ironstone; “it goes with everything”! there ya go.

    I collect.. rusty junk, vintage dishes, galvanized metal objects and crosses :)

  6. Susan says:

    You have a lovely collection, the pitchers are particularily nice too! I collect some Ironstone, and I am reading your 101 post about it to learn more about it. I have a fetish, addiction, passion for Transferware, any color, shape or condition. Oh, and bowls, old bowls, Yelloware, Ironstone, Weller whatever just love em. And also anything 1950’s and brightly colored….its a sickness, it really is. I hope they never find a vaccine.

  7. I collect Ironstone aswell. I prefer the plainest of the plain. But I also look for the bargians… the chippy, stained… imperfect are perfect to me. :)

  8. Oh how we love Ironstone too ~ the hubby and I that is. We have been collecting in earnest since a trip to Providence, Rhode Island 11 years ago. Chipped, cracked, crazed, stained…we’d bring it all home if we could! :)

  9. Lisa Cole says:

    I’ve started collecting old seltzer bottles (any color) and aqua-colored antique bottles. I live in an apartment, so I can’t collect everything I’d like, but enough to make a statement on a shelf or table here and there.

  10. Sherri M says:

    I collect heart shaped rocks, I only have about a dozen or so but I like that they don’t cost me anything to collect. I love rocks in general so when one is heart shaped it is doubly awesome!

  11. Helo Marian,

    Yes…love ironstone and I also collect English tea cups, you don’t want to know how many of those I have ;-<

    More recently I have begun a collection of incredibly detailed needle felted figures by a wonderful artist form the Cotswolds..Gretel Parker. Whimsical and beautiful.

    Have a great weekend

    janet xox

  12. I collected white ironstone for 20 yrs., sold it when I was broke and started collecting it all over again! Same with majolica and black transferware. It’s like a savings account that you can use every day!

  13. I love the simplicity and elegance of ironstone. I have a few pieces myself. It is timeless.

  14. Love your collection! Ironstone is just so elegant, even with it’s little chips or cracks. :)

  15. Marian!

    I loooove it too, and I even purchased a piece from you! Ahem, you gonna be at Luckett’s tomorrow? I do hope I see you! I will be scouring your stuff, as per usual! Be blessed, dear lady! God has you in such a beautiful season!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Yes, He does. I won’t be there, unfortunately. :( Karen is filling my space for me, since I’m hip-deep in meeting my book deadlines. I will start filling my space again in March. I hope you find lots of other great things, though. (I’m a little jealous I can’t steal away to do some shopping!!)

  16. ” I was not aware that there was anything pretty in home decor during the 70′s, but that decade gets a thumbs up from me for liking ironstone.” You are up my alley, lady – just read this on your ‘Ironstone 101’ post. HEEHEE!!

  17. Terrie from Atlanta, Ga says:

    Dearest M ~ just noticed the “double-barreled” paintbrushes in one of your ironstone pitchers. I paint, but have never come across this type of brush before. Is it used for making parallel lines? In lettering? Bristles appear to be synthetic…perhaps they worked when you painted the feedsack cotton. Hmmm…. ;-

  18. Lynn in downers grove says:

    Geez Marian.Weird timing!
    I just started scoping my resale haunts for ironstone cuz I lurve your pieces. Major score yesterday at Goodwill on a large oval platter for 99cents! My first thought was “Gee. MMS should do a post on how to spot this stuff more quickly than my tedious flipping of each and every white piece I spy.” Little did I know you were way ahead of the curve!

  19. I am cleaning out an older gentleman’s house and have some things to sell, wondered if you’d be interested in emailing me about this? One thing in particular, a typewriter, looks like something you’d like. I’d be happy to meet you at Lucketts sometime. I used to live near there, but only visited twice. A wonderful place to visit!

  20. Maybee's Mom says:

    Get ready….I collect teeth ….yes… started when I found a set of very old dentures at an auction….I was hooked…then years later…another….when my mother passed away…I ask for her teeth…..a couple of friends of mine have given me there parents dentures… is probably a bit creepy…but they look interesting in a large vessel in my bathroom…..not so weird I collect vintage eye glasses….again….I have perhaps 30 in another vessel……many hanging off the side…..a bit more normal….I have hundreds of childrens books most older golden books and school book… favorite….THink and do Books…..then I have vintage suitcases……stacked to the ceiling in every room and I have 12 ft ceilings……I too have ironstone…only pitchers and chamber pots…..I have a mercury glass collection in my dining room new and old… one bedroom I have vintage purses hanging on hooks as chair rail…..I also have a collection of vintage swimsuits I display in the summer months in my sun room……I started to collect doll heads…..but it creeped out my grandchildren….I have a needle book collection… doesn’t take up much room….and I have 2 suitcases full of all vintage labels canned good and such… one time I had a crock collection… my children moved out of the house they each took what they wanted …..I really have too much stuff…….I used to have a yard long collection…..but…..again children liked them… is only stuff and for me …it is the thrill of the hunt……I really need to downsize…..Love you blog….Karen

  21. Alesia says:

    I collect King’s Crown from the Indiana Glass company. I can recall my mother and grandmother having their evening “rye and coke” from one of those glasses and I always like them. When my grandmother died, everything went to auction. As an adult, I was at a yard sale and found a set and since then I’ve been hooked. I have a large collection of red and blue flashing and am looking more now for the silver and blue flashing. It comes in full colours, carnival glass and milk glass also. Can’t ever have too much as far as I’m concerned! And I like to use it….why have it if I”m not going to use it….I put it out to decorate mantles and will use it on holidays as a special treat!

  22. Allison L says:

    I collect dishes from the Blue Willow pattern but on those that were made in Occupied Japan!

  23. What me? Collect? Let’s see….ironstone, Watt bowls, Fiesta, Luray in terms of dishes. Lets just focus on dishes for today!

  24. Laura says:

    I have a serious problem collecting pewter or brass miniature dogs. These dogs must, MUST fit into my vintage stamp tray.

  25. I have a butter pat collection, can’t pass up nice old embroidered pillowcases and I collect . . . lids. Yes, lids that don’t have their bottoms from tureens, sugar bowls, covered vegetable bowls, you name it. I might even have an ironstone one that would fit a bottom that you have!

  26. Rayia says:

    I collect Ironstone too! And have been for about 8 years now. I even have a few of the same pieces you do. Fun!

  27. Susan Sweeney says:

    I also collect white ironstone. I can’t seem to find much locally at flea markets. Most of mine I purchase on ebay. I also have a small collection of old wooden bread bowls. Love your site. I always get inspired when I visit.

  28. I have a collection of “cream ware”. It’s not ironstone and it’s not all McCoy, just a little happy group of cream pottery. I also have a small collection of English candy tins. They’re little pieces of art in themselves.

  29. jennifer says:

    I collect milk glass.Preferably with the grape clusters or hobnail. i would love to know how your cabinet is lit? I have my husbands grandmothers similar to yours and would like to light it.

  30. I love your ironstone! I have a few pieces but my mother has a ton. I collect jadeite and milk glass. The colors are just amazing for my house and I adore any type of pottery, china, or glass! I LOVE your blog!

  31. Lovely pieces! I collect a few things including aqua mason jars, but the two most recent ones I posted this week are the beginnings of an ironstone collection and my vintage industrial wooden spools.

  32. Amanda McNaughton says:

    mason jars. lamps. cowboy boots. purses. table cloths. old pictures. silverware. linen napkins. clay pots……..
    …Oh dear, I think I have a problem…..

  33. Berta says:

    Love your beautiful collection, especially the tureens! I collect a lot of thinks, but my fave is hobnail milk glass, but any pretty milk glass id Ok by me. My “good” dishes are Micasa French Countryside, so pretty, like iron stone. Simple but not plain!

  34. I have collected for years blue and white platters and I am just starting a collection of ironstone- wish I had of started earlier. I am focusing on pitchers in the ironstone.

  35. Hi Marian, I just sent an email to you about pricing an ironstone set that was my grandmother’s. I am hopeful you will have a chance to respond before we do something crazy and sell it at the estate sale if that isn’t the best method.
    I hope your book writing is moving along, can’t wait to read it!

  36. I collect Milk Glass! Your collection is beautiful, the chips and cracks are charming, its what makes then feel warm and homey. My Grandma had some pretty pieces of milk glass and I just loved them, so I started collecting my own!

  37. I have a few pieces of Ironstone that I really love because it to me it just says old country kitchen. Chips? Spots? Sure, but that just shows they’ve been well used and loved in their previous lives. I’ve been fortunate to find the pieces in the the $2 auction boxes or sitting unwanted on the shelves of a thrift shop.

  38. My biggest collection is my Milk glass. I had never seen such a nice Ironstone collection.
    I also collect beer glasses, trays, glass paperweight, brooches…
    I guess I am a vintage collector.
    And in my garden I collect daylilies.
    We all need a passion to enjoy today’s life.

  39. Hi, I have a few pieces of ironstone that my aunt left me (she would be 99 if living). I recently used a large platter at Christmas for a ham. I was heartbroken when I realized it had absorbed the fat and now has oily spots all over it. Do you have any suggestion on removing it? Also, wanted you to know that about three months ago, I used the oil and vinegar mixture on my front doors that have direct sun and water almost daily, and they still look beautiful. Thanks

  40. Hi..I too love and collect white Ironstone.I also joined at one time the white ironstone society (WICA)
    One of your readers asked about cleaning the ironstone..I have the recipe and have used it many times.I will gladly pass the info on if you would like it.I have been collecting for about 10 years now..and have gotten to the point I only buy the bigger harder to find pieces, so if your ever looking for a certain piece, let me know i probably have it and would gladly pass on to you!

  41. Mary K says:

    I love collecting silver. My favorite piece is a beautiful old punchbowl with
    a ladle. I found it at a garage sale, the lady had asked what each of us
    were going to do with it. I told her and she ended up selling it to me instead
    of an antique dealer. She wanted to sell it to someone who would love it as
    much as she had. It has served punch at many, many family and church
    weddings, graduations, showers and birthdays. I will likely have to either
    cut it in thirds or buy 2 more like it as all my children have asked to have it
    after I am gone!
    I had not heard of white ironstone before. Now that I have, I will have to
    keep my eyes open. I can see why you (and others) like it so much.

  42. Sheila says:

    My first piece of ironstone is on it’s way to me, the start of a new collection. I collect alot ot things-my biggest is milk glass-mainly vases, water glasses, plant pots, and candy dishes. also have a collection of Mc Coy plant pots-4 makes a collection, right? My largest collection is my stash of yarn-13 77 quart plastic containers strong! Also, knitting needles, silver tea sets (only 2 so far), depression glass, tablecloths–oh, help me, it’s a disease! oh yes, old furniture to paint, too!

Leave a Comment