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the present



You probably know that I have a thing for white ironstone.  I’ve been collecting it for years and have a wide variety of pieces from brush boxes to sugar jars, tureens and pitchers to punch bowls and platters, casseroles, mugs, compotes and a huge slop jar.


One piece I’ve always wanted was a cake pedestal.  I saw one in person in the home of an antique vendor a few years ago and it stopped me in my tracks.  I never knew there were ironstone cake pedestals!  I asked her to let me know if she finds another one and I would buy it.  I had no idea what a crazy request that was, since cake pedestals are like the ironstone holy grail.

So, for a few years, I’ve been keeping an eye out for one.  I never saw one…even an expensive one.  Zip.  I started hunting on eBay and Etsy with more frequency and still no luck.  I saw one or two, but I didn’t like the pattern or the condition (for the money.)  Finally, I saw the perfect one.  It was from the mid-1800’s, perfect condition and exactly the style I wanted.

I watched the auction for days, changing my mind several times about whether I should bid on it or not.  I brought it up to Jeff and declared to him that I just couldn’t spend so much on a cake pedestal.  But it kept nagging at me.  They are so rare!  My birthday was around the corner and I usually get spending money that I use on things that are just for me…clothes, makeup, massage, etc.  Would I rather have those or an ironstone cake pedestal that I’ve been hunting for years?  It was no contest when I thought of it in those terms.

I approached Jeff with my change of heart and he gave me the green light.

I watched the pedestal for the last hour of the auction.  A bidding war had been going on a few days earlier, but things were quiet for the last two days.  I decided I would place a strong “sniper” bid in the last two minutes of the auction.

I counted down…waited for the right moment and placed my bid.  Jeff was looking over my shoulder.  I didn’t know if he thought I was crazy or if he was rooting for me.  “Oh, I think you should bid higher than that.  You want it, right?”  I would’ve taken a moment to kiss him, but time was ticking and I needed to raise my bid.

The auction ended and the pedestal was mine.  It turns out I didn’t need to raise my bid at all.  I won it by $5.00 over the last bidder.  It was still expensive, but it didn’t get as crazy as it could have.

I jumped around, gave Jeff a kiss and was giddy for a few hours.  It arrived a few days later and was even better in person.





So, when my family asked what I wanted to do for my birthday I said, “I just want to be with my family and have a carrot cake made by my mom served on my ironstone cake pedestal.”


And that’s exactly what I got.

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  1. Patricia says:

    Happy Birthday ! It’s the simple things of life that make it sweet.

  2. Awww, Happy Birthday! April women at the Best; my birthday is the 11th…woohoo! But I’m decades older than you -grin-.

    • Kimberly says:

      Yes, Sandra, April women are the best LOL, especially those born on 4/11! My birthday is also the 11th. I’ve run into so few people with a 4/11 birthday! Hope you have a great birthday this Friday!

  3. Andrea says:

    “I would’ve taken a moment to kiss him, but time was ticking and I needed to raise my bid.”
    Too funny! Time and a place for everything!

  4. Gwen Goodin says:

    Happy Birthday, Marian! I’m glad you got just what you wanted!

  5. Ms. Mike says:

    Belated birthday wishes and congratulations on your big score. What a great present from a loving husband and great cake from your mom. I always say “write it on your heart that the ones you love a life’s most important thing.” You got the good writing!

  6. Happy Birthday, Miss Marian!
    That’s a beautiful cake pedestal, and I am sure the carrot cake tasted delicious.

  7. Happy Birthday! That’s a purchase you’ll never regret and it can become a nice tradition!

  8. Mieke says:

    Congratulations on both your birthday and your amazing ironstone pedestal. Enjoy

  9. Kelly says:

    Happy Birthday! Carrot cake is my chosen favorite, also. I think it must be because our mom’s made it. What choice do you have when they are the bakers. And, maybe an Aries thing.

    I acquired an old quiche ironstone piece before I knew what ironstone was. I’ll send you a pic someday. It has awesome crazing and its really heavy. Love your new cake pedestal.

  10. Cheryl says:

    Happy Birthday Marian! What a nice bunch of luck to find it, win it, and have your Mom to make you a birthday cake. Sweet!

  11. I love the cabinet full of ironstone in the first picture–actually I love everything about that picture! It all just looks so crisp and perfect. I’m so happy for you that you got exactly what you wanted for your birthday. After all, isn’t that what having a birthday is all about? :-) It’s amazing how so many likeminded people gathered here today. I had my birthday last week, and YES, I too had a carrot cake. Definitely must be an Aries thing!

  12. Nancy Carr says:

    That is the perfect gift. I was thinking of your love of ironstone today when I found a piece. I do not collect it, so I will put it on ebay. It is a smaller platter by James Edwards and Sons. Evidently it is a rare brand from what research I have done so far. If you have any advice on what to list it as, please let me know.

    • Stephanie Hobson says:

      Nancy, did you know about The Mustard Seed Pages? There’s a link to it at the top of this page. You could list your ironstone piece there. There’s even a dedicated ironstone section!

  13. Fantastic story, Marian! Happy Birthday to You! Enjoy. :)

  14. Happy Birthday! It is beautiful!

  15. Marlene says:

    Score! It’s a beauty!

  16. Sweet story and I am so glad that you got it! Now Happy birthday to you!

  17. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! From one April girl to another. :) And I love the cake pedestal!

  18. Haha!! I loved every minute of this story! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


  19. Teresa says:

    Happy Birthday! Family, a carrot cake baked by mom and an white ironstone cake pedestal, what more could you ask for!

  20. Sherill says:

    Love the stand and you taste in cake…carrot cake is my favorite too! I usually ask for it, but with a December 25th b/day I’m usually sugared out:(

  21. Happy Birthday and your cake pedestal is beautiful!

  22. Happy Birthday! :)

  23. How fun!! Enjoy your cake pedestal and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  24. MaryS says:

    And what a sweet story!! Don’t know of anyone who would appreciate an old ironstone cake pedestal than Miss Mustard Seed. So happy you made it your own.

  25. Teresa says:

    Happy Birthday and Congrats on your win. That cake is making me hungry!!

  26. Happy Birthday-enjoy the cake pedestal-it is lovely! Keep on being inspiring!!

  27. What a sweet, sweet, loving story. I just loved hearing all about the gift from your husband.

  28. sharon says:

    I love your mom…I love your cake….wonderful present!

  29. Lorraine says:

    lovely gift for a lovely person. Happy Birthday!

  30. Happy Belated Birthday Marian!
    Congratulations on your find! Sometime the hunt is the most fun. I love cake stands and have a few but yours is definitely special.

  31. joy browb says:

    I really like the industrial wooden wagon on Decor Steals and Happy Birthday!!

  32. joy brow says:

    I am already subscribed to Decor Steals daily deals, and I buy all the time.

  33. kellene says:

    I love this story! Hope you had a great birthday!

  34. Happy Birthday Marian…great story! For a minute there I thought you were going to say that someone outbid you…but it ended up being Jeff, lol! So glad you got your pedestal!

  35. Happy birthday… the stars aligned…sweet =)

  36. I’ve just found your blog and it is quickly becoming one of my very favorites. Happy birthday! Your collection is both beautiful and timeless. The cake stand must be worth it all and what a nice way to spend your birthday. Looking forward to more fun from you!

  37. Awwww. It’s the simple things in life that are the sweetest, huh?! Happy Birthday!

  38. peggywatson says:

    Sounds like a super sweet birthday to me!

  39. Laurie says:

    LOVE it!! I think you should look into having copies made and selling them!

  40. Betsy says:

    Happy Belated Birthday – if you ever decide to sell the flatware in the pictures – I’m your girl 😉 I’ve been looking for something like that for our 1970 Aristocrat Lo Liner. So enjoy reading your blog.

  41. This Makes me smile…. Happy Birthday! I love ironstone :) Janita

  42. Happiest birthday, Marian!!! What a wonderful tale! Surround yourself with ironstone and your family and love abounds, no doubt about it. And thank you for the opportunity to take your class; talk about an answer to prayer. I agree with other posters, your blog just makes me smile from ear to ear. Happy day to you!!! :)

  43. Sniping is kinda fun, isn’t it? It’s all in the strategy — SO glad you won! My sis & her husband had Carrot Cale for their wedding so I can definitely appreciate your choice.

  44. Happy Birthday !!!!!

  45. Jeanine C says:

    Sweet birthday all around :)

  46. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Marian!!!! Happy to see that your bid won, because it’s one beautiful piece.


  47. Lisa R says:

    Hi there and Happy Happy Birthday! I too am a less than a minute left bidder…Practice makes perfect. I have been reading your blog for about a month now and still cringe when I think about the ironstone my parents got as wedding presents that I convinced them to yardsale when I was a teenager…They never took it off the shelf in the closet…

    No use crying over sold ironstone. So, my big question is, how does one tell true ironstone from fakes? I am an avid thifter and pick up pieces and wish I could send a picture to someone and say, “well?” Not sure if you’ve already done a post on this topic or not so I figured I would ask!

    Enjoy your birthday week!

  48. Happy Birthday!! So happy for you, and heartsick at the same time 😉 I had an ironstone pedestal that I found last fall- no idea they were so rare- just really excited to find such a nice piece. I used it in a fall vignette on our mantel. We had just put up a very heavy, vintage mirror over our fireplace. The wood frame was extremely soft, and one evening the screws popped out of the frame and the mirror came crashing down. The mirror survived, but all the breakables -including the ironstone pedestal- did not. I think I felt the worst about that. :( I’m really going to have to keep my eyes open again, but now that I know they are hard to find I might not be so lucky second time around…. enjoy it!

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