Several years ago, I received a tip from one of my local friends in the antiquing community. She told me there was a huge stash of like-new vintage buffalo china at a thrift store and I might want to go check it out. Well, as an ironstone lover and an antiques dealer, I couldn’t turn that down! So, I made a little day trip to the thrift store and my jaw dropped when I saw this. I had been warned, but I wasn’t expecting this much buffalo china. I wrote about the entire experience HERE.
I made dozens of trips up and down stairs, carrying hundreds of heavy pieces of buffalo china in small plastic shopping baskets. I was a woman determined! I did finally give up, though, and I really didn’t even make a dent in the stacks.
I sold most of the pieces at the Lucketts Spring Market that year and kept a bunch of pieces for our family to use as our everyday dishes. Buffalo china was (and still used) used in restaurants, diners, and even the military, so they are very hard-wearing. I have dropped so many of these pieces and I can only think of one that broke and I dropped it out of the trunk of my van. Unlike antique ironstone, Buffalo china is dishwasher safe. It’s just a fantastic everyday option for ironstone lovers like me.
There is some debate about whether it is true ironstone, but it is often referred to as ironstone or American ironstone. I put it in that camp because it is a vintage relative to antique ironstone and has the same beautiful luster and weightiness.
So, after selling dozens and dozens of pudding cups, chunky buffalo china mugs, and round-bottomed cereal/soup bowls, I was a little bummed I didn’t keep any for myself. They seemed so readily available that I wasn’t too concerned about finding more. Well, then I hit a dry spell when it came to those specific pieces. I would find them here or there, but they were expensive! So, I kept the hunt for cereal bowls going for a few years.
I’ve bought a few on eBay or Etsy as they have surfaced, but I was still hoping to find some more. Well, Jeff and I stopped by an antique store to kill some time last week and we picked one I hadn’t been in that was all on one floor (so I could scooter around easily.) I wasn’t finding too many things of interest, but a box of white dishes under a table caught my eye. A large price was written on the flap of the box – $25.00, marked down from $40.00. I pulled it out and there they were…a beautiful stack of buffalo china cereal/soup bowls. Not only that, but a stack of plates, berry bowls, and 19 chunky mugs.
A young man was moving things around in the booth, so I asked him if this was his booth and if that was his box of dishes. “Yep! I just do this as a way to make money through college.” Aw, I love that! I told him I wanted the box of dishes, but I would need him to carry them to check-out and to the car for me. He was happy to oblige. (Jeff had tweaked his back, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the dishes if he had to carry them!)
I am so excited to add this set to the buffalo china I already have.
I already have dinner plates, lunch/dessert plates, berry bowls, salad bowls, wide-rimmed soup bowls, and large oval bowls that we use for taco bowls or dinner-sized salads. They aren’t flashy, but they are good, solid dishes that will go with just about anything.
I also like the size. The dinner plates are about the size of most salad plates today, so I don’t pile on too much food.
I need to get the set all cleaned up when we’re in a new house, but I don’t mind the staining from age and use. To me, it just adds character and makes them more endearing.
I don’t know if we need 19 of these mugs, but they are a nice, heavy, weight, so they would make good soup mugs or even water cups for painting.
I actually bought a few more cereal/soup bowls off of eBay because I found someone selling unused vintage stock for a good price. There are still more bowls available HERE if you’re interested!
Here are some more posts about ironstone, one of my favorite things to collect!