Finds from my old PA honey holes

by | Jun 11, 2018 | All Things Home, Antiques, Favorite Finds | 59 comments

One thing I wanted to do when I went back to PA to visit my parents was visit some of my favorite antique stores.  I have found some nice things in Minnesota, but I really missed the antiquing back east.  No, that’s too general.   I really missed my stores – the ones that were on my regular route.  I knew many of the vendors and which booths were routinely my favorite and I was never skunked.

So, my mom, Jenn, and I hit a few of my favorite places and I found some awesome goodies.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find the biggies that were on my list, like a mirror for the dining room, but I found one of my favorite things in spades – ironstone.

As you may know, I love ironstone and have been collecting it as well as buying and selling it for many years.  Thousands and thousands of pieces have passed through my possession.  I certainly don’t need any more, but I still love hunting for it.  I am getting to the point, though, where I’ll only buy the piece if it’s very special or very well priced or, hopefully, both.

Pitchers were what attracted me most on this particular trip.  This one, bought for $27, is a beauty…

I also bought this one…

…and this one…

I also picked up one white ironstone sugar jar…

…and some beautiful transferware pieces…

…and a stack of white ironstone bone plates…

(Those little crescent-shaped plates were for bones!)

I have a few Civil War era bone handled forks and knives, but I have found most of them one at a time or in pairs, but never in a set.  I came across this set of 15 and I could not pass them up.  The set was my biggest splurge at $60.  Aren’t they beautiful!?

I can’t even imagine the time that went into making these.

I also bought a coupe of bristle brushes.  I actually use the ones I find for various cleaning tasks…

As simple as it is, this is one of my favorite finds…

It’s a cotton dispenser!  It has all of the parts and is in good working order, so I plan to use it in my bathroom.

I bought this petticoat for less than $10, because it has some stains on it.  The work at the bottom is so lovely, though, and I think it’ll be great for a sewing project.

This platter was another favorite find.  It’s huge and I’ve never seen one like it!  What a gorgeous pattern.  It’s destined to be hung on a wall, I think!

And lastly, a few art supplies – I bought a glass ink bottle with a cork top for $5 and a dip pen, also $5…

…as well as a couple of art books for a couple of bucks a piece.

I went back to my parent’s house that evening blurry-eyed from combing through cases in fluorescent lighting and a bit foot-sore from hours of slow meandering through treasure-filled aisles, but the antiquing itch was satisfied and I was happy with my haul.

Now comes the fun part – finding the perfect spot for all of my new finds…

If you’re in the Gettysburg area, here are my favorite spots North & East and West & South.


  1. Kate

    That big platter is channeling your dining room chair covers!

    I moved to Ohio recently from the West, but I still rarely see any ironstone in antique stores. What is it about PA?

    • Elizabeth St

      Kate, that was exactly what I thought the instant I saw the platter. We must have Marian’s decor memorized!

    • Deborah A. McKinniss

      I’m originally from Ohio…now live in Connecticut. Was back in Southwestern OH last weekend. Shopped in the Broadway Antiques Mall in Lebanon, OH. Ironstone all over the place! As well as beautiful transferware and granite ware and all manner of other lovelies.

  2. Betsy

    You did great on your hunt! Thank you so much for listing your favorite places to look for treasures. My cousin lives in the town of Gettysburg and we visit often. I’ll add your recommendations to our road trip.

  3. Suzie Dyer

    I was recently in the south of France and staying at a friend’s family’s castle (a real actual castle) that has been in their family since the 1700’s. At one point, we were given a tour of the parts of the castle that they keep locked up (it’s like a museum) and they opened the cupboard in the dining room and this was inside! I immediately thought of you! Well, I was trying to figure out how to add photos in the comments, but I guess I can’t? Anyway, the cupboards were filled with beautiful blue and white transferware. I wish I could figure out how to show you the pictures.

    • Karen

      Sounds amazing!

    • Faye

      Wow! I need friends like that! Sounds absolutely amazing!

  4. Teresa

    Looks like you made some great finds in your old hunting grounds! I have been to many of your old haunts as we have family in PA too. We always stop in Lemoyne @ Antique Marketplace as that’s one of my favorites as well. Although I find Ironstone in VA it seems to be more plentiful in PA and anytime you find beautiful pitchers or sugar bowls that have the tops you better grab it!

  5. Karen

    LOVE the Blue & White Transferware! Looks like Ridgway Oriental and I’ve never seen the pattern on the lovely Blue & White Platter before – it’s Stunning!

  6. Diane Ruebel

    Such fun at your favorite haunts. I’ve collected bone plates to use as soap dishes and as gifts paired with a bar of French soap. Both transferware and white look lovely and the curve fits beautifully on a pedestal sink.

    Love the petticoat possibilities.

    Diney on Camano

  7. JoAnn

    Your cotton dispenser is something I’m not familiar with! Very classic and nice!

  8. Peggy

    We leave Carlisle in a week and I am going to miss Bedford St Antiques!! Let’s just say I might have walked out of there with our fair share of goodies! Oddly enough I’ve picked up little ironstone even though I dearly LOVE it. We are heading back in for one last foray before the movers come on Friday. Ha ha!

    • Teresa

      I love Bedford St. Antiques too! We have family in PA and always make time to stop by a few of my favorite shops on our way back to VA. I also love AntiqueMarket place in Lemoyne too.

  9. Carolyn

    The petticoat is pretty. You could try to remove the stains if you want to wear it. Wash in mild soap and lay of green grass in full sun to dry. Some how the stains disappear. I’ve used this method on antique table clothes, etc.

    Great finds in my neighborhood 🙂

  10. Bonnie

    An you tell us the name of the platter pattern?

  11. Stéphanie

    “As you may know, I love ironstone…” Really ??????? Ah ! Ah ! Ah !

  12. JeanFB

    Fantastic finds! Yes there is definitely something about PA – I was born and raised there, and there were always fantastic “barn sales”, estate sales, etc., as well as wonderful antique holes. There is truly no place like it. I think it’s because once families came to PA originally a few hundred years ago (from their home countries), they stayed… until the present day. At least that’s what it was like in northeastern PA where I’m from. I live in Raleigh now, and even though we have a weekend flea market, as you’ve seen Marian, it’s still just not like PA. I can definitely understand how much fun you had with your purchases!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, I agree that there are good finds in Raleigh, but PA was a bit better. 🙂

  13. Lorraine

    Soak that petticoat in Retro-Clean and the stains will disappear!

    • Marian Parsons

      I haven’t heard of that one. I’ll have to try it out!

  14. Jenn Anderson

    I love that cotton dispenser! Is it milk glass? Also think all your ironstone and transfer ware pieces are so pretty! Great haul!

    • Marian Parsons

      yes, it’s milk glass!

  15. Norma

    Love antiquing in the east. I envy your great finds. Thanks for sharing your fines and with pics.

  16. Mildred

    All of your ‘finds’ are wonderful. I’m so jealous. We just don’t find pieces like these in Tennessee, and at the prices you mention.
    Thanks for sharing😊

  17. Nancy Mana

    Luv your style and finds. Would you share info on the back of the large platter? Would love to find other pieces in this pattern.

  18. Karen S

    Love! Love! Love! Very jealous that you have “honey holes.” Living in N. California, the closet I have is Napa, which is an overly priced tourist trap. But we do have great surfing waves! LOL Love your site.

  19. Louise

    Love all your gorgeous finds. So much fun going through antique stores. I really love the platter and I love transfer ware also. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Charlotte

    I’ve started to pick up some ironstone and transfeeware…. little things here and there mostly. But I LOVE the classic look and you’ve inspired me…. thank you for sharing!!!!

  21. Debbie

    I love your treasures. I live in Lancaster and believe Pa has great antiques. My friend and I travel all over the US to antique only to have the dealers tell us, “We buy our goods in Pa.” Funny how different areas feature different items at different prices. I love your blog and feel you are a friend from afar. Many blessings and great antiquing!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I was very spoiled in PA!

  22. Jeanie

    Thanks for sharing…the platter is my favorite!!

  23. Irene

    That first pitcher is lovely!! I love the cute cotton dispenser too!

  24. Susan

    Oh, I’m loving the cotton dispenser!! I’ve never seen that.

  25. Christy Sumbury

    My Dad just gave me his Mother’s ‘china’ as he calls it. I’m assuming it is probably 70+ years old. It is similar to what you have pictured here but a different pattern. I live in the Gettysburg area and was hoping you could recommend somewhere locally to go and have it appraised or find out more information?

    • Marian Parsons

      Hmmm…you could try one of the local antique stores. Another great way to find out more about a pattern is to simply look it up online.

  26. monique odman

    What finds! I like every piece and my head is spinning watching these items more than once.
    I have never seen any pattern like the one on the large platter.

  27. Susan Willingham

    I adore that platter!

  28. Patrice

    I love the smaller pitcher with the sweet peas design

    And that huge platter… would look awesome smack dad in the center of your everyday dining table with those blue checked chairs. It can hold seasonal “stuff” …. greenery at Christmas, Pine cones and leaves at Thanksgiving and this time of year…those wonderful things from the garden that don’t require refrigeration…tomatoes, peppers, peaches, and in the fall apples! I have a huge shallow ironstone bowl with a wonderful pattern of spring onions and peppers around the rim and do the same thing with it.

  29. Shirley Housepitality

    Love your new purchases and my favorite place is the Antique Marketplace in Lemoyne…

  30. MaryLisa Noyes

    You hit a treasure chest!!! Great finds!!!!

  31. Margo Hubka

    I think I love ironstone as much as you do! I have that exact sugar bowl that you just purchased plus I have several pitchers all of which I use! Your new platter is lovely too! I have visited Pennsylvania and there is such great antiquing spots, can’t wait to go back!

  32. Cherylan

    That platter is the bomb! A very unusual transfer pattern!

  33. JNY

    As always a wonderful your finds and especially what you do with them !! I live in eastern PA and have been collecting Ironstone for close to 20 years, I never realized how abundant it is here, just remember seeing it one day, falling in love and never looking back…there is not one room in my entire house ( yes even the kids room and bathrooms) you wont find several pieces being put to use..holding paint brushes, pencils, soaps, my sea glass and sea shell finds, i especially love the chamber pots to hold my collections of folding rulers and dried flowers. Enjoy your blog so much and seeing all your beautiful creations..always makes my day.. God bless !

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep! I have it in almost every room of the house as well! 🙂

  34. D.

    Will be in Gettysburg on Friday, Lord willing, so hope to use your list and get to at least one shop you’ve recommended. Thanks


    How fun to be able to go back and check out your old antiquing shops! I love the white pitchers you found — so beautiful! Enjoy!

  36. Jennifer

    Ohhh I’m so jelly! Especially about that large platter…it would be beautiful in my dining room!

  37. Cynthia

    You sure did score Marian~. I have not found favorite places in Denver… yet. I wonder if there is some resistance on my part. I know you’ve moved a lot so it’s not foreign to you as it is to me.. time will help. Keep looking for your “go to” spot~ they are there!

  38. penny gharst

    Love the transfer ware and the cotton dispenser and the utensils. Appreciate the quality and the secrets they could tell.

  39. Karyl

    I have an ironstone pitcher like the one in the first picture. I have magnolia stems in mine and everyone wants to buy it lol. Not for sale. I love your site and the goodies you find!

  40. René

    Oh wowsa!!! Can’t decide which find I love the most – those ironstone pitchers . . .!! That platter is stunning – I have never seen one like it. Not going to lie, though. I think the cotton dispenser might just be my favorite. Such beauty in the most utilitarian of items. No . . . wait . . . definitely the knives and forks! To find that many was hitting the jackpot! When we cleaned my father-in-law’s estate, I found about 6 knives and forks from the Civil War era. I keep an eye out all the time to add to it – but you just don’t find them that easily. And, certainly not as beautiful wrought as yours and certainly not for that price!!

  41. Cindy A Redman

    So fun to see all your finds! The platter is my favorite, and who knew there was a cotton dispenser that could be that perfect!


  42. Deb

    If you are in the Gettysburg area, visit Rebels Roost, one listed on the blog, I have a bunch of ironstone and will be taking 2 more boxes, tomorrow. I have lots of customers from other states buy from me, since MariAna post last year. Booth 65

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep! I miss Deb! 🙂 We saw your booth at Lemoyne.

  43. Diane

    All your finds are so wonderful. I don’t know if I could pick a favorite, Marian! However, I do wish that you would share the price of all your finds, not just the “deals.” I have no idea what a fair price is for ironstone and transferware. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I walk away, simply because I have no idea if the price asked is fair. I’m in Michigan and everything seems a bit high to me… but what do I know. 😉 So glad you had a wonderful trip!!

  44. Inez

    I always tell people that my greatest finds are in PA!! My to go place is in Scranton and I always bring back a truck and trailer full of stuff. You definitely won’t find stuff like that here in Dallas, Texas. You never disappoint Mrs Parsons 😊

  45. Joanne Scarpino

    I love the blue and white platter. I can see the center medallion as inspiration for a rug!

    Also, thanks for the handy links to the posts on your PA honey holes! I’ll definitely refer to these next time we venture up from VA.

  46. Kristie W.

    The piece with the butterflies is my favorite of your finds. The bone plate is a fun fact!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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