gold rush purchases

by | May 13, 2019 | All Things Home, Antiques, Favorite Finds, Ironstone | 35 comments

Saturday was Jeff’s birthday and he went out for a special father-son breakfast for some time with our youngest before we spent time together as a family.  On their way home, he saw that there was an antique market happening at the Rochester Fair Grounds.  And, believe it or not, he called and told me about it (no. 1) and then (no. 2) he actually suggested we go there together as a family.  Now, Jeff has always been supportive of my antique habit (unless it involves moving something huge), but he’s not usually one to suggest going to an event, especially with the kids and especially on his birthday.

After I checked to make sure he wasn’t joking or ill, I gave an enthusiastic yes.

So, we all went to the antique market, which is a small offshoot of the Gold Rush Days that happens in Oronoco and Rochester in August each year.

And, we had a great time.  The boys found some rocks and minerals to buy for their collections and I enjoyed showing them rotary phones and eight tracks and other things that are foreign to them.  I wasn’t there to do serious shopping, but I did take out some cash in case I found anything.  I was on the lookout for a desk chair since the one I’ve been using in my studio broke last week (it’s the French chair cane and the cane bottom finally gave out, which was a huge boost to my ego.)  I can fix the chair, but if I could find a $10-15 replacement that would be more comfortable, it would be a win.  I came up empty on the desk chair, but I did find a few things.

I came out of one booth with a slim, black case under my arm and I said to Jeff, “Don’t worry…”

He cut me off, “We have another set of antique silverware we’ll never use.”

No, we have a set of bakelite flatware specifically for eating fish.  So, when we eat fish, we’ll have the proper utensils.”

I think we were saying the same thing…

I actually bought the set because of the delicate curve of the forks and the knife blades and because it looked brand new.  It was probably a wedding gift that spent most of its life in a buffet.

And, since they are in such pristine condition, I’m going to find excuses to use them just so I can prove Jeff wrong!

I also bought a set of cocktail forks that weren’t a part of the set, but they matched nicely.  Again, they were in such great condition and I like using odd pieces of silverware for photo shoots as well as for serving.

I also found an ironstone mold that is a larger version of one I already own.  I like that they can nest together.

I have a lot of ironstone molds, but most of them are pretty on the inside, but this one is also beautiful on the outside.

I don’t get to do as much antiquing these days since I’m no longer selling out of a retail space, so this was a nice treat!

I hope you had a great mother’s day weekend!


  1. Nancy

    I also have a few old molds. Do you have any tips on how to hang them on the wall? Thanks.

    • Marian Parsons

      No, I haven’t figured that out, yet! I think I’m going to make a rack for the end of one of my cabinets to feature my collection. (Mold collection just sounds wrong!) Anyway, they are just stacked in a cabinet right now, but you can’t appreciate the beautiful detail.

  2. Miki

    Dreamy….Simply, dreamy. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Elizabeth

    Oooo…wish Jeff would have told me too!!! Haha jk!! Glad you found some nice things!

  4. Suzanne Reiersen

    Trying very hard lately to “love” people and animals and “like” things. So!, I like, really, really like all of your new finds down to the last cocktail fork!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, good point! In the end, things are just things.

  5. Gilda

    some are marked French Ivory

    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, I had wondered if the smaller set was French Ivory…

  6. Dori Johns

    I’m a sucker for a good set of old flatware. Your new set is da bomb! 🙂

    • Marian Parsons

      I am, too! I especially love Bakelite and pieces from the Civil War.

  7. Jenn

    The comment about having silverware you will never use was funny…I could hear my husband saying something similar. I too would then proceed to use it all the time, just to prove him wrong! Glad you had fun and found some neat things!

  8. Judy Westmoreland

    I have never seen ironstone molds. Yours are just beautiful. I love to go to garage sales and estate
    sales, now I hope to find an ironstone mold.

    • Marian Parsons

      They are so cool. Sometimes, they just look like tall, oval bowls and you have to peek inside to see the pattern. I’ll have to do a post about them.

  9. Susan

    After following you and your work for years I never
    Dreamed your husband might have
    Said anything about your wonderful
    Choice s… another set of silverware we’ll never use!
    I don’t understand why men expect one to have a particular use in mind for a desired object !!
    The flatware fishnet is beautiful❤️

    • Marian Parsons

      Ha, exactly!

  10. Ann

    I display my Bakelite (?) fish sets handles up in my EAPG celery glasses in the built-in cabinet in the dining room.

  11. Jennifer

    I was at Gold Rush with my 11 y.o. son this weekend. He came away with some Star Wars treasures for his collection. I came away with an old wooden ice cream bucket painted my exact shade of green. So fun to search especially with a like minded hunter!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, fun! I am glad they learned that you can find just about anything at a flea market.

  12. Elizabeth St

    You are so funny… I loved all of your jokes, but especially the self-deprecating one about the cane chair breaking (you do not represent that remark) and the one about Jeff’s martyrdom in the face of the inevitable purchase of obscure flatware.

    What a considerate thing for Jeff to do, calling you about the antique event and suggesting a family outing. Even your boys found some things the clever kids.

    I’m glad you plan to use the fish and cocktail utensils. I wouldn’t be surprised if the experience were helpful to the boys one day at a formal dining experience.

    • Marian Parsons

      Thanks! I’m glad you got my sense of humor. 🙂

  13. Helene Reid

    Love the coctail fork. Beautifully shaped.

  14. Cindy

    I love your “new” flatware and would definitely use it!

  15. Debbie H.

    What a sweet and thoughtful gesture from Jeff and belated Happy Birthday to him! Nice finds too and the unexpected makes it all the more so! Hoping you enjoyed a wonderful Mother’s Day! Blessings to you and the family!

  16. Kathie

    I love your purchases. I have collected many things that I don’t feel the need to use. I like to think of them as adornments like artwork, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of our home. I believe I’m ‘painting new scenes’ with these beautiful items – my husband may believe something very different though!
    Marian, you always create a beautiful space knowing just what is needed. I always admire your ability to edit your possessions. It seems that your natural neatness & vision for your space, keeps things in check. I’m sure Jeff is totally aware of this & trusts your judgement in purchases. I’m trying to learn this editing skill from you!
    Happy Birthday to Jeff! I’m sure that he enjoyed being surrounded by his loving family (irrelevant of the venue!) Happy Mothers Day to you, that’s another of your talents to be proud of!

  17. monique odman

    Ah those mold dishes, they are absolutely gorgeous. I did not know that we had cocktail forks, ours are very pretty laying in their box but I never guessed what they are supposed to be used for.
    I try hard not to buy more things and became focused on antique rings, more pricey but taking very little space.
    Enjoy your new possessions.

  18. Denise P

    I grew up in household where we used specific utensils for specific foods. My mother always put out the “fish” knives and forks when we had fish, and I myself have a set that I use regularly. It was always surprising to me as a child that not everyone had these. I have had many house guests that have been amazed and amused when I put out the grapefruit spoons at breakfast. How else can one possibly eat a grapefruit!! 🙂
    [And just in case you think I’m elderly, I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s]

  19. Mary S

    You find the BEST STUFF!!! I love those molds…. would like to look for some and maybe I’ll get lucky. Sounds like a fun day… And Happy Birthday to Jeff too!!

  20. Colleen

    Rosas gelatin salad would be pretty in that mold!!

  21. Mary Lees Gunther

    You really need a “love” button on this site! Love the utensils, I mean LOVE them. And I have developed an ironstone obsession recently and I’m finding a lot at Goodwill. I’m going to need a 12 step program!! Enjoy your new treasures.

  22. MaryLisa

    Sometimes the best treasures are found when we didn’t expect to see them

  23. Teddee Grace

    The cocktail forks are simply beautiful.

  24. Jeffrey Favreau

    Love your fish forks they look just WONDERFUL. On another note I just got my Country living Magazine and ohhh to my surprise your wonderful mural in your dining room was there. I had forgot that you said you would be in the June issue. Of course I live in Quebec Canada and Magazines are always a little behind here. Congratulations on your appearance in C.L.

  25. Anne Lynn Jarman

    I grew up using a set very similar to yours when we ate fish, and that was at least on Friday and other days besides. For me they were very tiresome because they had to be washed very carefully because of the handles, and even then fish was something I did not care to eat. No option of course, no discussion of dislikes, and no dishwasher as you may have guessed. I hope your family enjoys them much more than I.

  26. patti

    I am absolutely drooling over you flatware find!! I would love to see a post on the ironstone molds and also on the different “proper” uses of flatware. I didn’t realize there was such a thing as utensils for fish! Wonderful finds.

  27. Marge

    I love the flatware too! I want to buy some knives, they spread butter and jam so beautifully.


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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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