During my 15+ year love affair with ironstone, I have come home with some pretty sweet ironstone hauls.
Yesterday, I walked into ironstone heaven at a local thrift store. One of my “picker” friends tipped me off on the treasure trove and I couldn’t resist making the drive to check it out.
My friends, what you are looking at is stacks and stacks of Buffalo China from the 1960’s at a thrift store and the picture above only shows a fraction of it.
So, a little lesson on Buffalo China. It’s called that, because it was made in Buffalo, New York. It’s marked on the bottom, usually with a green buffalo, and conveniently has the year it was made included in the hallmark, which is how I know these pieces are from the 1960’s. Buffalo China is also called “restaurant ware”, because it was used primarily in diners, restaurants, etc. and “America’s ironstone”, because it shares many similarities with English ironstone. It is thick, heavy for its size, and has a luster to the glaze that is identifiable to a trained eye.
Anyway, I’m assuming this stash came from a restaurant supply store or perhaps a restaurant storage closet or something. It clearly had minimal use, if any.
At the thrift store, they drew a heart on each piece as a code for pricing. It was sort of appropriate for me that they were all marked with hearts!
I bought over 200 pieces and I only made a modest dent in the stacks of creamy white dishes.
I honestly would’ve bought more, but I had to carry them down a flight of steps in little plastic grocery shopping baskets and I got to the point that I just couldn’t schlep any more! My neck and shoulder muscles are still tight!
And not only are these heavy, but they are heavy duty! An entire canvas shopping bag full of plates fell out of the back of my van on the asphalt and only one plate broke.
Anyway, I currently have a mish-mash of everyday ironstone pieces that we use as our dishes, but I’ve been on the lookout for a set for the sake of uniformity. So, I bought a bunch for myself and a bunch to sell at Lucketts.
We’ve already started wiping off all of the hearts, though. They will be heartless in my kitchen and at Lucketts, sweet as that was. I learned from years as a thrift-store-frequenter that acetone will take permanent marker off of ceramic and glass.
I bought lunch plates, berry bowls, soup bowls, and bread plates.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have dinner plates or cereal bowls, but that gives me something new to hunt for…