the transferware jackpot

Marian ParsonsAntiques, Favorite Finds, Ironstone35 Comments

I know this is going to be an incredible shock to some of you, but I love ironstone and blue transferware.  I would say it’s out of hand, but I do sell far more than I keep, so it’s not totally out of hand.  You can tell the minute you step in my house, though, that it’s a soft spot.


So, when Kriste told me she spotted a bunch of blue & white transferware pitchers she thought I would like at a local antique shop, my ears perked up.  She pulled up a picture she snapped of them on her phone.  I knew immediately from the shape and faded blue pattern that they were old and the kind I specifically hunt for.  

“How much were they?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  About $10-15/each, I think.”

I just about fell off my chair.

You bought them all, didn’t you?!?

Kriste looked a bit surprised at my passion.  “Um, no.  But I would imagine they are still there.”

That’s when the paranoia kicks in.

 I know they are going to get wiped out before I can make it there.  

So, I set out to run some errands and do some shopping yesterday.  I stopped by a friend’s shop, intending to buy a chandelier, but I ended up buying a marble-topped table and some amazing architectural pieces.  I mentioned I was headed over to hunt down some blue pitchers Kriste tipped me on.  At that, she cringed.

“I just bought some blue & white pitchers from there…”

I knew they would be gone!  

So, I went to the shop, preparing myself for certain disappointment.  I had never been in this antique mall before and it was huge, so I had a hard time even finding the second floor, where Kriste said she spotted the pitchers.  I finally found the stairs and, as I passed through the first doorway, there they were.  Just like they were in Kriste’s pictures.

I turned over the tags, slightly anxious that Kriste had perhaps misread the price and they were $115/each instead of just $15.  She read the tag right.  I scooped up four gorgeous blue & white transferware pitchers and coffee pots and they were all priced under $20/each.


I’m fairly comfortable balancing ironstone, but my precariously situated armload did get a few sideways glances.  They all made it safely to the counter.  And I relished in my victory.

Pieces like these, even ones with chips and stains are usually at least $50, so these were a bargain, even with all of their imperfections.



I love the stains, the shape of the spouts, handles and angled sides.


…and the details…




…and the hallmarks!!  Oh, the hallmarks.  I don’t know why they make me all a’flutter, but they do.



Speaking of ironstone, I was working on another fall photo shoot today and Jeff noticed me looking through cabinets, humming.

“What are you looking for?”

I answered with my head tucked in a cabinet, focusing on the contents, “Oh…a piece of ironstone…”

“You mean, there’s one you don’t have?”

Hardy har.


When I wasn’t entirely consumed with finding the pitchers, I shopped for accessories for Megan’s office makeover as well as the upcoming Market on Chapel Hill (in Pike Road, Alabama, October 3, 2015.)

And, I found some great pieces for both…

the transferware jackpot

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35 Comments on “the transferware jackpot”

  1. Be still my transferware loving heart! I’m a red transferware gal myself, but your blue is wonderful. Almost got out my hallmarks book to check out who made yours and when…

    1. Hi Marian

      May I ask which company makes your pitchers? Is it Staffordshire? Would like to start a little collection and love yours, have no idea where to begin lol

  2. Your blue cupboard was filled to perfection before but now it is filled with ABSOLUTE perfection with the additional transferware pieces. Great tip Kristie and great score Marian ! I think you should spend a bit of the day staring and admiring
    this beautiful collection !!!!

  3. Love a shopping find like that! I am the same with mercury glass..haven’t met a piece I didn’t like lol. Very pretty pieces you found.

  4. Beautiful things as always.I was just wondering if you have thought of pairing some of your settings with pewter? Look up MATCH Pewter.I thought it would look gorgeous with your collection.

  5. Ha ha ha Marian. This made me smile so much because it sounds so much like me and my friend with thrift store finds. I can get there before she does (she says if we weren’t friends I would be her sworn enemy) and I Facetime her if there happens to be something in the store she hunts for. It works both ways and we score some great stuff. I love those pitchers.

  6. I LOVE blue & white anything, and those are some great pitchers! I am glad you found them and what a steal!

    There so unique and different with the angled corners and designs. 🙂 I think I might also need to get on this ironstone wagon.

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor

  7. Oh, Marian, you are so funny! In a good way! But let me tell you something. I have always loved white dishes. I inherited some Johnson Bros. ironstone plates and bowls from a friend’s mother. They are not antique, but they are octagonal and have a beaded edge and I just love them. So I was primed by the time I found you and saw how you used and displayed yours, how you were always hunting some down. I fell more in love with it and started looking for odd pieces, researched and shopped on E-bay, etc., etc., You really turned me on to it. I have always loved the colors blue and white so, NOW, it was no long shot that you would turn me on to that lovely transferware too! It’s NOT a good thing–not the transferware, but the being in love with that in addition to the stoneware. My budget goes out the window! But it is SO fun to go looking for specific things. Now I have something else special to hunt down! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Thank you for beginning to tell us how much you spend on antiques. It really helps a newbie like me when shopping. It’s easier to justify purchases when I tell my husband that Miss Mustard Seed got something just like this for X instead of pretending I know what I’m doing. Lol

    1. Yes, I will share more specifics on what I pay for pieces. I usually don’t, because I’m going to sell them, but if I keep them, I will. 🙂

  9. Lucky girl! I love the blue and white transferware, and like you, the stains, chips, and all the character time adds. Great find!

    On another note, I have finally talked my husband into building me a farmhouse table and love the color of yours. Can you tell me what color and type of stain you used. It’s perfect, but so is your entire home 🙂

    Thanks, Marian

  10. That looks just beautiful! I love the balance of your white Ironstone to your blue transferware and the way your green plants pop. Now the gorgeous blue china cabinet sings!

  11. The pieces you just bought are lovely and look so nice with your ironstone. Wow! What great prices, too. I can’t wait to see what you’re bringing to the Chapel Market. I’ve bought from you both years!

  12. How fun! Don’t you just love it when a shopping trip works out like that? I could so relate to those feelings of panic, but every time that happens I have to remind myself of what my mother taught me when I was in high school: She would say, “Pray about it, and then leave it in the Lord’s hands — If it’s right it will be there.” So now my husband and I remind each other of that when we’re in that kind of situation, too. Oh, and I loved your sharing of the conversation with your hubby. The “hardy har” made me laugh outloud! (But don’t we need the balance they give to our view of things?!) I so enjoy your sharing of your life with us. Too bad we live 3000 miles from you. I’m sure we would be good friends ?

  13. Woo hoo! Congratulations on such a good score! I love that there are others who get positively giddy with excitement over decorating treasures!

  14. Hi Marian! What a score! Such beautiful pieces – the imperfections make them all the better. And I have to tell you I am so enjoying your blog lately – I always have but lately it feels different. Each post is bursting with your excitement and renewed energy here. I love it. Thank you for being so inspiring. 🙂

  15. I have been in love with transfer-ware since the 70’s. My Aunt had red transfer-ware that I used to gaze at in her china hutch and tell myself one day I would have some. Hers was the Castle series she inherited from her Grandmother. It is now remade in china, go figure!
    I love all transferware, red, blue, brown, green and the purple. I could entirely relate to the panic feeling of it being gone before you got there. I am especially in love with pitchers myself at the moment so seeing your haul makes my heart twitter. Thank you for sharing.

  16. WHAT . . . Chapel Market?! I heard from Layla that she wasn’t going to do it this year, so who is “hosting”?

    1. Yes! It’s still on this year. The neighborhood and owners of the chapel are putting it on this year. They actually did it last year, too, but Layla was still involved. It’s such a neat group of people, so I’m excited to be involved again.

  17. You could almost make me a lover of blue! Love your blog even though I am a lover of
    green. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  18. I love your story! It validates me to hear someone else gets those feelings about things! I love old ironstone in any condition. I’m so glad it turned out good for you.

  19. Thank you for showing the bottom and hallmarks. I always got frustrated when you featured pieces and didn’t show the marks. Thank you! I am a happy girl. I love how your excitement comes out in what you write.

  20. After spending 6 months in my antique booth, my Currier and Ives ‘The Old Grist Mill’ plates are coming home to stay I love that each part of the set has a different pattern. The hunt is on the complete my set! oh, and I scored my first english ironstone sugar jar today. It was by Meakin and only $2.50!

  21. Marian, I was just looking on Ebay at the blue transferware and found a darling little pitcher with a COW on it! I immediately tho’t of you and your love of cow art! Anyway, if you’re interested, go on the Ebay site and then to “Antiques”, then “Blue Transferware Pitchers.” It’s starting bid is $44.99 and no bids, $8.78 shipping. Nine days before it is either sold or listing expires. Just tho’t you might like to see it even if you don’t purchase. Have fun looking!

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