It was first patented in the United Kingdom in the early 19th century but made its debut in the United States in the 1840s. It was a cheaper and more durable alternative to porcelain. I tend to be drawn to more plain, simplistic ironstone but do love transferware as well, which has a lot of pattern.
In my thrifting travels this week, I ended up finding an array of creamy whites: china, ironstone, pottery and porcelain dishes.
Why I love it:
The pottery piece: It's useful, has a great design, good size and sturdy, appears to be mid-century and was only .25 cents.
The plate: Not vintage but cute and useful.
The Platters: The top two are Johnson Brothers English ironstone. Fine dotted detail, slight crazing (which I don't mind) octagonal shape. The bottom one is a newer, everyday piece, sturdy, oval shaped, perfect condition. I used it tonight to bring the burgers off the grill. I have quite a collection of platters which I use all the time because of their versatility and I have never paid much for them, 2 to 3 dollars max.
Lotus bowls: Size and delicate shape, surprisingly useful and not just for Japanese food. But if they were, it would be ok with me - I could live solely off Japanese food. I have.
The little pitcher: Vintage Tepco China, USA. Tepco made restaurant ware from the 30's until 1968 for the hospitality industry. It's also called Hotel china. Sometimes you can find restaurant ware with the logo of a hotel, airline, restaurant or branches of the military. It's heavier than normal dinnerware because it had to stand up to a lot of use, which is why I love it. I use the pitchers to hold other items like vintage silverware or everyday utensils. I also use them as vases but put a glass inside if there is too much crazing where the water will leak.
Lenox Butler's Pantry vegetable bowl. Why I love it - it's a Butler's Pantry bowl. This is the pattern that I have been wanting forever. The whole line is beautiful and complements any simply patterned dishes, like my standard white. Keeping it monochromatic allows me to use all the different thrift store finds I have and is just easy to throw together for a fun, easy to use collection.