My good friends know that I can never turn down a pretty platter- I have way too many, but just can’t seem to resist them. My faves are ironstone, with lovely cream tones and cracks from dinner parties that I did not attend. It’s the same appeal that older pewter has- worn with provenance.
This weekend I bought myself a large ironstone bowl (that I did not need). It’s too big for the cupboard, and will hold way too much fruit- but for 7 bucks it was a steal. It will be a super handy prop for any kitchen shoot, but I think I may plant spring bulbs in it.
Ironstone china is not made from porcelain, rather it is porous, glaze-covered earthenware, consisting of clay mixed with iron slag and feldspar, and a small amount of cobalt. First patented in 1813 by Charles James Mason in Staffordshire, England, it was decorated with under-glaze transfer patterns. By the 1840’s, undecorated, or white ironstone china was being manufactured for export to the Americas. Older white ironstone has an almost bluish cast to it, due to the cobalt, while later examples have a creamy color.
Keep a look out for ironstone; it blends perfectly with both modern and traditional décor.