Ever since the era in which English white ironstone made its way across the ocean, the sturdy stuff has remained an accessible, sought-after prize. To this day, its many collectors continue to scour antiques markets, tag sales, and online auctions in search of the perfect teapot, gravy boat, or tureen to treasure.
The ability to identify English ironstone comes with experience and knowledge, as well as a practiced eye. Some pieces bear a distinguishing mark, although others do not. Color also provides clues about age and origin: Newer American-made ironstone appears creamy white when compared with earlier, authentic English pieces that possess a snowy white or barely blue gray hue. When American potters took up producing all-white wares in the late nineteenth century, English pottery sold less extensively.
Text Kate Carter Frederick
Photography Kimberly Finkel Davis
Styling Yukie Mclean
To learn more about white English ironstone, read “The Beauty of Ironstone” on page 68 in the January/February 2009 issue of Victoria.