I started collecting ironstone about three years ago. I remember seeing Marian aka Miss Mustard Seed’s amazing collection of white dishes and serving pieces on her blog. I had no idea what they were at first, but I loved them and knew I wanted to start collecting them. Luckily she wrote this Ironstone 101 post that described what ironstone was and how to spot it.
So I started searching thrift stores for ironstone pieces, but wasn’t very diligent. A few months later I found this ironstone bowl at Goodwill for $2.99.
It was my only piece until I found another bowl at an estate sale a few months later. I ended up finding the matching platter at Savers a few weeks later…I was hooked and started searching thrift stores regularly. I refuse to pay a lot of money and I’m not too concerned about matching sets. I just buy what I like and what I think looks pretty.
My most expensive piece is this Independence ironstone casserole dish. I bought it at an antique store for $19.99. It was my first casserole dish and I was so excited when I found it. I found a similar piece on eBay for $29.75, so I feel like $19.99 was a decent deal.
I think my next most expensive pieces are this small tureen ($12) and this gravy boat ($10). I found the tureen on sale at an antique store and the gravy boat at the parking lot flea market outside the same antique store (different days though).
Aside from those pieces, everything else was bought at thrift stores. My most recent finds are these plates and cup and saucers sets from Goodwill. I bought them last half-off day around 5 p.m. It just goes to show that there’s still good stuff left later in the day! I was bouncing in the aisle when I found everything. The plates were $2.99/each, the cups and saucers were $0.99/each, except for the Independence ironstone cup and saucer. That was $5.99 for the set. After the discount, I paid $11.50 for everything. I was definitely feeling a bargain high.
My other recent finds (and probably the best deals) are these two pieces. The one is a smaller version of my Independence ironstone casserole dish. I think I paid $2 for it. The other piece is the only unmarked piece I’ve felt comfortable buying. Usually if it’s not clearly marked ironstone, I don’t buy it. But I knew right away that this piece had to be ironstone without even checking or needing the marking. It was $3. I’ve seen similar ones selling on eBay for $70! I found both of these pieces at the same small, local thrift store. I think a lot of older people donate there, so they usually have really nice stuff.
My china cabinet is almost full of ironstone now and it makes me so happy to look at. Soon I’ll need to find another spot in the house to expand my collection!
OK, now tell me: what do you collect? I only collect ironstone now, but in high school I collected pineapples. I had the largest, most ridiculous and amazing collection of wooden pineapple bowls.