Thursday, April 19, 2012

White Ironstone China

At about 14 years old, I purchased my first piece of antique white ironstone china at an estate sale.  It was a small creamer that was part of a frilly Victorian coffee set.  I have no idea what happened to it, but I do remember paying very little.  Today I still buy white ironstone creamers (less frilly, happy to say), and am paying a lot more (unhappy to say).

What is antique white ironstone?  To keep it simple, it is an opaque, white glazed form of earthenware / pottery made for everyday use.  What I like to refer to as humble chinaware.  Many European countries--from England to Sweden--produced white ironstone, especially during the mid 19th Century.  It was also made in America.

It’s simplicity, versatility, and durability makes it one of the most sought after collectibles.  I love to display and use this humble china.  Enjoy these photos from my home and shop, Tone on Tone.

  English white ironstone banded barrel jugs from Tone on Tone.

 Swedish footed bowl. I use these deep bowls for serving salads.

 Group of French white pots with Swedish antique furniture.

 Tall pitchers, cafe au lait handle-less cups, and cakestands from my shop.


 
 
 Water and dairy pitchers.

I love using footbaths as cache pots. This was in my former kitchen.

My current collection in the kitchen. The seed pods are dried alliums.


38 comments:

  1. Loi-
    Such a beautiful collection you have! I love ironstone too.
    By the way, the console table is AMAZING too.
    Have a great evening.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  2. OK, I am going to throw everything I own out the window! This collection beats all of mine!! I love the furniture and your styling is incredible! I can't wait to see your other collections! xo, K

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  3. Beautiful photographs, and I love the ironstone, but the furniture, Loi, it is exquisite! I am particularly coveting the sideboard and the cabinet with the glass doors. Thank you so much for sharing, Phyllis

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  4. Oh Loi, I don't think I have ever seen ironstone look so elegant. You certainly know how to take 'humble china' to another level, that's for sure. I need to find a reason real soon to have to go to DC and Bethesda so I can visit your beautiful shop. Right now I am in love with the french gothic mirror you are offering-fabulous!
    Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ironstone.
    XO

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  5. Just beautiful, Loi. My favorites are the banded pieces and the French white pots. The French pieces are on my wish list.
    Deborah

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  6. I love this china! And I love how you present it!
    Markus

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  7. Loi, I love white ironstone! Hope you have a great weekend and....surprise! I have awarded you The Leibster Award, so click over and find out what you have to do to accept!!!

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  8. Loi, Love, love love all these images. The blue patina is my favorite!

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  9. I found you through Lisa Mende Design and just love your colorful blog! I am your newest follower. Congratulations on the Liebster Award - it is well deserved! Have a great weekend... Jalon

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  10. Loi, beautiful post! Your ironstone pieces are gorgeous and you display them so well! I would the glazed dresser with everything in it!! Your green kitchen lights are on my wish list too! Love, love, love your style!
    Sharon

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  11. Hi Loi,
    Your light touch with the ironstone, while you have much of it, comes off clean and uncluttered. Love the effect. Also, the blue table with the white French jugs atop is a stunner. Thanks for being there and for being there with such grace.
    b

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  12. Hi Loi! I too am a big fan of white ironstone. Your collection is amazing. I love how you have used it in displays in other places besides the kitchen. As always I so enjoy seeing your wonderful talent used to create such beautiful displays.

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  13. I am thrilled you have a new blog! I have been an admirer of you since I first saw the Traditional Home magazine article about your new home. Your style and taste is perfection! Good luck with all your endeavors and I hope there is a "Tone on Tone" book in our future!!! With best regards

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  14. Your talent for choosing beautiful things and displaying them in the loveliest way is so impressive! I love the whole collection but my favorite piece would have to be the perfectly shaped bowl on the marble table. Divine is how I would describe your home!

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  15. WoW Loi !!
    What a beautiful collection of White Ironstone
    Grateful to have found your beautiful blog too
    XXOO
    Pam

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  16. Found your blog, Loi, through a series of blogs and so glad I did. What beautiful photographs of your wonderful ironstone. Your home is gorgeous ... I caught up on all your posts and there's just so much to say "I love that". Thanks.

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    1. Dear Anne - I couldn't locate your email address or access your profile. I do hope you see my response, as I'm so grateful for your visit and comment. Thank you! Do you have a blog? Please let me know. Cheers, Loi

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  17. So happy to have been introduced to your incredible blog via Brooke - Velvet and Linen. I look forward to catching up on past post and awaiting more in the future!
    Angex

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  18. I was first introduced to your shop by Joni Webb, and today when Brooke Giannetti said you have a new blog, I jumped at the chance to follow your posts. I also collect ironstone and enjoyed seeing your collections. Part of their charm for me is the fact that they are of humble origins, but I also love the creamy color en masse. I am now on the search for French white pots. I look forward to following along with you.
    Best...Victoria

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  19. Hi Loi,
    I found your blog through Brooke Gianetti from Velvet and Linen. I love your style and all the items in your shop. I live in Western Canada, but if I am ever in the area your shop is a must to see. I hope to someday own a Mora clock, my grandfather was from Sweden and I just love the style. I am following your blog and also your fabulous Pinterest boards.

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  20. I too just found you through Brooke. I'm embarrassed to say I live only 20 minutes from your store, and have never been! I will now though :) Amazing that it's only been 14 years since you purchased your first ironstone piece - this says a lot about following your passion.

    p.s. The color, design, & layout of your blog follows your clean aesthetic - nice work!

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    1. Hi Donna - I couldn't locate your email on your profile, so I'm responding directly here. I'm grateful for your visit and comment! I actually purchased my first piece of ironstone when I was 14, and I'm 40 now :-) So that would be over 25 years ago. Thanks so much! Cheers, Loi

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    2. Why you don't look a day over 28 - ha! Your words fool the eye :) Cheers to you!

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  21. Hi Loi, I don't know whether you have noticed, but I'm following you on Pinterest and I'm practically repinning everything you pin! I love your home and your design aesthetic - it's really inspired me!

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  22. Beautiful - a simply amazing collection - I'd gladly have each and every piece! You have an excellent eye - so inspiring.

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  23. I love that your blog is inspirational and informative. A sense of calm presides. Well done. B

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  24. Hi Loi
    i found your blog through PSH and VL, and I want to encourage you to post often! :-) My home is full of inherited furniture that I can not part with (and can not put Mama and Nanna in an early grave with a stiff cocktail by painting said furniture) but am so drawn to swedish design. I would so love a post on how to incorporate traditional furniture into a swedish design. Please?

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    1. Hi Anonymous :-)
      Thank you for your visit and comment. I definitely will post about Swedish style, including how to achieve the look using what you already own. Wonderful suggestion. Thank you! Loi

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  25. That footbath is beautiful! We have two halves of a full set that was given to us as family pieces used for two generations of children. They're both English and the difference is barely perceptable save the weight. I used them for a long time as everyday dishes until realizing that through moves eventually fewer and fewer dishes made it to the next destination. I'm reminded of the Agatha Christie novel, "And Then There Were None." And you are not 40!

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    1. Thank you, Ann! I started young.....have been an antiques addict since 14. Yikes!! :-) Loi

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  26. Loi,
    Your things are incredible and I only wish you were in Dallas. I am literally salivating.
    Caroline
    Dallas

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  27. Loi,
    Love your new blog & all your posts! It was a pleasure meeting you when Steve & I stopped into your shop a few weekends ago. I'm Heidi, we were discussing that I have a hair salon in Warrenton Va. I also just started a blog so please check it out! www.nuburylane.com
    Thanks so much & hope to be back to your store soon :)

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  28. Hi Loi, you are showing beautiful pieces.
    I have some beautiful stuff inherited from my grandparents (limoge and wedgewood)that I love to use when I have dinner parties.

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  29. I love this post! White ironstone is definitely one of my weaknesses! We carry a lot of the same or similar pieces at my shop as well and I have a collection at home that I'm not sure I will ever part with! I love mixing it with creamware as well. So glad I got to see this…all of the pictures are beautiful! Have a great Monday!
    Carolyn

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  30. A great collection ,Loi.
    Your shop and home look fabulous.
    The images are inspiring yet again.
    Lizx

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  31. Hi Loi, I don't know how I missed this post! Sorry!

    How beautiful - I was hoping you would post about ironstone and there it is. Your collection is stunning. I am collecting various white porcelain, whatever catches my eye, but there is a definite beauty to this true antique ironstone. I may have to start buying the "real" thing when I visit your store! I just ADORE those French white pots with the little tiny handles. I am just mad about rounded shapes like this, and of course I also love those deep footed bowls for the same reason.

    You are a wonderful stylist. Gorgeous! Sorry I was late! :)
    xo Terri

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  32. Loi
    I bought my first antique right before I graduated high school. I have been collecting ever since. We mainly collect American Antiques (which have fallen out of favor in the last few years) but I love anything with a history and a story to tell. Would love to see your shop!

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  33. No wonder mom and I are drawn to you. I have my grandmother's (mom's mom) set of Red Cliff Ironstone that I use every single day and I love it. Thank goodness for places like Replacements because there are some chips and cracks, but I think of my family every time I use it. Thanks for the post!

    Bethany

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Many thanks for your visit and comment. If you have a question, let me know and I will respond here. Loi