Featured Member Antiques: August 24

Sally Raburn’s beautiful photo shows us the grace of simple white antique ironstone when it’s displayed with a traditional white lace cloth/runner and contrasting wood. Simple, reflecting light, clean.

Ironstone was first patented by Charles Mason in Staffordshire, England, in 1813. His formula created a ceramic that was strong and durable. Other makers, when his patent ended, experimented with the composition. According to the White Ironstone China Association, most were decorated as transferware or with brush-stroke designs until the American and Canadian markets increased the demand for plain white.

American potters also produced white ironstone, often copying the designs of the Straffordshire masters. Tariffs to protect American manufacturers increased the demand for American-made ironstone after the Civil War. Potteries in Ohio and New Jersey flourished but often did not mark their pieces. (Yes, it’s possible to say that maybe they were meant to appear to be Straffordshire, not from Ohio or Jersey. Today we use the term “knockoff”. Fortunately for us, yesterday’s “knockoff” can be today’s loved antique. :))

By the early 20th century, the mass production of fine china dinnerware, skillfully marketed, decreased the demand for white ironstone. Today, however, due to the elegant simplicity of the pieces, they are loved again. They also can be practical for everyday use. Decorating with simple ironstone, as we see in Sally’s photo, can produce a calm and refined antique beauty.

We really love this framed display of vintage hand towels. They were shared with us by Dallas Gordon who writes,

“Justwanted to share these towels my mom made in the mid 30s, the stitching’s done on flour sacks…I decided to frame them in this order rather than the traditional way for the days of the week so they would tell a story“.

Many of us may remember grandparents who had dishtowels or hand towels made from flour sacks. Very frequently someone in the family would embroider them, or use inked pens that came with stencils. Dallas’s are darling…a complete set. It’s so nice to see the “work” themes of the kitten. It looks like, on Sunday, he finally gets to play.

Remember how, in the old days, every booth in a local diner might have their own jukebox music selector? You’d put a nickle in (or 3 songs for a quarter), pick out your favorites and wait for them to be queued up on the diner’s sound system. This one, posted by Doris Frankenberg, has brought back many memories…including how good the burgers tasted back then. While Doris’s has many of the hits from the ’50’s, many of our readers can remember how they were often filled with songs that never made it to the Hit Parade. Some of us, too, may have memories about how you could go to a diner, or a drugstore that had booths, and someone who was lovesick would always seem to play the same song over and over… Those were the days. Thanks, Doris, for helping bring back the memories.

Oh, some now are being reproduced as radios and CD players. Now, if we could just get those great burgers….

Thanks to everyone who has posted to Dusty Old Thing! We learn so much from each other.