Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Unusual White Ironstone Estate Sale Find

I love white ironstone and it's hot these days with folks who love to use vintage ironstone in home decor.  I'm always on the lookout for any white ironstone, but especially for pieces with discoloration and crazing in the glaze. It just adds so much to a piece to see signs of age and to know that it has a history.

I found this at a local estate sale a couple of weeks ago and snatched it up immediately when I saw it because it was just so pretty and unusual....and it happens to be white!  

It has plenty of crazing, especially on the teapot and top piece (sugar), but there is no damage or repair that I can find at all, which is pretty amazing for a total of four pieces that are of such a delicate design.  I would have expected to find a glued-back-on handle or chipped spout, but no, it's all perfect!  

I have never seen a stacking set at all, so I did a little research.  I found some vintage sets in chintz patterns...and lots of other floral patterns, but nothing white at all.  

So I researched some more, this time trying to just identify the pattern.  Still no luck. I've exhausted every avenue I can think of using the internet and can't find anything even close. The pattern is very distinctive featuring embossed or raised grapes and leaves on a vine, with straight lines almost like a brick wall, in the background.  The top handle on the sugar dish lid is also very distinctive, attaching to the top in three places- a three pronged handle that looks like a grape vine.   It feels very French to me...maybe it's the grapes.

There are no identification marks at all.  I'm showing the bottoms of a couple of the pieces here.

Here's a better look at the teapot spout.

...and the handles.

This is the little creamer, which is in the center when stacked...

...and here is the sugar dish with the lid.

When the pieces are all unstacked, the lid also fits onto the teapot.

It was loved and used a lot by someone and it has the stains to show it.  I have not done anything to attempt to clean it as this is part of the charm of old ironstone.  

I would love to know its story.  It does appear to be a rare little set.  

Even though I love it, it really isn't my style, so  I'm listing it in the shop.  If you're interested, follow this link.

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  1. What a neat piece! I have a small white ironstone rectangular platter with some brown spots. I'm on the fence about listing it on Etsy. Or maybe we could work out some kind of trade? Hmmm!

    1. Isn't it a great little set? I would actually consider a trade...but, I don't need any more platters. I have lots of them already. If you decide to sell it, maybe all of us who deal in ironstone should get together and do a community post...like an ironstone party hop! Wouldn't that be fun?

  2. Judy,
    Oh my...can't believe that you are selling this awesome piece...I'm sure it will go fast!!!


    1. Hey Linda,
      It is a great piece, but you know how that goes...It's listed, but whether or not it goes is another story. I won't be too upset if I have to keep it!
      We need to get together again...I need another day of laughs!

  3. Judy, I have a pot that does not have the stacked sugar and creamer but looks very similar to the one in your blog, except the overall shape is triangular. The body is inverted compared to yours.The finial of the lid is the same shape, the color and density the same, and there is a raised molded floral motif that has a similar feel to yours. The bottom is unmarked. I picked it up second hand somewhere in my travels 20-25 years ago. Did you have any more success identifying the place of origin or the era of manufacture? I would love to know!

    1. Hi Stacy. I have not been able to learn any more about the little teapot set. But knowing that you have a similar piece is a good little tidbit! I still have it. It was listed for a period of time on my Etsy shop, but didn't sell. I have a shop in a local antiques mall, but I'm scared to put it in there because it's so fragile and the ways it's made, I can just imagine someone picking it up and dropping one of the pieces...Maybe one of these days someone will find this post and tell me more about this little mystery set.
      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it and hope you will come back again!

    2. Hi Judy,
      Thank you for your response. I just took a few photos of the pot that I described earlier and will send them to the email address on your blog. From a scan of other teapots, it looks like the silhouette of mine was popular with Ellgreave Arthur Wood and Sons (England), circa 1950-1980s. However, the relief has more in common with Red Cliff Ironstone around the same date range. I have yet to determine if the shape and design of the examples I have viewed for comparison are revived from an earlier date. It would be a nice surprise if someone else chimes in with an identification of your piece. Cheers!