Sunday, January 17, 2010

Collecting Early English White Ironstone -

Several years ago I happened on an issue of Architectural Digest magazine (January 2005) with a black cupboard filled with early White Ironstone ewers pictured. Stunning! The house being featured was located in the Hamptons. For me - a lover of early English White Ironstone - this was a most dramatic focal point of this room and a perfect way to display such a collection.

I often refer to this and share this magazine with visitors to my booth at the Antiques Shows we participate in. Many think these wonderful pieces from the past only have a place in a country style decor. In fact, the varied shapes - as the patterns of early English White Ironstone are named by their potters - work well in any environment.

They span the spectrum from the ribbed and classical

and those with panels, loops and arches

to those with grain

and grape designs

foliated and my favorites, those from the garden with the embossed flowers found in their prairies, meadows and gardens

Early English White Ironstone dating from the mid 1800's was originally known as the farmer's china - definitely meant to be well used in everyday life. It is a bit overwhelming to realize this and find pieces in remarkably good condition today. And as such, it is collected and cherished and displayed in amazing ways.

Classic simplicity at its best!

It was surprising for me to find White Ironstone on this Architectural Digest cover. More readily are collections found in the pages of magazines such as Country Living -

Usually displayed in old cupboards reminiscent of their original use in those early farm kitchens.

In my personal experiences as a member of WICA - White Ironstone China Association - I have visited the homes of collectors and am always in awe of their collections and their creative manner of displaying these collections. And unlike many antiques and collectibles most often these wonderful pieces from times long ago are being used today as they were meant to be used - not merely sitting on a shelf being admired.

When a visitor to our booth at Antiques Shows admires our display of Early English White Ironstone and expresses a desire for such a collection, I tell them to start with one piece and watch it grow. We have a customer who did just that many years ago. She visits us three times a year when we are participating at the Del Mar Antiques Show and at each visit has purchased just one piece of ironstone to be treasured. With patience and determination she now has a collection to be admired and cherished and enjoyed!

Holly Lane Antiques will be at the Del Mar Antiques Show Del Mar California Booth 820 - January 22 23 24. We would love to have you visit our booth and experience our collection of very special Early English White Ironstone.

Click on the banner below to visit our internet store where many of the items pictured are available for purchase.

Also visit our new internet store
Holly Lane Antiques at Ruby Lane

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Treat For My Senses -

I have always been drawn to antique and vintage linens and have developed a true fondness for those trimmed with wide crochet lace.

First, it was the beautiful tablecloths I found from England. They were unlike any I had ever seen before. So elegant - most likely for a special tea! From a time gone by when stress was replaced with time to enjoy beautiful things.

Then I happened onto pillowcases trimmed with the beautiful crochet lace. These I am told are being found in attic hope chests and were part of the trousseau collections young girls worked on to bring to their marriages. There is a vendor at the Rose Bowl where I am able to purchase these who periodically visits the East Coast and climbs into attics and find them - very often in unused condition. It really makes one wonder at the stories behind these treasures of antique linens.

When we traveled in Italy we were aware that our bathrooms had cotton towels not the plush towels we use here. And now I am finding these also with the wonderful wide crochet trim - mostly from England. These have become my recent antique linen addiction. I just love them! And have to wonder how something meant to be used daily has survived in such wonderful condition. Perhaps these are like the pillowcases and were part of a trousseau and never used - just waiting for prince charming to arrive.

Could it be in our world of so many colors I am drawn to these linens because of their whiteness - so simple and elegant at the same time? That could be true - perhaps that also explains my love of early English White Ironstone. Or maybe it is the feel of the purity of the cotton and linen fabrics of times gone by - before all the synthetics were added. Or maybe it is the English connection - a country I have always wanted to visit but never have.

Not to be forgotten are the small bits and pieces - doilies of one kind or another. Sadly without a use in today's world of decorating. I have enjoyed creating beautiful lavender sachets using these precious pieces of the past and giving them a new use.

I have been involved with needlework of one kind or another throughout my lifetime - needlepoint - embroidery - knitting - sewing - but never learned to crochet. Perhaps that has something to do with this love of mine for these particular linens trimmed so profusely with crochet lace.

Whatever the reason the fact remains that they are each beautiful in their own special way. They have captured my senses with their beauty and feel and smell - since I store them with lavender - and definitely call out to my heart.

At our Antiques Shows these lovely linens are so perfect with our Antique Haviland Limoges China. Holly Lane Antiques will be back at the Del Mar Antiques Show Jan 22 23 24.

Click on the banner below to visit our internet store where many of the items pictured are available for purchase.

Also visit our new internet store
Holly Lane Antiques at Ruby Lane

Become a Fan of Holly Lane Antiques on FaceBook