Patented by British potter Charles James Mason in 1813 and heralded currently by HGTV as one of the top decorating ideas of 2019, ironstone is back in the spotlight as one of today’s most sought after collectibles.
In the 1840’s the English began exporting plain white glaze covered ironstone to the US. Considered an inexpensive alternative to porcelain, these early pieces from the Staffordshire potteries were an instant hit with the public. You will often hear them referred to as “White Granite” or “White Ironstone”. By the 1860’s manufactures in England had begun to add a wheat design to their ironstone made specifically for export to the US and sold under the names “Farmer’s China” and Threshers China”. These are found in both hand-painted and transfer ware and are highly sought by collectors. Factories of note include Spode, Wedgewood, Meakin and T&R Boote.
Seeing the popularity of ironstone American potters in and around Trenton, New Jersey began production in the late 1850’s. Some of them marked their wares on the bottom with pieces from Knowels, Homer Laughlin, Lenox and W.A. Lewis being common finds. One of the easiest ways to distinguish early domestic pieces is by their stark white color when compared to English imports which will have a slight bluish cast.
After many years of laying dormant in storage, we are seeing a resurgence in the collecting of ironstone. Why? I would attribute much of it to the popularity of French…
– Read more at this – Source