Do you love collecting, learning, sharing, pinning and talking about all kinds of vintage dishes and china? Then “Let’s Dish It Out!” Grab your favorite cup of coffee or tea and come on over for a weekly coffee social or (tea party if you prefer!) This isn’t a linky party, so you don’t need a blog to participate. Instead it is just a simple way to connect with others who are passionate about vintage dishes and have the “dish gene!” I will share a new post about vintage dishes and you can join in the fun any time! Simply leave your thoughts in the comment section about the post I have shared, or share a link to your own blog, Instagram photo, Etsy shop if you sell dishes, or any other blog or website with great dishes! For even more fun, join my “Let’s Dish It Out” Pinterest GROUP BOARD and pin away! I will be blogging about my own collections or featuring another collector’s dishes, or maybe even an informational post about a certain line of vintage dishes. For a special treat I will be having a monthly guest blogger to dish it out right here at Follow The Yellow Brick Home! If you would like to be a guest blogger or have a fantastic dish collection to share, be sure to comment!
Any style of vintage or antique dishes from every era are welcome for discussion! I collect all kinds of dishes, but ironstone is definitely my favorite so there will be plenty of ironstone showing up in this series. Each Wednesday I participate in the fabulous #ironstonewednesdays hashtag party on Instagram, so I figured why not just turn what I am sharing or inspired by into a post here? For today’s post I will be dishing out my Adams English Ironstone Empress collection!
Collecting ironstone came about in the same way most of my other collections started. Let me explain the simple process of
hoarding collecting. When I am out junking I will stumble across some trinket or treasure that speaks to me. Before too long I end up finding another one or two similar treasures or trinkets for extremely cheap, (strangely it has happened in the same day at a completely different yard sale or shop) and a collection begins!
Here are my very first ironstone pieces. I found these two “old white English pitchers” as I called them at the time, for $1 each and it was love at first sight. Like most love stories, I had no idea of the lifelong romance that would grow and blossom, but I just had good feeling about my finds! They are Adams pieces, but much older than the Empress collection I am sharing today.
Each of the pitchers had a simple mark on the bottom. I began researching and I was instantly hooked! I found out all about ironstone, the various makers, how pieces were made, sold and marketed and used. I love history so I enjoy researching all about dishes and antiques of any kind.
Now 10 years later, ironstone of all shapes, colors and sizes can be found all around our home. For about a month I have been doing an inventory to see just how many pieces I have, and I have found it to be much easier to divide my hoard into categories and to concentrate on what pieces I have that are part of a set. The inventory process is taking some time! For today’s post however I will be focusing on my Adams Empress “Micratex.” Most of my Empress collection is styled in a fun display on top of the refrigerator. We recently made some changes to our kitchen which gave me a chance to re-organize some of my ironstone to other cabinets and shelves. It was getting a bit dangerous up there with the leaning tower of ironstone nearly reaching the ceiling!
I now have the Empress plates and bowls neatly (and safely) displayed on a double-tiered cake stand.
According to my inventory I currently have 7 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, 14 bowls, 7 teacup saucers, 7 mugs (teacups), 1 creamer and 1 sugar bowl in the Empress collection.
A few mugs are hanging on a thrifted wooden mug rack that I recently gave a quick makeover with Americana Decor DecoArt Chalk Paint. I love to display the mugs with the Adams stamp outward for a little visual interest. Sometimes the stamp is my favorite part of an antique dish!
The Empress collection is very simple and makes an elegant table setting. It looks so pretty and crisp in the summer, but also perfectly “winter white” for the holidays. It was released in 1963 and I definitely can recognize the retro design of that was a “modern” look at the time. Adams no longer produced ironstone past 1966 and became part of the Wedgwood Group from that time on.
Even though the Adams Empress is from the 1960’s it blends right in with the older Johnson Brother’s ironstone dishes which are stacked just to the left of the cake stand. The beauty of collecting ironstone is that no matter the age or maker, all of it blends together beautifully when displayed as a collection.
The sugar bowl and creamer pictured here on the top shelf of the open cabinet above our coffee station are both from the Adams Empress Micratex collection, but the pitcher isn’t. For years I thought the pitcher was part of that set because I bought all three pieces together at a yard sale. It wasn’t until I started on my inventory that I realized it was a Meakin pitcher. Many of the ironstone manufacturers were competitors and some styles were very popular and similar so most collectors prefer to display them together. The beauty of collecting all white/off-white/ivory dishes is the make stunning displays no matter the specific collection or age. The more, the merrier! I also love how easy it is to add pops of color or seasonal accents to my ironstone displays. This is a picture from last year but I am definitely ready to “begin” my fall decorating now!
To find out more about Adams ironstone, click here.
Are you ready to dish it out? Leave a comment here on the blog or make a comment on any photo in the Let’s Dish It Out Group Board to be a contributor to the group! Join me next week for “Let’s Dish It Out #2” to see how I will be using ironstone in my fall decor! Can’t wait to “dish it out” with you!