Junkin' Finds, Vintage Style

Vintage Cottage Weekend: Collecting and Displaying Vintage Dishes

Happy “vintage cottage weekend” friends! As you may know, we are currently renovating a 1926 home in our neighborhood and have plans to move in late spring. I really want to have a clutter free new home, so I am working on purging a lot of excess decor and unecessary items that will take up space. The vintage dish hoards are the first thing I am working on sorting.


I am a bit of a vintage dishes hoarder. I used to sell a lot of them on Etsy and Ebay, but shipping has gotten so high and I also have had too many issues with broken dishes no matter how well I wrap them.  As we are preparing to move soon, I really am considering selling or donating at least half of my hoard. I will still have plenty to love!



My biggest collection of vintage dishes by far is ironstone in various shades of white and cream. I showcase a large portion of it in the built-in cabinets in the kitchen as you can see in this wintry display.







Vintage Adams English Ironstone Empress


How to display antique ironstone platters Creative ideas for farmhouse kitchen decor

I think I currently have over 100 plain ironstone platters tucked here and there all over the house and in boxes and totes.   I am only going to keep about 10 of my favorites when we move. That will be plenty to display in cabinets or use in vignettes.


I am also pairing down my ironstone mug collection from thirty to ten. Or 12…


Farmhouse dining room with antique china cabinet, pressed back chairs and antique farm table

A couple of summers ago I found a beautiful Antique China Cabinet at an estate sale and gave it a makeover. It holds an assortment of dishes, both sets and orphaned pieces. 


Beautifl antique china cabinet with vintage dishes vintage china cabinet makeover with chalk paint



I especially love brown transferware but I have never lucked into a full set. Still I love mixing and matching patterns, so having a few pieces works just fine.




Little butter pats are dear to my heart and if I find one when I am out junking, my day is made!


Vintage Butterpats




Other vintage dishes are used in rotating displays in my corner china cabinet on the opposite side of the dining room and in vignettes around the house.


I love using plates as well art, and plan to decorate my new foyer and dining room with my favorites.



VIntage Transferware Dishes Pomegranates place setting Tablescape Thanksgiving

I thnk my Myott’s Bouquet vintage dishes are my all time favorites. Some of these may end up on the wall.



The three browns transferware plate on the plate rack are keepers for sure, as is the very old blue transferware pitcher in the cabinet.




Vintage Shabby Chic Dishes

When I first started collecting vintage dishes in my early 20’s I was always drawn to roses and shabby chic dishes. I still can’t pass them up  if the price is right.  Oftentimes that price is only a .25 for a teacup or mismatched saucer at yard sales!



Vintage Roses Bone Dishes

Several years ago I did a lot of business selling vintage dishes on Etsy. In true collector fashion, I started having seller’s remorse, so I rescued what was left my shop and into the china cabinet they went!









Shabby Chic Vintage Dishes to Keep

One of my favorite sets is a beautiful Milton Floral China in vivid pastels. You might remember it from my “Little French Tea Party for One” post. 


Country French Vintage Vignette Roses French Vintage Dishes roses







A little French Tea Party Vintage French Country Tea party inspiration

Une Petite French Tea Party Pour Moi




Tea party ideas roses and succulents in vintage sugar bowl

I think these dishes would be perfect for a Mother’s Day Luncheon, Girl’s Sweet Sixteen party, or briday shower. I have several neices that would just love having a girlie tea party with Aunty Amber too!





Minature rose in a teacup

This little teacup isn’t vintage, but I wanted to share this shabby chic idea of planting a little miniature rose in a teacup. Wouldn’t it make such a wonderful gift?


Miniatrue rose in a pretty teacup

This would be great for any teacups that have chips around the rim. Of course the rose probably won’t grow in it long without drainage, but you could always just put the rose in a little peat pot or plastic pot so it could be taken out of the teacup for watering.



Vintage Dishes and Daffodils Easter Tablescape for Two

So, I was considering parting with these lovely English Staffordshire Bramear dishes, but after working on this post…no way man!


I am wanting to use some soft blues among green and neutrals in our new home, so how pretty would these be?


Easter Tablescape Meakin Braemer




I don’t have a full set, but I can still mix these dishes in with other like patterns or use them in vignettes.



Gorgeous vintage pedestal urn with baby boos and wheat Gold painted pumpkin stems

I am truly considering parting with my vintage Ballerina Wheat Dishes. I absolutley love them, but I just don’t use them for Thanksgiving anymore since finding my beautiful Turkey plates.  



Fall Tablescape Vintage Ballerina Universal Brown Wheat Gold Pattern

If I really can’t stand the thought of never seeing them again, I can pawn them off on my mom. She has more dishes than I do! Then I can borrow them if I ever want to.



French Farmhouse Fall Tablescape With Vinage Ballerina Universal Wheat DIshes Fall Tablescape

I could  always use them for early fall, but the past couple of years I haven’t really set an early fall tablescape with dishes. I think it would just be easier to have brown transferware that I would get more use out of year round, and then just set the table with the turkey plates which has become a tradition.  


Autumn Elegance Thanksgiving Tablescape Queen's Majestic Turkey Dishes French Country Thanksgiving Tablescape

Autumn Elegance Thanksgiving Tablecape

My turkey plates aren’t vintage but they have a gorgeous vintage design and mix well with other vintage brown transferware and vintage turkey dishes I have.






Vintage turkey salad plate shabby chic Thanksgiving vintage Thanksgiving turkey planter elegant Thanksgiving ideas

I love game birds, so I won’t be parting with any of my turkey, pheasant or quail dishes.


Collecting vintage dishes is just so fun! They are must-have elements of seasonal vignettes, and I think of each piece as a minature work of art. There is a bit of romance to them too. I wonder what stories they could tell, and where they were used and who used them in them past. 



This post is really just a “scan” of some of my vintage dishes collection. I have many other sets of dishes and various pieces packed away in drawers and cabinets that I bring out for seasonal and holiday decorating. My goal for my dish collecting overhaul is to possibly get rid of a lot of orphaned pieces and sets that I never use, and try to find transferware dish sets for seasonal tablescapes in green, red, and brown. I  just recently found a great deal on blue transferware that I will be sharing in an upcoming posts.


Vintage Cottage Weekend at Common Ground


Today Debra is sharing her Woolen Blankets for Cozy Cottage Winter Decor. Oh how I love them, especially the plaid. When you visit Debra’s post, be sure to snoop around the photos, you are sure to find some vintage dishes somewhere!

Do you collect vintage dishes? If so do you also love feminine patterns with roses and flowers, or rather blue chinoserie or transferware in brown or blue or some other kind of pattern? I love hearing from you!

Thanks for visiting today!


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  • Reply Lavelle Groves

    Are the dishes for sale?

    September 2, 2018 at 6:44 pm
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      I am going to sell some of them, I just haven’t decided which ones yet. Shipping is so risky, I probably will only sell locally. Thanks for stopping by!

      January 15, 2023 at 4:28 pm
  • Reply Debra@CommonGround

    After seeing all these fabulous dishes I would forget about parting with any of them and just figure out more storage space at your new place! Believe me, I gave some of my transferware away when we moved last time and I really missed using them. You have such an amazing collection of gorgeous china. I pinned so many pics. Have a great Sunday!

    January 15, 2023 at 11:36 am
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      Debra, you’re an enabler! 😉

      Thanks so much friend. I am going to use discretion!

      January 15, 2023 at 1:16 pm
  • Reply Nancy

    I have been an antique dealer for several years. My antique shop recently closed permanently. My son said to me at Thanksgiving, “This dining room looks like an antique shop and its too cluttered to eat in here.” I had tried to incorporate too much in my cabinet. I gave so much away before Christmas to a thrift shop that helps battered women. The money they make will help support women start a new life. I had to honestly assess my needs and my wants. My son came over last week. He told me that the china cabinet looked pretty. He noticed the lovely china and not any clutter. I have two sons. They want no part of my collections. So its time to put them to another use. Raising money for women in need. Many of these women no longer even own one cup and saucer. Hope this inspires you to realistically assess your collections.

    January 15, 2023 at 12:14 pm
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      Oh Nancy what a wonderful idea! I love it! I will look into which of our local charities do this, and if not, maybe I will start something here!
      I have two sons who feel the exact same way, which is another reason I want to get rid of a lot of the excess. It is starting to look cluttered to me as well, and I really just want to make my life easier. I am 48 with a lot of health issues. After this next move, we have one last move which will be retirement towards the beach. I won’t want to be sorting through totes and totes of china then, so might as well pair down now.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      January 15, 2023 at 1:15 pm
  • Reply Rita C at Panoply

    You know very well I am a dish hoarder too. I can so relate to your goals to purge. It’s where I was in 2018 when I started by sharing with blog readers. Then I sold a big part of my jadeite collection (but kept the restaurant ware), and gave sets away to my daughter, a niece and a sister.. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit how many tubs dull I still haven’t used since moving in 2019, but I’ll get to them eventually, right down to the collection of butter pats, lol. Great post, Amber.

    January 15, 2023 at 5:52 pm
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      Thanks friend! Actually I was thinking of pawning some off on you for your booth! But sounds like you have more than enough, haha.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      January 15, 2023 at 6:31 pm
  • Reply Katie Mansfield

    You have an amazing collection. I’ve always loved how you style your vintage dishes. I did pair down my collections of dishes. I gave away of lot of soup bowls and teacups since those rarely get used. Doing that freed up some space for more plates!

    January 17, 2023 at 4:09 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    Ohhh my gosh Amber…I’m DROOLING over your dishes!! I didn’t realize you had SO MANY PRETTY THINGS!!! I’m totally in awe of your collection and am SO amazed at you display them all. I would LOVE to buy some of your transferware or butter pats from you but I understand the shipping issue. I hope they find good homes when you pass them on!! Thanks so much for sharing this…this was a highlight of my day and so enjoyable to read!

    January 19, 2023 at 4:52 pm
  • Reply Chloe Crabtree

    I could only hope to find so many beautiful vintage dishes as you have amassed! What lovely treasures these are to enjoy, display and use! I am sharing this wonderful post in my newsletter this week!

    January 31, 2023 at 11:59 am
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