For those of you who would like to know more about Ironstone, the first thing to know is it is not porcelain. Although the name is Ironstone, there is no iron in its composition. It is porous earthenware, made of clay mixed with feldspar. Ironstone is known for its durability and strength. In general, Ironstone tends to be heavier than any other forms of porcelain and pottery. Patented in 1813 by Charles James Mason in Staffordshire England, it became an immediate success and provided a less expensive substitute for Chinese porcelain. At first, the decoration was a kind of chinoiserie, or hybrid Oriental. Eventually, other designs were used. Out of all of the Ironstone that was produced at this time, Mason’s has always been considered the most popular of all Ironstone. Mason specialized in vases of all sizes, large dinner services, and jugs with elaborate decoration. When Ironstone is marked, it is either with a stamp on the bottom that is printed, or an impressed mark or sometimes both.
A fine Antique English 19th century Mason’s Ironstone Dessert Plate. It is elaborately decorated with a vivid palette of orange, peach, underglaze cobalt blue, light blue and gold. These colors and design are typical of a Mason’s piece. The plate is adorned with scrolling vines and flowers. The decoration also consists of gilt at the border which gives the design a luxurious look. Please note that there is some gilt that is slightly worn at the border. This Antique Mason’s Ironstone Dessert Plate has three holes around the piece. This was done in order to put cords through the holes so that it could be hung on a wall. There is an impressed Mason’s Ironstone mark on the back of the plate. This vibrant Antique English Mason’s Ironstone Dessert Plate has wonderful detail work which resonates throughout the piece.