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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Patty, Maxine and Laverne, the Ironstone Sisters On Sunday Favorites!

Come meet my big ironstone gals!


It's Sunday Favorites today, hosted by Chari at Happy To Design.
Click here to find more re-posted favorite stories!
This one is from March 23, 2009; hope you white ironstone fans enjoy it.


Big white ironstone pitchers. I love them. The bigger, the better.

I have three, and they have such distinct personalities.
One of the great things about old ironstone is its quirkiness and the marks left by those who made it, and those who used it.

There they are, Patty, Maxine and Laverne. . . my ironstone ladies.
(My mother loved ironstone, and sang lots of Andrews Sisters to us when we were growing up.)

Patty is a big pitcher, round and dimpled and well-used.

My Mom gave her to me many years ago, probably because this piece of old ironstone has a few pretty serious personality flaws....

... like a big chip on her shoulder...

...and, like so many in my family, she's a bit crazed and a little bit cracked:
(Click on the picture to see the crazing and her dimple close-up. Patty won't mind; she's not at all shy.)

We do our best to hide her idiosyncracies. If I keep her turned this way: don't see that big hunk missing from her "shoulder."

Then there is Maxine.

She's a bit plain, long and slim and business-like. She bears a brown "beehive" stamp from "Pratt and Simpson" and a diamond-shaped embossed mark as well. With a little research, I found out she dates from the 1870s - 1880s.

She has a matching bowl, but we left him home in the upstairs hall bath for this photo shoot.
He likes to hog the limelight.

She's no-nonsense, this one. There's a rather fierce eagle head on her handle.
She was made in England, probably for the American market.

Very little crazing, but there's a crack in her handle, and some bits of brown discoloration here and there -- minor. I have a recipe for getting rid of such brown marks, and someday I will actually send Maxine to the spa and give it a try. Maxine and her bowl buddy also belonged to my mother.

On Ebay currently is an identical bowl and pitcher, same mark, but with a rose transfer design and a "Buy It Now" price of ... $225. Who'd a thunk it?

I better stop hanging damp facecloths on her to dry, and give her the respect she deserves.

Now Laverne.
She is the glamour girl of the trio. She's pretty sleek:

Made by T & R Boote in England, probably in the 1850s, she is part of their Sydenham design group, which must have been wildly popular, as you can find lots of Sydenham on Ebay. (Including 20th century reproductions.)

But a pitcher of this size doesn't often show up. I've seen them go for as much as $350,
but that was a few years ago; nowadays, more like $250.

My in-laws found her in a small shop in their hometown of Sharon, Massachusetts,
and thought I would like her. Oh, yes... I do.

She often graced the mantel on my river rock fireplace at our old Craftsman bungalow, filled with dried hydrangea. She's a stunner, and her finish -- glossy and shiny -- is like new. A few manufacturing marks, but no "issues," as they say.

She's just so graceful, isn't she?

Patty, Maxine and Laverne have enjoyed their moment in the blogging spotlight. Before they go back to their usual places in That Old House, they want to spend the day on top of my Grandmother's china cabinet, in the dining room.

Tomorrow, Maxine can rejoin her bowl buddy upstairs in the hall bath (a metamorphosis on that room, next week!) and Patty and Laverne can return to the top of the breakfront in the Parlor. For today, they are stars, and can go where they like.

I hope you had fun visiting with my big ironstone pitchers. I'm glad I have these three; I never would be able to afford to buy them!

Hope your Tuesday is as sunny as mine here in New Jersey ... Cass


  1. Such a cute post. I am old enough to remember the Andrew Sisters. They were great. I love your three sisters, they are all so charming in their own way. Love them all. Hugs, Marty

  2. Grandma would approve of them on the top of the china cabinet.

  3. I remember these lovely ladies from their debut on That Old House - - - and might I say, they are still as lovely as ever!

  4. These three little ladies were certainly worth reading about. I have, in my most recent post, a set of ironstone I just aquired about 6 months ago. I wiah I could tell you what is says on the bottom but I am NOT at home. You always seem to know your stuff, take a peek and let me know what you think... :-)


  5. I love how you presented these pretty ladies. I love white ironstone pitchers. I only have a couple that are old & not as big as yours. I wish I could afford to collect more. Now I collect white porcelain pitchers. Because they are cheaper.

  6. Dear Cass,
    First, I wanted to stop by and bring this peach cobbler. I wanted to say "thank you" for the prayers you offered up for Amy, my daughter, when my sister Sherry, posted "Calling All Angels To Pray"
    We needed and felt every prayer.
    I am sorry I cannot remember if it was your niece but you know about the cancer takes a lot of strength.
    SECOND>>>>I SO LOVE PATTY, MAXINE, AND LAVERNE.....what a beautiful story and the next time I find something with a chip on it I will think about "the chip on her shoulder."
    You are a beautiful writer and I have always loved and wanted an ironstone soup tureen but these pitchers are gorgeous...out of my price budget, however, but a girl can always dream.
    thank you for sharing
    angel hugs
    I wanted to invite you to join my blog...I would be honored

  7. Cass, they are so pretty in white! Lovely post about how unique each "lady" is. ;-)

  8. I love your post! They make "beautiful music" together. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed Sunday.


  9. Cute post! Yes - we all have out little chips and marks here and there, and that is what makes us unique. :-)

  10. How sweet to let the Andrew Sisters get together for this special day. I believe I am parcel to Patty, what a sweet lady she is, even with the chip on her shoulder.

  11. Hi Cass... friend, I just adore white ironstone pitchers! I love all shapes and fact, I started collecting them just a couple of years ago! The few that I have...grace a long shelf that is above my dining room window!!! Soooo...I was just ecstatic to see this post that you decided to reshare with us for Sunday Favorites!!! All three of your grand ladies are just fabulous...flaws and all! That's what makes them so endearing to me! I love to think about the stories they could tell!!! Hehe!

    Thank you so much for sharing some of your beautiful ironstone with us today...I just love these beauties!!! Thanks for playing along with Sunday Favorites again this week, my friend!!!

    Have a super Sunday!
    PS...I sure would be interested in hearing your recipe for removing the brown spots on ironstone!

  12. I love your white beauties! Gotta start looking for some of these sweet babies myself now that I've fallen in love with them.

  13. I love pitchers - Ironstone or not! I think Patty is my favorite of the three. They all have such wonderful lines!

    Thanks for your input about dyeing my slipcover. I think I'm going to go for it!


  14. Even with their flaws, these 3 ladies are very pretty and charming. Thanks for reposting it since I missed it the first time....Christine

  15. cass! Thanks for stopping by today and love your ironstone! Gorgeous and the flaws make it even better! Anyhow, about that dress form...if your daughter decides NOT to take it for whatever reason, please let me know! LOL! I am desperate! Hee, hee! Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Cass, I read your post and I just had to send a blog back. My husbands Mother, Pearl also had alzheimers. It is a very horrible disease and it robs you of everything. I always described Pearl as she had a house, but nobody was home. They just aren't in their shell anymore. I have a good ear to lend anytime you need to vent. I have been there. She hollered a lot and the nursing home would call my husband to come out and as soon as she heard his voice, she would calm down. It is very hard to see the Mother that once nurtured you suddenly become the child and the role is reversed. I will be praying for you Cass, I know exactly what you are going through. Blog me anytime you need to, or check my profile and email me. I am never far from my computer whether I am here or at work. Thanks for sharing with me. Your new found friend, Country Hugs and Love, Sherry


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