Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Collinsville Antiques and Ironstone Collecting

I have officially joined the "ironstone" bandwagon.  I've been admiring ironstone collections for some time.  I've coveted those beautiful pieces: the more aged and crazed the better.  But I am not the sort of person to collect things.  I've always been adamantly anti-collection.  I'm not into clutter.  I certainly don't see it as an investment, in the sense that most people I know with a tendency to collect don't make any money from the habit (especially when they are TRYING to make money.)  I think I have always felt that collecting was one short step away from hoarding.  Or maybe the collectors I know, are also, coincidentally, hoarders.

But.  But.  Ironstone is beautiful. And home decor neutral, so it will always go with whatever color scheme I am obsessing over.  (I could also see myself beginning a teapot collection too but that is for another day and another time.)

I took a vacation day from work today, and my mother and I wandered down to one of my favorite local antique shops: Collinsville Antiques in New Hartford, CT.  This place is a former warehouse: it's huge and it's overwhelming and it's a veritable treasure chest.

picture taken from Collinsville Antiques homepage

Today was not at all disappointing.  In fact, at a certain point, I had to STOP looking because I had just passed my $100 target threshold.  My mom is on the hunt for solid brass or pewter candlesticks, so she had her own mission in mind. I snapped a few pictures of the booths that really appealed to me.  The entire place is visually appealing if you happen to be of a vintage mindset.

I wanted this set badly, but did not want to shell out the money (today)  J&G Meakin, circa mid 1880's, Pitcher and Wash Basin for $145

I want this hutch to magically appear in my apartment.

So, now we come down to what I picked out for myself.  I purchased three pieces today.  The first was a very large white ironstone pitcher: the design is simple and the crazing is subtle.  The antique store had it labeled as J&G Meakin circa 1880's.  I bought it for $55 which I thought was a decent price for such a large piece with few imperfections.  The label on the bottom says "Warranted" and not a brand name, but I googled the J&G Meakin markings and I think their labeling seems legit.

The next piece I picked out is labeled, but in such a way that I can't read it at all.  The tag did not specify a maker either.  The mark is imprinted into the gravy boat and it has been partially rubbed away over time.  The sales ticket said it was an early American ironstone gravy boat.  The piece is so aged, that I can't tell if it was meant to be beige or if it was originally ivory and has just darkened over time.  The crazing is significant.  I liked the lines of this particular piece.  The banding is reminiscent to me of dental molding, or early colonial architectural lines.

The last piece I picked out is clearly more contemporary, but I really like pitchers.  It has a traditional grape motif on it, which given the Red Cliff mark on the bottom probably means it's a 1950's piece.

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