~ vintage ironstone porcelain faience china ceramic ~



Sharing the vintage love around today in old white crockery at home.

Oddments of porcelain, ironstone, china, ceramic and faience from my small but mixed collection of tureens, platters, jugs, plates and bowls including old mixing bowls and so forth. I’m drawn by the inherent beauty of these once popular everyday pieces and want to display them.

Here I display them on a gorgeous rustic shelf in the kitchen.  I’ve taken the shots from different angles to show you how these old objects can be displayed.  Before I move on I must mention Magnolia at Oakbank – Vintage the delightful little store where I sourced the shelf. Now, if you’re a hunter and gatherer like me you will love Magnolia at Oakbank. And, yes, it is at Oakbank in the beautiful Adelaide Hills between Woodside and Balhannah on the main road. You can’t miss it and won’t want to miss it! Plenty of parking too.




The little store is plenty full, brimming with a divine mess of vintage, antiquities and collectibles. You never know what you’ll find. It could be retro, 50s, 60s, kitchenalia, old art, pictures, picture frames, portraits, posters, tapestries, architectural salvage pieces, linens and fabrics and clothing. It could be tablecloths, cookware, crockery, china, glassware, cutlery, enamelware, lamps, statues, some furniture, old chairs, outdoor stuff, wicker, cane, baskets, some rustics and much, much more. Even the quirky can be found there. You know the shop is open as the goodies overflow onto the footpath (sidewalk)!

Don’t be fooled by the size of this little gem. You won’t find much furniture there as it isn’t large enough but everything else is there! Make sure you have time to see through the layers of goodies, to peek into every nook and cranny.



It’s not hard to find old tureens if you like fossicking. Usually they come without lids and serving ladles so be prepared for that. Lidless, ladleless. Still lovely pieces. Sometimes I find a matching underplate.  Not often.


Stacking them works well as it accentuates the curved shapes especially the scrolled shapes of the handles that stand out and enhance the unique decorative effects.  Always pretty. White. Artistic. Vintage white tureen love.



The little dried gourds are from the garden.




Smaller to middle sized milk jugs and pitchers.


Morning or afternoon tea anyone?  When I was growing up the milk for the cuppa or the cup o’ tea was served at the table in these smaller sized porcelain or china jugs usually with the sugar bowl, the small handled cups and saucers and the teapot of hot tea.  

The word ‘cuppa’ is a colloquial term in Australia–originally a British expression–meaning a drink of hot tea once served in small china tea cups with a saucer (small plate). Now it’s usually sipped from mugs.  Yes a staple drink passed on from our English forebears. 

Once it was “just have a cuppa” and your problems disappeared. The fix all drink. Don’t worry dear, have a cup o’ tea and everything will be fine.”

Which brings me to cold tea! What? You let the tea go cold? And add ice?

One thing I never got used to was the real taste of the South in the USA, Southern iced tea. Sorry, couldn’t do it even after 17 years.

Known as the signature drink of the region, a tall glass of iced tea in the South goes with just about every event—church suppers, family meals, ladies luncheons, and it’s just perfect for porch sitting on a sizzling summer day. It‘s so easy to make and feeds a thirsty crowd. Beginning with tea bags and allowing for a bit of steep time are two important elements in getting the perfect pitcher of iced tea.‘ Taste of the South – Iced Tea



Oh yes,  I tried them all. With lots of ice and little ice, in big cups and little cups, in tall glasses and short glasses, sweetened and unsweetened, minted sweet julep tea, citrus sweet, with squeezed lemons. You name it I tried it.

Iced tea is a staple in the Deep South, a ritual, a right of passage for the locals. If there’s one thing I missed when living in the USA it was the ritual of the hot ‘cuppa’ made in the teapot, my staple, my right of passage!






Miniature pitchers.  Easy to enjoy when lined up and silhouetted like this.

I have 2-3 of the large jugs (pitchers) without matching bowls.  Personally, I like the jugs as stand alone items. No bowls.

Displayed on a shabby rustic shelf like this is the only way for me. What else would I use

Simple decor of white simplicity. Or use them for what they are – a jug for storing liquid. Use them as a flower vase, for displaying wooden spoons or for other decor items.






In the kitchen




Various bowls, mixing bowls.




Tureens for soup, salad, casserole and stews. 

Faience. Porcelain. China. Ironstone.

Usually reasonably priced as recycled objects.




China tureens.  Beauty in the silhouetted lacy shape.

Beautiful handles.

Too pretty to put away.




Shabby rustic wood shelves. Is there any other way of shelving them?

Why is it so easy to love these vintage objects in shades of white, off white, cream, ochre and everything in between?

For me, it’s their shape and silhouette, their grace and elegance of age and use and what they represent as historical objects.  That’s why they work in many decorative styles including the rustic farmhouse style as we have here where the dominant colours are shades of cream and white along with rustic, natural wood, cast iron and slate mediums.




What about other decor styles?  I’m no expert but shabby chic comes to mind or use in a lacy white, romantic setting or for showcasing handkerchiefs or face washers. What about lining a small tureen with some vintage white lace or a linen serviette and fill with chocolates, dried flowers, sprays of lavender or potpourri?  A shabby chic themed wedding or a rustic white themed wedding? What about in the bathroom, the washroom or laundry for guest hand towels, soaps, cotton balls, brushes? The image above from Farmhouse 5540 gives you some idea.




Use for bulbs as in the image above from Fortlapin (via pinterest). Use for Flowers or decorative eggs or make a large birds nest.  Use them at Easter time.   as table decoration or as a table centre piece.



You’ve probably noticed by now that I don’t overlook the simple beauty of old, damaged and discoloured pieces of faience and ironstone. The raw, aged and time-worn beauty of these pieces manifested in the defects, is what draws me to them. The more crackled and crazed the finish, the more brown and yellowed they are and as you see here, the more special they are. The image above is a small vignette at home here and is an example of what I like in these vintage items.

Perfection is in the imperfection.




The image above from Servies en Brocante gives you an idea how to re-purpose little old jugs. These cute pieces are just my style and show the discolouration of use and age, character traits found in vintage faience and what I look for.






Small vignette including a well used and now discoloured faience bowl holding small ceramic eggs on rustic kitchen scales backed by a vintage blue and white porcelain Middleport pottery serving platter.

The little ornament is of course Uncle Sam.  This vignette looks especially beautiful at Christmas when lit up with a few tea light candles.




Without Uncle Sam. The little rusty scales came with the weights but without the plate or bowl, a not uncommon occurrence. I simply re-purposed the old faience bowl.




I’m not a minimalist nor am I paranoid about dust and other distractions. “It’s all surface dirt” my mother would say surrounded by her brood of 9 children. And life’s too short for that.


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