Educated Shopper: Flea-Market Smarts
The sheer abundance of a flea market combined with the promise of a good deal can scatter even the most collected of wits. Follow our tips to shop like a pro and bring home a treasure.
First patented in 1813 by Charles James Mason in Staffordshire, England, ironstone china is a porous, glaze-covered earthenware consisting of clay mixed with iron slag, feldspar, and a small amount of cobalt decorated with underglaze transfer patterns.
By the 1840s, undecorated, or white, ironstone china was being manufactured for export to the Americas. This is the white ironstone china collected today. Older white ironstone has an almost bluish cast due to the cobalt, while later examples have a creamy color. Visit the White Ironstone China Association for a comprehensive list of collector’s guides.
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