cuisine, Home, kitchen

vintage love in ironstone porcelain faience china ceramic



This is not the first time I have shared images of my old white crockery on social media –  oddments of vintage porcelain, ironstone, china, ceramic & faience on social media.

It’s a small but mixed collection I have of tureens, platters, jugs, plates & bowls including old mixing bowls.

I’m drawn by the inherent beauty of these once popular & often used everyday pieces & want to display them.

Some of the pieces are displayed on a little rustic shelf in the kitchen.  I’ve taken the shots from different angles to show you how these old objects can be displayed. 

I found the little shelf at Magnolia at Oakbank – Vintage an utterly delightful little store in the beautiful Adelaide Hills which is now an online store.  Back in 2016 it was a shop front store.  If, like me, you are a hunter & gatherer, you would have known the store & loved it!  And, yes, it was at Oakbank between WoodsideBalhannah on the main road. 




It was one of those alluring little stores brimming with a divine mess of vintage, antiquities & collectibles.

You never knew what you would find. It could be retro, 50s, 60s, kitchenalia, old art, pictures, picture frames, portraits, posters, tapestries, architectural salvage pieces, linens & fabrics & clothing … tablecloths, cookware, crockery, china, glassware, cutlery, enamelware, lamps, statues … some furniture, old chairs, outdoor stuff, wicker, cane, baskets, some rustics & much, much more. Ever the quirky was there too. You always knew the store was open as the goodies spilled out onto the footpath (sidewalk)!

Yes, it was a tiny little gem stuffed full of gems. Some pieces of furniture as it wasn’t really large enough when everything else was there! I always made sure I had ample time to see through the layers of goodies, to peek into every nook & cranny in that cute little store.




Anyway, it’s not hard to find old tureens if you like fossicking.  They often come without lids & serving ladles so be prepared for the lidless, the 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 & 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 & 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 & saucers & 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 “here, have a cuppa” & your problems disappeared. The fix all drink. Don’t worry dear, have a cup o’ tea & everything’ll be fine.”

Which brings me to cold tea. What? Cold? You let the tea go cold? You drink it cold? And you add ice? Are you serious?

One thing I never got used to was the taste of the South in the USA, the Deep South, yes, that taste of the South — 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. Tried them with lots of ice & little ice, in big cups & little cups, in tall glasses & short glasses, sweetened & 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 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 & silhouetted like this.

I have a few of the large jugs (pitchers) without matching bowls.  Personally, I like the jugs as stand alone items. No bowls. Jugs, small or large, displayed on a shabby rustic shelf or cupboard is the only way for me.  Simple decor of white simplicity.

Or use them for what they are – a jug for storing liquid, as a vase, even for dried flowers or for displaying wooden spoons or for other decor items.







In the kitchen




Various bowls, mixing bowls.




Tureens for soup, salad, casserole & 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.




Again, is there any other way of sharing them but on shabby rustic wood shelves?

Why is it so easy to love these vintage objects in shades of white, off white, cream, ochre & everything in between?  For me, it’s their shape & silhouette, their grace & elegance of age, wear & use & what they represent as historical objects.  That’s why they work in many decorative styles including the rustic farmhouse style especially where the dominant colours are shades of cream & white along with rustic, natural wood, cast iron & slate mediums.




What about other decor styles for these old white pieces?  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.



These gorgeous pieces above are in one of the old kitchen cupboards here at Fat Lawyer Farm.

You’ve probably noticed by now that I don’t overlook the simple beauty of old, damaged & discoloured pieces of faience & ironstone. The raw, aged & time-worn beauty of these pieces manifested in the defects, is what draws me to them.

The more crackled & crazed the finish, the more brown & yellowed the pieces, as in this image above, the more endearing they are. This vignette is a good 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 you might re-purpose little old jugs. These cute pieces show the discolouration of use & age, character traits found in vintage faience & what I look for.







Another small vignette in the kitchen at home  . . . includes a well used & now discoloured faience bowl holding small ceramic eggs on rustic kitchen scales backed by a vintage blue & 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.




Here we are 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 & filled with ceramic eggs.




I’m not a minimalist nor am I paranoid about a little dust & other distractions.

It’s all surface dirt” my mother would say surrounded by her fulsome brood of 9 children.

As far as I’m concerned, life’s too short to be bothered by a little dust.