There was a day when mass production was more about getting quality stuff to the masses, and less about the ability to make massive amounts of all things sans quality. In the 18th and 19th centuries, potters in Great Britain started producing Ironstone china to serve as a more durable, re-producable alternative to porcelain, and they did not skimp on good, solid quality. After all, it’s called stoneware, which means it’s made out of rock! And dinner tables the world over begged to stand beneath its weight.

It seems that through the 19th century Americans preferred the pure white Ironstone pieces. And it makes sense that we would opt for what was clean, strong, and classy, not to mention versatile enough to deck the rough wood of the farmhouse table and the soft elegance of the table-clothed dining room. Two centuries later, it is a special thing to share in a rich dining tradition with our predecessors, especially when we’re eating off the same plates.
-Written by Jonathan Allston


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