Reference Entry

Ironstone china

Gordon Campbell

in Oxford Art Online


Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T2072489

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[Patent Ironstone China]

Porcellaneous compound made by adding ironstone slag to the traditional ingredients of porcelain. The material was patented by C. J. Mason family in 1813; it produced a heavy, tough body ideal for dinner services, decorated with Imari patterns copied from Arita porcelain. Until 1827 all ironstone china was made at Mason's factory, but thereafter it was produced by several English and American factories, notably those of Walter Scott Lenox and Homer Laughlin.

In the 1840s English factories began to export white ironstone to the USA; early exports were plain, but in the 1860s English factories introduced designs with agricultural motifs for the American market, where in rural areas it became known as ‘farmers' china’ or ‘threshers' china’. In the 1870s American potteries began to produce white ironstone, and the fashion for all-white dinnerware lasted till the end of the century. White ironstone was revived in the 1970s and continues to be popular in the USA....

Reference Entry.  267 words. 

Subjects: Ceramic Arts, Pottery, and Glass ; East Asian Art

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