Ironstone butter pats

Ironstone. Butter. Pats. What can I say? Their popularity has skyrocketed in the last few years. To the point that they’re now ridiculously priced. But I love them and am not planning on selling any of mine for a long time.

I started collecting ironstone butter pats about 5 years ago – I just loved their compact size, the heft, wear and patina and they were just so dang cute! I imagine them being used on a table setting back in olde England, each with a pat of butter neatly placed in the center. Even better if the butter pat had a pattern pressed into it from a vintage butter mold!

Butter pats come in various sizes – some are marked or stamped but most are not. Don’t they look great just stacked together ?

I consider myself lucky if I stumble upon any reasonably priced butter pats at this moment in time. Like everything else, I think the prices will eventually drop so be on the lookout.

Why I Collect?


This is a hard question to answer. I think I’ve always been a collector of sorts. As a kid, I had my share of Barbies and Liddle Kiddles. When I was a teenager, I collected Archie comic books. My favorite was Betty but I read them all.

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In high school I collected vinyl records, but I guess most everyone did back then.¬†After college, I moved a few times so collecting wasn’t really in the cards. But once I married and settled down, that’s when the collecting bug really kicked in. It helped, that my husband is also a collector (sci-fi).


Starting with Fire King jadeite and a new collection of Liddle Kiddles, the collections really grew and grew quickly. Jadeite was incredibly affordable and easy to find back then – even the harder to find pieces. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was fortunate to meet an incredible group of Fire King collectors who I still consider my friends almost 25 years later.

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I think when you find something you love to collect, it really just takes over. If you’re smart, you do your research. Buy a couple of collecting books and get to know what to look for in markings and condition. Don’t hurry out and buy chipped or damaged pieces just to have them in your collection. When you go to sell, you won’t be able to get rid of these pieces as easily and you may actually lose money.

I never really collected to sell for profit but it did happen with my Liddle Kiddle and Fire King collections. Because we moved five times in eight years., my large collection (over 500 pieces), packed numerous times, had become a burden more than an enjoyment. I also think I was ready to downsize my collections – I’d outgrown them. Happily, the value of Fire King jadeite has grown incredibly over the last 10 years or so – actually to ridiculous prices now.¬† I made an amazing profit – money which we needed at the time. Now, when I see jadeite at flea and vintage markets, I usually just shake my head and walk on because I know I would never pay the prices in today’s market.


Even though I’ve sold a majority of my Fire King jadeite collection, I still love to collect. My tastes have changed over time and now I’m enjoying collecting vintage English ironstone pieces. I’ve learned over time to only collect what you really love and not just grab everything that you see because you’ll end up with pieces that have been overvalued and don’t fit in with your tastes.


Who knows what will happen in the future but I know collecting will always be a big part of my life.

What do you collect and why?



Kobey’s Vintage Market – A Review


On Saturday morning I got up (very) early and took to the road to travel to San Diego for the first ever Kobey’s Vintage Market. I live in Orange County so the drive to San Diego took me about one hour.

When I arrived in San Diego I, of course, stopped at Starbucks to fuel up for the vintage market hunt.


Kobey’s has had a swap meet in the parking lot of the old San Diego Sports Arena (now Pechanga Arena) for years. I remember going to this swap meet back in my college days. The vintage market was set off to one side of the parking lot to make it easy for those who just wanted to attend that and not the regular swap meet. The vintage market also had it’s own entrance which made for easy admission (which, by the way, was only $2.00)!


The market opened promptly at 7:00am and the weather was perfect! Overcast and cool – just right for taking your time and not worrying about the hot sun beating down.

Once inside, I immediately found some treasures in the first booth! I collect ironstone as well as vintage English marmalade crocks and was happy to find both an Alfred Meakin ironstone platter as well as a Keiller marmalade crock. Her prices were very fair – no need to bargain here.


The thing about vintage markets is that when you arrive early, a lot of what the seller has available isn’t out yet. They’re still unpacking since they’ve only been allowed in for about two hours and it takes a lot of time to set up a booth (future blog post here). This market was just the right size for being able to walk through the rows a few times to really see everything that was for sale. I’d say, there were about 60-70 sellers at this show.


There were quite a few dealers selling vintage clothing which I’m not interested in but the selection appeared to be vast.


I found one dealer who had the most marvelous collection of smalls – those items you can put together to make a charming vignette. I bought some chandelier crystal pieces, a 1947 edition of Little Women (with colored illustrations inside) and a vintage rolling pin with red painted handles.

Another dealer I found had the cutest little wooden scottie dog which I couldn’t pass up. About the third time I came around to her booth, I spotted a vintage suitcase which I purchased for $10! Some great bargains all around!


These are the treasures I came home with from the Kobey’s Vintage Market. Good news – the market was such a success that they are planning on holding future markets. The next one is on December 7th and I’m always looking for a good excuse to get back to San Diego!



Platters – They’re Not Just for Thanksgiving Anymore


I love platters. I collect platters. It’s kind of an obsession.

The problem with collecting platters is that they’re horizontal – and if you collect a lot of them, they’re usually stacked one on top of another and you never see their beautiful patterns.

img_5182Ironstone platters are my favorite and they can usually be found for less than $25 at most vintage markets. Of course, there are my “wish list” platters (see pic below – photo courtesy of Etsy) which are very pricey and may not ever make it into my collection.

platterWhat I’ve found is that it’s easy to make those horizontal platters into vertical platters by displaying them on your walls. Using picture hangers I bought from Amazon, I can hang my pretty platters on virtually any wall space (and I have!).


So get those platters out of the cupboards and hang them up where you can enjoy them. You can always take one down at Thanksgiving to serve your turkey on.


Have a great day!