Stellar 1800s era ironstone soup tureen loaded with value

Published 8:06 pm Friday, March 8, 2019


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Question: I was in Lexington shopping for my antique booth. I had been looking through quite a bit of stuff hoping to find a nice piece to sell, when I saw the tureen It was really dirty but even through the dirt, I could tell it was something exceptional. I turned it over and saw the stamp on the under plate and on the bowl itself.

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I didn’t recognize the name but I felt it was a credible mark. When I got home, I did a quick research and found a little information about it. It sounded interesting enough for me to want to verify what I found. I would love for you to tell me what you think about it? Please let me know any interesting things about it like age, use, and value. Thanks Jerry.

Answer: In a time when sales for formal dining ware are at an all time low, people still collect, use and hold ironstone in high esteem. It’s useful, tough and beautiful. And there are loads of things to collect.

It’s just a type of vitreous pottery. That means it was fired at very high temperatures to become stronger and glass-like. Developed in the 19th century in England as a cheaper, mass produced substitution for porcelain, it was instantly popular and was manufactured in many English pottery houses.

There is no iron in ironstone. The name ironstone was derived from its strength and durability. Also, not all white pottery is ironstone either.

Wow! What a killer piece. Your soup tureen was made by the T. & R. Boote company. They were based Burslem, England and operated from 1843–1963. However, from 1906 onwards, the company concentrated on the manufacturing of tiles.

Great Britain was so cool — the way that they marked their pottery and porcelain pieces back in the day. A good photo like yours with a crisp registration mark, and the story just unfolds for you.

The shape or the pattern is Sydenham. It was made on Sept. 3 in 1853. The shape and form of the piece is stunning — that cool finial on top of the lid, the deeply lobed body

and the coin like decorations on the handles. Super! It would be the highlight of many a collection of ironstone. It’s an added plus that the under tray is still with it. These were usually lost through time. I don’t think that the ladle that’s in it is the original. Its color is off and the few that I saw online were longer and more curved. But hey, ladles broke easily. This is still a knockout.

I get the feeling that you got it for a good deal. I’d think that in at a good antiques show it would be sporting a price tag of about $350. Bear in mind, if this had been a flowery porcelain soup tureen, it would likely be priced at about one-fourth of that value. It’s really a grand piece and congratulations. Thanks for sharing it with us.