Do you remember that post about the booth at the antique show that said “EVERYTHING IN THIS TENT CAME FROM A VICTORIAN ERA GARBAGE DUMP”? Well guess what? That booth also had a bunch of antique English advertising containers as well (and a bunch of other treasures to behold). In his booth towards the back was a huge box of broken bits and bobs. Each piece was 50 cents and I couldn’t help myself. The colors and the fonts were so stunning that I thought they would be pretty piled high into a vessel for me to hoard forever. And that is just what I did.
I’ve been collecting Ironstone for a while but a few years back my pal Liz did a beautiful display in her house of these antique english advertising containers and I quickly fell in love with them too. She has such a gift for design and display and she’s always fun to shop with because she sees things differently than I might. ahhhh I miss flea markets so much.
She went to Illinois to shop for these English ironstone advertising containers and introduced me afterwards to Joy from Savvy City Farmer where I mad my very first purchase of these English ironstone containers in the parking lot of The Found Cottage. They were expensive. More expensive than I typically find while out on the hunt but I had to have some. So I purchased three pieces from Joy in the parking lot (PS She has them for sale on her website) and happily placed them in my cabinet.
Over the years I’ve found more and more while out antiquing. The less rare will cost anywhere from $15-$50 while the rarer ones start at around $100. Condition is in the eye of the beholder. I personally love the chips, cracks and browned stains in the ironstone. I think it shows their age and makes them each unique and special.
By far the most common ones I find are the Dundee marmalade jars. They come in different designs but I can typically find them for around $30-$60 depending on the condition. The crocks can date from what I could find as early as 1862 and you can tell their age by their lids. If they have a screw top they are newer. The older styles were either sealed with a cork and will have a circular rim or they will have a tiny lip that a metal or fabric lid would fasten to. See examples here.
If you are searching for them to purchase try these search terms:
Antique Ironstone Advertising
Vintage Ironstone Advertising Crock
English Ironstone Advertising Pot
French Ironstone Advertising Pot
Small Advertising Crock English
English Advertising Container
Many people call these different things especially on etsy and ebay that you will find different products listed on these searches.
The prices I listed are prices that I pay around Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. They may be more or less depending on where you shop.
If you are looking to add a few English advertising containers to your collection and do not have the sources around you two of the most trustworthy sources are located in Illinois and that is Checkpoint 19 antiques and SSF , both of whom ship.
I also found some great finds on Etsy!
Can you imagine if all of our products still came in beautifully packaged jars like this? A lot of these are dug up in dumps like my friend from Springfield explained. I really love that he has an appreciation for keeping the broken pieces too. I can’t imagine just leaving them there in the dirt.