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Ironstone Salt Dishes


Our antique ironstone dishes are the bases of Victorian paste pots, and were originally used in nineteenth century counter-service food stores, and in chemists and dispensaries for ointments and beauty products. They have a wonderful weight and are exceptionally pleasing in their design and shape. They now make the perfect holders for sea salt or crushed peppercorns, and are excellent for olive oil, mustard, pickles and chutneys, or anything else that requires a small deep dish.


Throughout the Victorian era and up until 1920, many household commodities such as toothpaste, cold cream, bear grease, hair pomade, fish pastes and relishes, were packed and sold in round, white ironstone pots with lids. Many were printed with advertising, yet many were unadorned and left plain, presumably to be re-used for a succession of different unguents, powders and victuals. Eventually they were tipped, and often before the end of their life. Buried in the ground for over 120 years, they are now being rediscovered and un-earthed from Victorian dumps. Their pared-back pleasing shape and ironstone colours provide a glimpse into Victorian utilitarianism and into nineteenth century daily life and its needs – which now chimes with our own twenty first century ideals and aesthetics. 

Year of manufacture: 1880 - 1915

Origin: England 

Material: ceramic ironstone

Condition: recently unearthed from a Lancashire Victorian tip, their century below ground has dealt them beautiful coloration and crazing to their glaze. Now purged of dirt and chemically cleaned, they are fit for purpose again. They have varying degrees of wear-and-tear, with some staining, rust spots, scratches, crazing and chips. Yet this all adds to their timeworn charm and character.

Please make your choice in the box below.

What do we mean by vintage ironstone and creamware?

Is this a gift?

Our very handsome gift box (see image) will turn your generosity into something extra-special. To add to your order click here, and your gift will arrive beautifully wrapped and parcelled with our hallmark oval blue sticker.  We can also add a name tag and any message you would like included.