Shop collectible antique and vintage ironstone. Originally patented by Charles Mason of Staffordshire, England, this simple tableware—once known as the "poor man's porcelain" was an improved china harder than earthenware and stronger than porcelain. Mason's patent lasted only fourteen years, and by 1827 a number of other potters had already experimented with his formulas.
In the 1840's, England began exporting the undecorated wares to the American and Canadian markets. The English potters discovered that the "Colonies" preferred the unfussy plain and durable china. Specifically, it was 1842 when James Edwards marketed the first white ironstone china in America.