Saturday, January 10, 2009


Today is being spent packing away some "clutter" (in real-estate speak) to get the house ready for listing. I thought I would take a break and blog about my favorite collection, English Copper Lustre, which takes some time to bubble wrap and carefully pack away. I began collecting this in the 1970's. It had always been pretty pricey (until eBay came along and knocked the heck out of its value), so when I was younger I could only afford a piece or two a year - if that. Here is a big group that came out of an oak bookcase in our dining room.

Copper Lustre was an "invention" of the middle class in Europe. It was a sign of class at the beginning of the 19th century to have gold plated dinnerware. Obviously the middle class couldn't afford it, so someone came up with a glazing method to simulate gold plating. The dinner plates, saucers and cups were easily damaged and did not survive, but the creamers and pitchers were heavier stock, so that is what is mostly left.

Below is the only intact, undamaged suger bowl I've ever seen! It's probably my favorite piece and dates from appx. 1860's. I found the creamer, which is a close match many years later.
This group is more from the beginning of the 20th century as it has an Art Nouveau flair. Copper Lustre was only made through the 1920's or so, then taken up again in the 50's by the Welsh for a short time. I'm not at all fond of that era of lustre.
This is the oldest piece in my collection - probably around 1812. It was glazed, then hand-painted. The hand painting was most likely done by the purchaser of the pitcher as it isn't glazed and you can see some wearing of the paint.
These pieces have what is called a salt-glaze for decoration.
And these are some of my larger pieces along with a child's cup which I found in Gettysburg at an outdoor antique show. The large pitcher on the right is mid-19th century - the other two are a bit later. The pitcher with the blue band was a gift from a long-time friend I met in college, Robert. We would (and still do when he visits us from California) spend hours in antique malls having the best time. He or I would shriek when we found something we were seeking - and it would send shivers down the spines of the mall owners who would come running to see if something had been broken - those were fun times !!
There is still time to enter my Whirl Into Winter giveaway! Just go over to this post and leave a comment about where you would like to be in winter! The winner will be chosen on January 15th!


Trisha said...

Thanks for sharing your collection. Very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your lovely collection. I have never even seen or noticed this type of dishware. Collecting is so much fun..ask me how I know!! Louise

Libby said...

I've never heard of this before - you have built a very nice collection over the years *s*

Carrie P. said...

What a fascinating collection. I have never seen anything like that. Thanks for sharing.

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh my, how stunning, pack that oh so gentle,wow how special and they hold special memories too!

Stephanie D. said...

I've never heard of Copper luster ware--it's gorgeous!

Thanks for sharing!

Carrie ~ Cricketwood Prims and Gardens said...

Wow, I have never heard about these before, you have quite a collection. Must be nice to handle each one and appreciate it while you pack them away.
Thanks for sharing.

Linda B. said...

Hey Candace,
Those pictures are beautiful. I never knew the history of those pieces before. How interesting. But yes, it's clutter to the realtor and anyone looking. Sigh.

Jackie said...

I've never heard of this kind of dishware (is that the right word?) before, it is truly lovely!

Decluttering is a very wise move. Keep the look of your home really simple, it really does help sell the home.

Lisa D. said...

What a beautiful collection!

Wendy said...

I have never heard or seen anything like your collection, it's absolutely beautiful.

*karendianne. said...

Collecting you have down to a fine art! I have to admit I'm sky high for the salt-glaze. A feast. Appreciate the share! *karendianne.

Carole said...

Wow, what a nice collection! Thanks for the education!

Marla said...

How beautiful! Thanks for taking the time to share!

SewCalGal said...

Beautiful. Over the years I've seen a few of these pieces, but I really like your "collection". This is a treasure.


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