A glint of shiny copper caught my eye, among the jars and glassware on the housewares shelf at G-Dub (my local Goodwill store) last week. Magpies always go for the glitter. Sure enough, it was a little copper lusterware creamer; a total steal for $2.99. (Sorry, I was hasty with the Goo Gone, and forgot to leave the wax pencil-marked price for all to enjoy.) Lusterware or lustreware, as our English friends like to spell it, is pottery or porcelain, with metallic oxides in the glaze, that give the effect of iridescence.
After a little research, I found this creamer was older than I suspected, dating from about 1810 to 1840, when most of the overall luster pieces were produced. The chip on the spout actually gives a clue to its origin, exposing the rough, red earthenware clay, used to make these pieces in England. The copper pieces are the most common, followed by silver, and then gold, the more rare and collectible. I now have one piece of each, in my collection of three. The silver pieces were sometimes known as "poor man's silver", a shiny, inexpensive substitute for the real thing, back in the day.
|Gibsons, Staffordshire, lusterware, silver|
|Wedgwood, Fallow Deer pattern, lusterware, gold|