Terre de Fer

122c8dac86c1de037bd41f2e8c3fd14cCharles Caleb Colton once said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Colton was a cleric, writer, and collector, well known for his eccentricities. His writing of short essays on conduct, now almost forgotten, had phenomal popularity back in their day. Several of his astute observations on basic behavioral patterns for humanity are now common knowledge. If you wish to see which goods society desires, look to imitation.


Terre de fer translated to “ironstone” in English are highly collectible antique forms of ceramic works, originating in France. They are most often found in the form of plates, with Longchamp of Dijon among the most recognized of manufacturers. It is typically characterized by raised decorations on plates, often in the form of fruits and vegetables. Terre de fer produced more than 100 years ago are classified as antique and are naturally the most highly collectible. Many modern imitations have been created, remain assured that none have been created with the craftmanship of earlier times.

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.


Attribution to Christie’s, Hollis & Knight. Grace & Ivy