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Vintage Finds: English Advertising Pots

Vintage Finds: English Advertising Pots

A coffee table sports a collection of English advertising pots
Written and photographed by Leslie Saeta

Have you ever heard of English advertising pots before? Leslie Saeta of My 100 Year Old Home discusses how these unique collector’s items prove the old adage about one man’s trash becoming another man’s treasure! Many have been buried for more than a century. Start collecting these fun vintage pieces from Europe with Leslie’s tips and become a savvy salvage shopper!

On top of a wood counter sits several white ironstone English advertising pots around a collection of antique clocks
Even when empty, these gorgeous English advertising pots make a statement when pulled together in a sweet vignette.

A Trip to the Flea Market

A year ago I was at the Rose Bowl Flea market, and I bought my first English advertising pot. At the time, I didn’t even know what they were. I just liked how they looked. I did a little research and found that these pots are made out of ironstone.

Most antique advertising ironstone pieces are from Great Britain or France and date back to the late 1800s. Some of the most popular advertising pots were used to hold marmalade, potted meats, anchovy paste and French mustard. Once these pots were used, they were discarded as trash.

A view from above of two antique books beside several English advertising pots
Dating back to the late 1800s, English advertising pots become living history in a contemporary setting.
Three blue glass bottles beside several white ironstone English advertising pots
The brilliant white ironstone of these English advertising pots beautifully complements the stellar blues in the glass bottles.

Buried Treasure

What I think is most interesting about English ironstone pots is where they are found. Many of them have been dug out of the ground. In fact, most of these pots have been buried in the ground for a century. In a lot of rural areas in London and France, there was no trash collection until the mid-1900s. So residents dug a pit on their property and dumped their trash inside. Even 100 years later, the ironstone pots have remained in intact.

Four vintage books in varying shades of blue and gray next to a bouquet of mums and two vintage English advertising pots
English advertising pots work well even in the tiniest of spots, adding immediate interest to the space.

Beautifully Vintage

English advertising pots are popular due to their age and the graphics. They can be found at flea markets, vintage stores and on eBay. The pots range in price from $15 up to thousands of dollars. Of course, prices vary due to supply, demand and the condition of the item. I am always on the lookout for English advertising pots and love what I have collected so far.

A living room table in white has several blue glass bottles and white English advertising pots
Sometimes relying on juxtaposition is key to creating a unique scene as seen here with the placement of bottles on one side and the English advertising pots on the other.

Shopping Tips

Finding these collectibles might prove tricky. These items are more readily found in Europe, but some pieces have made their way to the U.S. For great advice on vintage finds, check out these flea market shopping tips. Many of the English advertising pots cost around $15 or more, making them a wonderful way to add vintage charm to a new home.

See Also
Christmas tree in front of Christmas bookcase


Check out this insider’s guide to antique clocks for more vintage collection ideas! Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration! 

Leslie Saeta is a wife, a mother and the blogger behind My 100 Year Old Home. She frequents the flea markets and antiques shops in Los Angeles county and uses the pieces for both decoration and practicality in her home.

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