Charity Shop Magpie | Retro Kitchenware Finds

I have a soft spot for retro crockery and kitchenware, particularly anything with the greens, oranges, browns and aquas of the sixties and seventies.

We are lucky to have six different charity shops on our little local high street, so I’m often popping in, not to mention markets and bric-a-brac shops when we’re out and about.

Here are some of my favourite finds from the last few years.

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Since buying these plates last year, we use them most days and regular readers will certainly have spotted the distinctive pattern in several of my recent recipe posts. When I first saw the price tag of £15 for eight second hand plates, I was a bit hesitant but they are Royal Doulton, which is apparently quite posh. In any case, I was smitten so I paid up! The pattern is called Kaleidoscope, and I love the bright colours and the lovely design. Some have a bit of scratching but I don’t mind it really.

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This large Hornsea Bronte flour jar was £10 from a different local charity shop. We do use it for flour, though I think it tickles Pete to use it for plain flour, whereas the label on the cork lid says self-raising. No room for confusion there, not at all…


We found a lovely little gravy jug in Hornsea’s Heirloom pattern for just £4 a few months ago, and I so enjoyed using it for our roast dinners, but it had a little accident a few weeks back and the handle snapped off. So sad but I’ve just bought a replacement from eBay for £5.50 – the same pattern but a squatter and slightly larger jug. Perfect!


The Palissy Taurus coffee pot on the left (with the dusty lid) was an ebay purchase last year. Isn’t that prancing horse delightful? And of course, the mustard yellow colour is a real winner for me.

The pot next to it was £4 from a local charity shop. I love the pattern and the way the colour is deeper where the glaze is thickest.


I have never used this set but it gives me enormous pleasure every time I look at it. I found it several years ago in a bric-a-brac / antiques shop in which the wonderful clutter was spread across several rooms and two floors of a rambling old building somewhere in the Cotswolds. It was an absolute steal for £12. Gorgeous!


I spotted this set during a weekend visit to Netil Market last year and couldn’t resist. I made an offer of £8 thinking we’d negotiate to £10 or £12 but to my surprise and delight, the stall holder accepted my original offer. I love the colour and pattern. And yes I did spot the tiny chip in the sugar bowl at the time!

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The creamy white cup and saucer set were from the same local charity shop as the Royal Doulton plates. I bought the set specifically for Christmas day dessert (of lemon posset and candied clementines) a few years ago, thought I’ve since used them for other puddings. I have a feeling the set was £8.

Behind it is a glass serving bowl and matching individual bowls which I found in a second-hand shop specialising in crockery and glassware, somewhere near a smokery in Somerset. Also £8.

I have no idea when I’ll use the little condiment dishes, to be honest, but they were 50p for a set of 4 from a car boot sale last summer and I couldn’t resist.

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Likewise, it was 50 pence (or possibly even 20) for the pair of tiny red-topped glass goblets from a stall at Watford Covered Market. I visited the market regularly for sushi on weekday lunch times and browsed the Friday second hand stalls on the way back to work.

The 4 green side plates were £1.95 from another local charity shop, part of my most recent haul on the last Saturday of April.


This enormous (and enormously) heavy enamel casserole was also part of the same recent April haul, from on of the local charity shops and was £5.99. I’m not sure what brand it is, but would love to know the make and pattern, if anyone recognises it.

In fact, I’d love to know the make and pattern for any of the unidentified items above. I’m only familiar with the patterns for the Hornsea, Royal Doulton and Palissy items.

Are you a charity shop magpie and if so, what kinds of things do you tend to buy? If it’s kitchen ware, are you drawn to the retro colours and patterns here, or do you prefer plainer or more modern lines?

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
24 Comments to "Charity Shop Magpie | Retro Kitchenware Finds"

  1. Jane Willis

    Lovely stuff! Some of the Palissy crockery we had as wedding presents nearly 40 years ago is still in everyday use – they built things to last in those days! And it’s got me wondering whether the Hornsea mugs of the same vintage are still in the loft – or did they perish in one of our many house moves? One thing’s for certain, I wouldn’t have parted with them from choice. As for the casserole dish, I recognise it from seeing the same design used as a prop in several of my 70s recipe books, which must mean it was a well known brand of the time, so that might make it easier to find.


    My mum’s not into keeping anything for too long, so there’s very little of any old designs left, but I don’t recall her having any of this more colourful funky kind of stuff anyway. Hope you find your Palissy!

  2. Chris Hunt

    I love your charity shop finds and anything retro. I still have a saucepan similar to your casserole pattern, which Mom gave me when I left home – many years ago now. I have odds and ends of old pieces and I treasure them. The only trouble is finding houseroom for all these things. That holds me back but I think all the retro style makes our cookery photos look all the more interesting as well.


    Yes, I’m constantly conflicted between wanting the pretty things and finding space for everything!

  3. Keep Calm and Fanny On

    What wonderful finds! I might need to track down your charity shops – watch out for my sharp elbows next time you are in 😉 I particularly love the kaleidoscope plates, they are stunning! Thanks for sharing…

  4. Denise M

    I’ve just been converted to Charity shops for vintage finds and have just recently written a post on it too. My charity shop had the Hornsea Bronte pattern in the other week and had the tea set, dinner set, coffee pot, salt & pepper, canisters, the lot!! I thought it was pretty but I’ve got no room, think the tea set was around £8 for 6 settings so a bargain. The casserole dish is gorgeous, I love it 🙂


    That’s a great bargain! And your vintage tea set looks gorgeous on the table like that!

  5. kaveyeats

    This helps, I’ve since found more links, think it could be Hendlers Pointerware but not certain and can’t find pattern name. But working on it!

  6. Ailbhe

    Oh yes, I’m a charity shop snooper too. My biggest score were two 1970’s Le Creuset casserole dishes for grand total of £25 and a lovely etched glass domed cake stand. Always love Hornsea ware and am so tempted to buy the next time I see some but I need more space to store! I think it’s brilliant to extend the life of old kitchenware and I’d definitely find space for those plates.


    Thanks Ailbhe, I’ve seen a couple of beautiful glass cake stands but don’t think I’d use them enough so have resisted. I love casserole dishes, though!

  7. Mamta

    Royal Doulton dinner plates will probably cost you that much for each plate now. I had to replace a couple of my side plates and a few saucers a few years back, there were quite expensive. When I bought them, dinner plates were about £2-3 each!
    Lovely patterns on the things that you have collected.
    I like looking in one or two local shops, but seldom buy anything, with the thought in my head that now is the time to reduce the clutter in my house, not make it lol! I have 5 hyacinth glass jars that I bought for a £1.00 a while back. If you want them, you can have them 🙂


    Thanks, don’t throw any of your kitchenware without asking me or Neeta, we might want it! x x

  8. karenk

    Ah we have the same taste in the retro! I also have the very same Hornsea flour container and I love that pattern, It’s Bronte isn’t it? Great post and lovely bits and bobs! Karen


    Yes, love Hornsea patterns, so many of them are just so beautiful!

  9. Snigdha (of Snig's Kitchen)

    Hello Kavey,
    Your charity shop hauls are making me green with envy! We don’t have anything near as desirable donated in my neck of the woods. Clearly I will have to dust off my oyster card and come to your neck of the woods.
    I love your retro style. Brilliant.


    Thanks Snig, yes am lucky, where I live isn’t too posh but the charity shops have some nice things.

  10. kaveyeats

    The image doesn’t display for me… but googling on Pointer Ware Groovy doesn’t seem to return many hits, so I’m guessing it’s not the pattern name. I am also wondering whether Pointer Ware is even a brand, or just the American term for this kind of enamel ware? I did a search after Sandi’s comment which made me think the brand could be Hendlers but again, not finding enough on the web to make me at all certain of any of this. Thanks for your help, Jane x


    We also have this pan and it’s “hendlers pointerware” or “pointerware” on its own seems to give the same results. Ours says it on the lid handle. Think pointerware is a brand that did multiple different designs.


    Good to know, ours doesn’t show brand on it, but yeah looks like pointerware for sure.

  11. Ruthy @ Minibreak Mummy

    It’s lovely to see your wonderful finds Kavey! I can never walk past a charity shop without nipping in for a look at their homewares. Must do a post on my recent acquisitions soon!

    Ruthy x


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