Don't Forget Those on Your Holiday Gift List
Know someone who loves vintage PYREX? Order them a copy of PYREX Passion: The Comprehensive Guide to Decorated Vintage PYREX available now in the PYREX Shop.
The PYREX Shop
also offers great stocking stuffers including Chip & Dip Brackets, Dishwasher Magnets, PYREX-Inspired Jewelry, and PYREX Tea Towels! Stock up for those on your holiday list.
Holiday Promos Offered in 1960-61
Golden Leaf, Holiday Casserole, Green, and Red 2 Qt.
Throughout the years, Corning produced several holiday-themed items. The first items were offered in 1960. The Golden Leaf Casserole was a 404 mixing bowl with knob lid (626) and brass mounter, ideal for punch, salads, or hot dishes (far left in photo). The other item offered in 1960 was the Holiday Casserole, a 2 Qt round (024) casserole with knob lid (top right in photo). Two other 2 Qt round casseroles are ideal for the holidays: Bright Green and Bright Red. The exact production dates for these two casseroles is unknown, but likely in the 1970s.
Golden Poinsettia 045 with matching carafe.
The Deluxe Buffet, with a Golden Poinsettia design, was the only other holiday item specifically produced for the consumer market. The 2 1/2 Qt oval casserole (045) with dual candle warmer was available in late 1961. A matching carafe was sold separately.
The Golden Pine (not shown) 2 Qt Square Space Saver Casserole (575) was also available in 1961. Although perfect for a holiday table, the Golden Pine design, which included gold pine cones on a white background, had broader appeal throughout the year.
Corning Employee Holiday Gift Items
Holiday Corning Employee Gifts.
If you were lucky enough to work for Corning Glass Works in the 1960s-1980s, you likely received some wonderful holiday gift items, only available to Corning employees. Currently, these items are in great demand with collectors. Dozens of employee holiday gifts were distributed through the years, including those above.
Prior to the mid-1970s, Corning typically did not name promotional patterns. Box descriptions were usually simple: "Decorator Casserole with Cradle." However, the box was designed to included the pattern so consumers could identify the item inside. Even popular standard patterns, such as Butterprint, were often referred to only by color (e.g., Turquoise) rather than the official name. This was often the case in both dealer catalogs and advertisements. The lack of official pattern names has given rise to many popular nicknames to help identify items.
Photo courtesy of Pyrex Passion Facebook member, Kim Riffey.
Recently, Pyrex Passion Facebook member, Kim Riffey found the promotional "Green Bramble" with the box, revealing the official name: Gold Scroll on Green - unimaginative, but descriptive.
The Gold Scroll on Green was a 1 1/2 Qt oval casserole (model 043) that was released in 1966. It included a brass cradle with round walnut handles. This was the same cradle style used on many other promotional items during 1964-1968. The gold scroll design was also produced on the larger 2 1/2 Qt oval casserole (model 045) but the casserole is beige instead of green. Perhaps we will soon find a "Beige Bramble" box to determine if its official name was Gold Scroll on Beige. Thanks to Kim Riffey for sharing her find - and photos - with us.
If you would like to update your copy of the PYREX Passion collector's guide with this new information, see page 150.
Photo courtesy of Pyrex Passion Facebook member, Kim Riffey.
1949 Ladies Home Journal Advertisement
Corning produced opal Pyrex Hostess Sets from 1949-1953 to support the growing trend of entertaining guests and having dinner parties. Hostess Sets were described in 1949 advertisements as “autumn-red” and “harvest-yellow.” Sets were sold as:
Hostess Oven-and-Table Set (Large Hostess Set)
025 2 ½ Qt Serving Bowl (no lid) and four 12 oz. (410) Ramekins.
Hostess Set (Small Hostess Set)
015 1 ½ Qt Serving Bowl (with lid) and four 7 oz. (407) Ramekins.
The launch of the Hostess Oven-and-Table Set was advertised in the September 1949 edition of Ladies Home Journal, while the smaller Hostess Set was out in time for Christmas 1950. The ramekins and serving bowls were also sold separately. When purchased individually, a lid was included with both sizes of serving bowls.
Hostess Dishes Reappear in 1959
1959 Cinderella Snack and Dip Set
Although yellow and red hostess bowls were discontinued in 1953, the shape would sporadically reappear throughout the 1950s, most notably in the 1959 promotional Snack and Dip Set in turquoise.
This set remains extremely popular with collectors, typically commanding over $100 at online auction sites.
Hostess Dish Variations or Test Patterns
Other Hostess Bowls in unique colors have also turned up. Although their exact dates of production are unknown, most are presumed to be from the 1950s. These variations are quite hard to find. Variations for the large 2 1/2 Qt hostess dish include: Dove Gray, Pink Desert Dawn, pastel Pink, and Charcoal (made in Delphite Blue, rather than opal).
025 2 1/2 Qt Variations in Dove Gray (ca mid-50s) and Pink Desert Dawn (ca. 1955)
Variations of the smaller 1 1/2 Qt hostess dish have been found in bright turquoise, a different shade than the turquoise from the Snack and Dip Set, and Heinz Green(referring to the green color on the Heinz Baking Dish available in 1953). The Heinz Green is unique in design, with a clear lid.
015 1 1/2 Qt Variations in bright Turquoise (ca mid-50s) and Heinz Green (ca 1953)
Photo courtesy of eBay seller seahoney1
On September 17, 2013, Pyrex collectors around the world watched in anticipation
as the holy grail of Pyrex, the Lucky in Love 473 1 Qt Round Casserole, went up
for auction. Not since Sotheby's sold Picasso's Le Reve for $155M has an item garnered this much attention. Ok, perhaps that's a slight exaggeration.
Nonetheless, online social sites like the Pyrex Passion facebook group lit up as the final minutes of the auction counted down. Collectors across North America and as far as England watched... and waited.
Let the Auction Begin
The auction was listed on September 10 with a flirtatious starting price of $.99. Within three hours the flurry of bidding had landed at $550. Two days later, the price was up to $1,125. For those considering a bid, it was time to seriously consider skipping this month’s mortgage payment.
As the top bid stayed put at $1,125 for two days, questions started to circulate in the online social networking sites: Who was the seller? Why was she selling? Who was the highest
bidder? What if they didn't pay? How much would insurance cost? What would be the winning bid? Scandal and speculation ensued.
The day before the auction ended, bidding had inched up to $1,275.54. Looks like that $.54 was a winning strategy, but it didn’t last long. As the “15-minutes left on your watched item” alarms went off around the world, collectors hushed their families, grabbed multiple mobile devices to keep an eye on the auction and chat simultaneously and watched the drama unfold. And then, it happened…
History of the Lucky in Love Casserole
The Lucky in Love casserole was produced as a test pattern in late 1959 at the Corning plant in Charleroi, PA. It contains green grass around the base with two four leaf clovers in the middle. Pink hearts of various sizes are printed around the center of the casserole. An innovative part of the design was the inclusion of an opal lid, which would not reappear on any consumer products until opal lids became standard on many patterns in 1972.
In 1958 and 1959, Corning started releasing seasonal promotional items. In 1959, Corning released the first 470 set consisting of 471, 472 and 473 round casseroles in the Pink Butterprint design. The round casserole shape was new and proved so successful that the casseroles were quickly offered on all standard patterns of the time: Turquoise Butterprint and Pink Gooseberry.
Unfortunately, the Lucky in Love design was not produced for mass market sales. As shown in the photo above, the green color of the grass bleeds through the pink heart design. This would likely not pass the quality standards at Corning for Consumer Products. The few samples of the casseroles that remain were likely discarded and taken home by employees. The Corning Museum of Glass has the original bowl used to test the green pattern in their collection in Corning, NY.
"Blue Tulip" 043 Oval Casserole
Thanks to a recent discussion with a PYREX collector, the date of the Blue Tulip 043 1 1/2 Qt Oval Casserole is now known to be 1964. The collector recently
acquired a new-in-box (NIB) casserole which included the orginal brochure showing Corning's consumer product line frmo the time: Golden Honeysuckle, Early American and Town and Country items. The model number, 5164, indicates the casserole was produced in 1964.
At this time, Corning did not typically name promotional casseroles. "Blue Tulip" is the unofficial name of the casserole popularized by collectors. The official name was simply "1 1/2 Qt Casserole with Cradle."
The same design was also offered in gold on brown on a 043 1/2 Qt Oval Casserole and the larger 045 2 1/2 Qt Oval Casserole. The gold on brown casseroles are quite hard to find, leading some collectors to speculate that this version was produced as a test pattern and not available for purchase. The exact date of production for the gold on brown version is unknown, but presumed to be during the same time period.
Many opal PYREX collectors are familiar with the model numbering system used on kitchenware and bakeware. Mixing bowls, Cinderella bowls and many casserole sets used the 400-series numbering system. These sets were actively marketed to the public through Corning Glass Works’ Consumer Products Division, so a lot of information is available to collectors both online and in print.
Emerald Band (Green) Restaurantware (1953-1978)
However, opal PYREX Restaur-antware/Tableware is a bit more of a mystery. Advertising for these items was limited to foodservice establishments and not much documentation remains. Recently, Jeffery Tevyaw, an avid restaur- antware collector, graciously shared some research compiled from original documentation at the The Corning Archives.
Model numbers for restaurantware typically utilized the 700-series numbering system:
100 – Stacking Cup, 7 oz
101 – Stacking Saucer, 5 ½”
700 –Individual Casserole, 10 oz
701 – Cup, 7 oz.
702 – Saucer, 5 7/8”
703 – Dinner Plate, 9”
704 – Bread & Butter Plate, 6 ¾”
705 – Bowl, 15 oz, 5 ¾”
706 – Saucedish, 5 oz, 4 ¾”
707 – Fruit/Cereal Bowl, 8 oz, 6 ½”
708 – Bowl, 10 oz, 4 7/8”
709 – Mug, 7 oz
711 – Salad/Dessert Plate, 7 ¼”
712 – Dinner Plate, 9 3/8”
713 – Bread & Butter Plate, 5 ½”
714 – Sugar/Bouillon/Egg Cup, 7 oz
350 – 10” Plate
352 – 8 oz Cup
353 – 6 ¼” Saucer
354 – 6 ¾” Plate
356 – 5 ½” Saucedish, 7 oz
715 – Rim Soup Bowl, 14 oz, 9”
716 – Salad Bowl, 32 oz, 8 ¾”
718 – Can Cup, 7 oz
719 – Luncheon Plate, 8”
720 – Bread & Butter Plate, 6 ¾”
721 – Tall Cup, 7 oz
722 – Creamer, 6 oz
790 – Salad Bowl, 16 oz, 7 ½”
791 – 3-Compartment Plate, 9 ½”
793 – Oval Platter, 11 ½”
794 – Platter, 9 ½”
795 – Dinner Plate, 10 ½”
796 – Saucer (stacking), 5 7/8”
797 – Dinner Plate, 9”
798 – Dinner Plate, 9 3/8”
799 – Narrow Rim Oval Platter, 12 ½”
362 – 9 3/8” Plate
363 – 7 ¼” Plate
364 – 5 ½” Plate
365 – 9” Plate
In the early 1970s, the United States ramped up to celebrate its bicentennial, commemorating 200 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Events were staged throughout the United States culminating in street fairs, parades and fireworks on July 4, 1976. For those who experienced the excitement, you may remember streets clad in red, white and blue banners, huge parades featuring Uncle Sam and many other commemorative events. In the depressed economy of the mid-70s, it was a great escape and a time of celebration for all. Many collectors enjoy searching for bicentennial memorabilia, especially stamps, coins and the two dollar bill that were issued for the occasion.
Unfortunately, Corning Glass Works didn’t create any specific bicentennial-themed PYREX for the consumer market. However, the plant in Charleroi, PA did manufacture many custom items – mainly coffee mugs (model 1410) – with various bicentennial tributes for the Corning, NY and Charleroi, PA areas.
Happy July 4th USA!
1976 American Bicentennial Commemorative PYREX
Cosmopolitan Hot Casserole Set Date Now Known: 1973!
The Cosmopolitan Promotional item is a favorite for collectors due to its innovative design and mysterious origins. The casserole is sometimes referred to as the "bulls eye" due to the design.
The casserole (475 2 1/2 Qt Round Casserole) is curious in that some versions have the familiar PYREX stamp on the bottom while others are marked "Salton."
The Salton version of the casserole was manufactured by Corning Glass Works for Salton, Inc. as part of the Cosmopolitan Hot Casserole Set. The set included the casserole and a a square warmer (Model No. H-109C). Salton was a popular manufacturer of hot plates and food warmers during the 1960s and 1970s. When sold as part of the Salton set, the casserole is typically stamped "Salton" on the bottom.
A recently acquired Salton set, which included the box, revealed the date of manufacture as 1973. The date was stamped on the bottom of the box as the production date.
The casseroles marked "PYREX" may have been sold separately by Corning, rather than Salton during the same time period, although this is speculation.
The Homestead (Blue) pattern was a popular design for Corning in the late 1970s. The pattern was produced on multiple items from 1976-1980.
According to interviews with former Corning employees, the Homestead pattern was created in direct response to the hugely popular Pfaltzcraft pattern, which was very similar in design.
The Homestead pattern was sold on many types of bake ware: Mixing Bowls, Cinderella Bowls, Refrigerator Set, and Round Casserole Sets, to name a few. The pattern was also evidently sold in a very unique configuration as the "6 Piece. Country Kitchen Set."
The Country Kitchen Set, only sold in the Homestead design, consisted of the following items:
1 1/2 Qt (1.5 L) Square Refrigerator Dish (model 503)
2 1/2 Qt (2.5 L) Round Casserole with lid (model 475)
1 1/2 Qt (1.5 L) Mixing Bowl (model 402)
2 1/2 Qt (2.5 L) Mixing Bowl (model 403)
Many PYREX collectors enjoy collecting commemorative PYREX manufactured at the plant
in Charleroi, PA. The plant not only created PYREX items for local community events, but also made commemorative pieces for employees, marketing events and trade shows. Employees also received unique PYREX gifts for Christmas and were able to purchase test designs and production mistakes in the company store. These unique and sometimes
one-of-a-kind items typically command top dollar in online auctions.
Commemorative Charleroi, PA PYREX
Commemorative employee pieces were often produced in coordination with the launch of a new product. For example, the small Individual Pixie Dish (model #700) was launched
in 1970 on Daisy, Verdé and Horizon Blue and employees received a complimentary
Pixie Dish at the Plant Service Dinner. Likewise, in 1964, when small restaurantware “cereal bowls” (model #1416) were launched, employees received a commemorative bowl with gold lettering stating “50 Years of Better Tasting Meals” on one side and “Corning, 11-5-64, Charleroi” on the other.
The solid blue 473 round casserole was produced as an employee appreciation item recognizing "Excellence." The front contains the text, "Corning Glass Works, Blue Chip Week, April 21-27, 1963" while the back reads, "Charleroi Family Day April 27, 1963."
Employees also sometimes received PYREX as a holiday gift. These items are a favorite with collectors for the holidays. The white 475 round casserole dish was decorated with green holly and a red ribbon with the text, "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year." The exact date of production is unknown but presumed to be in the early 1970s.
Another holiday item, also assumed to be produced in the early 1970s, is a green
443 cinderella bowl. The bowls reads, "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" on one side while the other side (shown) has red ribbons and white holly leaves.
Recenly an ebay seller in Charleroi, PA, whose parents worked at the plant unearthed a case of another version of the bowl with orange ribbons, instead of white, which was likely a test design.