“There’s nothing in the kitchen cabinets but a bunch of pots and pans.” This has to be the most common comment I hear as I assist clients with an assessment of their household contents when liquidating an estate.
True, the are always an assortment of pots and pans, baking dishes, very used Tupperware and a set or two of everyday dishes. But, in many cases there will be a little gem or two in the back of the cabinet that people often deem worthless. Taken for granted, because they seem so common, these brightly colored pieces of kitchenware are growing in popularity as a collectible and they are called Pyrex.
Not to be confused with more recent issues, it is the Pyrex product from 1946 through the late 1960’s that collectors are looking for. “Tough as nails and guaranteed”, the original borosilicate formula for Pyrex was replaced after just a few years by a soda-lime composition line created specifically for the US military effort during WWII. After the war, Pyrex products were made of this opal glass and decorated with bright solid colors or patterns.
As evident from some of the online sites, most notably Pinterest, collectors are amassing huge collections of the popular kitchenware including refrigerator sets, nesting mixing bowls, salt and pepper shakes, and one of the hottest of this group of collectibles, Cinderella bowls.
First introduced in 1958, the “Cinderella” nesting bowls took the already popular mixing bowl concept a step further by adding a handle on one side and a pour-spout on the other. First year issues cam in three patterns and were available in turquoise, pink, yellow and black. Sandalwood, currently a very popular color, was added in 1961.
Casserole dishes, made in colors and patterns to coordinate with the mixing bowls first appeared in the late ‘40’s. Some were a part of kitchenware sets, while others were sold only at holiday time or in other company promotions. The lids for casseroles came with a variety of top knobs and some had none at all. A favorite among collectors is the 1957 2-quart casserole that came with a candle warmer. Cinderella features were added a year later.