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Vintage Pyrex has become a popular collectible item among collectors and enthusiasts alike. With its vibrant colors, unique patterns, and durable glassware, it’s no wonder that these kitchen items have stood the test of time. In this guide, we will explore various factors that can affect the value of vintage Pyrex, provide information on popular patterns and collections, and offer tips on how to accurately assess the worth of your collection.
How to Appraise Vintage Pyrex
When it comes to vintage Pyrex collecting, understanding the appraisal process—and the factors that impact the value—is an essential skill for both novice and seasoned collectors.
To determine the value of your vintage Pyrex, take the following steps:
- Identify the pattern and age. Refer to online resources, books, or other collectors to identify the specific pattern and approximate age of your Pyrex piece. Websites like Pyrex Love provide pattern libraries for reference.
- Assess the condition. Inspect your Pyrex for any damage, such as chips, cracks, or excessive wear. Note that dishwasher damage, which causes the colored patterns to fade, can significantly decrease the value of a piece.
- Check completed sales. Look at completed sales on online marketplaces, such as eBay or Etsy, to see what similar items have sold for. This will give you a general idea of the current market value.
- Consult a professional. For high-value pieces or entire collections, consider consulting with an appraiser who specializes in vintage kitchenware.
Warning: Buyers Beware
This practice, known as price gouging, manipulates potential buyers into believing that the inflated price is the norm, thus skewing the overall market perception. Additionally, some deceptive sellers employ the use of shill bidders—fake bidders who artificially drive up the price of an item during an auction.
These practices not only distort the true value of vintage Pyrex pieces but also create an unfair and untrustworthy marketplace for both buyers and genuine sellers. It’s crucial for collectors to stay informed and vigilant, relying on reputable price guides and trusted sources to avoid falling victim to these deceptive tactics.
Factors Affecting Value
There are several factors that can impact the value of vintage Pyrex. Some of these factors include:
- Age. Older pieces of Pyrex tend to be more valuable than newer ones. Generally, vintage Pyrex is considered to be any piece manufactured before 1990.
- Rarity. Some patterns and colors were produced in limited quantities or for a short period, making them more sought after by collectors.
- Condition. The value of vintage Pyrex can be significantly affected by its condition. Pieces that are free from chips, cracks, and excessive wear will be worth more than those with damage.
- Completeness. Collectors may be more interested in sets or collections that are complete. For example, a complete set of nesting bowls in a particular pattern may be more valuable than a single bowl.
- Desirability. Certain patterns and colors are more desirable than others, leading to higher demand and, subsequently, higher prices.
Value Chart of Common Pyrex Patterns
The table below provides approximate values for some popular vintage Pyrex pieces in excellent condition. Note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as rarity, condition, and demand.
|Pattern & Value Range
$75 – $200
$80 – $120
$25 – $40
$30 – $50
$60 – $90
$50 – $80
$25 – $40
Types of Pyrex
Please note that the availability of these items can vary.
- Mixing Bowls: These are perhaps the most iconic Pyrex products. They often come in sets of four with varying sizes and are available in a wide range of colors and patterns.
- Casserole Dishes: Pyrex casserole dishes are known for their durability and versatility. They come in various sizes and often feature lids.
- Baking Dishes: These include rectangular and square dishes used for baking everything from lasagna to brownies.
- Pie Plates: Pyrex pie plates are praised for their even heat distribution, making them ideal for baking pies.
- Measuring Cups: Pyrex’s glass measuring cups are a staple in many kitchens due to their durability and clear markings.
- Refrigerator Dishes: These are small, lidded dishes that are perfect for storing leftovers. They were often sold in sets of four.
- Serving Dishes: These include a variety of dishes designed for serving food, such as divided dishes and serving bowls.
- Percolators and Carafes: Pyrex has also produced coffee percolators and carafes.
- Flameware: This line of Pyrex was designed to be used on the stove and includes items like saucepans and teapots.
- Lidded Jars: Pyrex has produced lidded jars suitable for storing various items.
- Laboratory Glassware: Pyrex was originally a brand of borosilicate glass used in laboratories, and Pyrex lab glassware is still produced today.
High-Value Vintage Pyrex Sale
While most vintage Pyrex pieces sell for modest amounts, there have been instances where rare and highly sought-after items have fetched thousands of dollars.
Lucky in Love Casserole Dish
The “Lucky in Love” pattern, featuring a white background with pink hearts and green clovers, is considered one of the rarest Pyrex patterns. It is believed that this pattern was a limited promotional release in the late 1950s. A 1959 “Lucky in Love” 1.5-quart casserole dish with its original lid sold for nearly $6,000 at a Goodwill auction in 2017.
Frequently Asked Questions
Introduced in 1915 by Corning Inc., Pyrex is a cookware that was initially made with thermally resistant borosilicate glassware for kitchen and laboratory use. The brand later expanded to include soda-lime glass products.
While the original Pyrex was made from borosilicate glass, which is known for its ability to withstand temperature changes, the formula was changed in the United States in the 1980s. The Corning company sold the Pyrex brand to World Kitchen (now Corelle Brands), which started making Pyrex kitchenware from tempered soda-lime glass instead of borosilicate.
While vintage Pyrex pieces are known for their durability and versatility, it’s generally not recommended to clean them in a dishwasher. The high temperatures and harsh detergents commonly used in dishwashers can potentially damage the Pyrex, especially the colored and patterned designs found on many vintage pieces.
Over time, repeated dishwasher cleaning can cause the designs to fade or even come off completely. This is particularly true for older Pyrex pieces that have a fired-on color or pattern.
There are various venues where you can buy and sell vintage Pyrex:
Online marketplaces. Websites like eBay, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace are popular places to buy and sell vintage Pyrex.
Antique stores and flea markets. Local antique stores and flea markets can be excellent sources for finding vintage Pyrex. Additionally, these venues provide an opportunity to inspect the condition of the pieces before purchasing.
Estate sales and garage sales. Estate sales and garage sales can be treasure troves for vintage Pyrex collectors. People often sell entire collections or individual pieces at these events, sometimes at bargain prices.
Specialty websites and forums. Some websites and forums are dedicated to buying and selling vintage Pyrex, such as Pyrex Potluck and the Vintage Pyrex Facebook group.