Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pyrex Fantasia

Pyrex has been part of family mealtimes for decades. My Mum still has her white dinner service scattered with black snowflakes that she and Dad brought soon after they were married in the early 1960s; in fact its still used for Christmas dinner and special occasions. Also, one of my earliest memories is of my Gran serving up pasta sauce from a Pyrex casserole dish with flying mallard ducks on it.

I've got a few bits and pieces that I use, but yesterday had the chance to substantially increase the stash after I brought the above in a house clearance shop. I was really lucky as the guy in the shop actually gave me the blue dish and let me have the rest for £20 - I think he was pleased to move them on! Even though the glass covers are missing, I'm still very happy with my buys especially as some pieces of Pyrex go for crazy money.

The oval vegetable server has the familiar snowflake or 'Gaiety' pattern introduced in 1958 and the blue 'Space Saver' casserole has the 'White Hawthorn' design - all produced in the UK by J.A. Jobling. Jobling started making Pyrex in the 1920s under licence from the American-based Corning Glass Works who held the patent after developing the strengthened glass in the early twentieth century. 

The wheatsheaf design on the 'Cinderella' mixing bowl had me flummoxed for a bit as it was a design that I wasn't familiar with. I turned it over and found my answer: it was made by Corning Glass Works instead of Jobling, so must have been an American import.

Left and centre are two J.A. Jobling 'crown' stamps with the American Corning stamp on the right
Being the spod that I am, I love to read about collecting stuff, so if you're into Pyrex - big style! - I can recommend these two books:

The one on the left by Barbara E. Mauzy concentrates on Pyrex made for the American market, whilst British collectable Pyrex is covered in Susan Hibberd's book. After flicking through the Mauzy book, I decided that the Americans had far better designs that us Brits! If you want proof then pay a visit to the latest Pyrex Collective III site and prepare to drool...


  1. What lovely pieces and a freebie thrown in to sweeten the deal, how nice! I don't own any vintage Pyrex and have absolutely no recollection of any family pieces which is odd as they're usually the staple of kitchen cookware.

  2. My mum always had Pyrex oven dishes, so it is a strong memory from my childhood. And I've got a turquoise snowflake dish, complete with its lid, which I use all the time. Can't beat a bit of vintage Pyrex, and that red bowl with the ears of corn is lovely! xxx

  3. Lovely pieces. I must admit to being a Pyrex nutter. I have loads of it including the dish my gran used to cook her huge rice puds in when I was little. I use it all the time and have recently come we do... some plates, bowl and cups that were destined for the bin. My hubby saved them for me from the lady who declared 'God they are tasteless and old fashioned.' Just like me!! I hav ethe little book of British Pyrex and when I found it a a jumble years ago, you'd have thought it was the Magna Carta, so chuffed was I. And yep...the Americans have the better designs.
    I had a feeling you might like to read about Pyrex too.

  4. What's not to love about Pyrex? Have bought pieces myself at jumbles and auctions and like you and Curtise remember Pyrex being used by mum and nan. I love that unusual wheatsheaf design.

  5. What a tremendous collection! My Grandma or Mum didn't have Pyrex (other than the plain glass stuff) so its something that never featured on my radar until i started blogging and saw how many Pyrex tarts were out there! xxx

  6. How did I not know there are books on Pyrex?! My mum and I are massive pyrex fans, casserole dishes in particular, and get very excited whenever we spot our favourite JAJ patterns such as Cottage Rose, Briarwood and Tempo in charity shops. I have two small casserole dishes in the snowflake print and absolutely love them too. That vegetable server is fantastic.

  7. My oven dishes are from the 1990s - and look it. But they were a present from my late nan, so as much as I hanker after vintage Pyrex, the only way I'll ever replace my current ones is if I break one (or I buy a bigger house and have more room...). You've got some lovely finds there. Are the lids interchangeable, or would you need to find matching patterned lids?

    1. Hi Mim, the lids are interchangeable as they were made of clear glass - so I've got to find some of these now!


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