My love for mid century dinnerware started when I saw my first piece of Franciscan Starburst in an antique mall in 1997 and I was hooked. Throw in a few pieces of turquoise Pyrex and a nearly twenty year collection began. But I didn't stop there- Tickled Pink, Blue Heaven, Oasis...there were so many gorgeous patterns, I couldn't stop myself. My husband still talks about the time we lived in California and I found 120 pieces of Tickled Pink when we were visiting Oregon...we each carried five carry-ons back on the plane home, this was before all of those pesky airline restrictions. FYI- dishes are heavy. Here are a few of my favorites from my collection and where you can find your own.
Let's start with my favorite.
With it's bold atomic pattern, Starburst screams 1950's. It was first introduced by Gladding, McBean, and Co (known as Franciscanware) in 1954. Not only is the pattern cool, the shapes of the dishes are known as the "eclipse" shape. It's not your ordinary round dinner plate. I used to balk at paying $8 for a dinner plate, but in recent years the prices for this pattern have skyrocketed. If you see it, grab it.
I am in love with the eclipse shape so naturally I love the Oasis line as well. Introduced in 1955, it has a blue grid pattern and a starburst shape. It's hard to find as well. I can only surmise it's because people actually used these dishes back in the day, instead of just looking at them like I do.
Tickled Pink By Vernonware
Produced by Vernon Kilns beginning in 1955, these dishes have pink squares and lines on a speckled background. And what's not to love about pink?
Heavenly Days By Vernonware
Pink not your style? That's okay, because they made blue too! Known as "Heavenly Days"- don't you just love the name? It's just like "Tickled Pink" but in a turquoise blue color.
Blue Heaven By Royal China Company
I don't know who came up with the names for all of these patterns but don't they just scream of a simpler, dreamier time? This pattern came along in the 1960s and features a blue pattern. I've heard that there was even a grocery store promotion involved- spend a certain amount of money and get another dish, now those were the days! Not to mention Fire King made milk glass with the matching pattern!
I could go on for days about dinnerware but I have another serious obsession- vintage Pyrex. Now to say I collected Pyrex before collecting Pyrex was popular is probably true. Twenty years ago there wasn't a "Lucky In Love" selling on eBay for $4000. When collecting Pyrex, go for what you love. I'm partial to pink, turquoise, red, yellow, orange, and black. I collect "Spring Blossom" because it's from the decade I was born in and I like the browns for Thanksgiving (those I will actually use). Throw in some oddballs like the fetus, primary sets, and Crazy Quilt...well, I guess I kind of like them all.
Condition is up to you. My Pyrex doesn't have to be perfect as long as it displays well.
There is the "light test" that some collectors favor. Hold it up so the light shines through- this will reveal any imperfections in the color. That doesn't mean it won't sit on a shelf nicely, it's just revealing what you are comfortable living with.
First of all, don't EVER put your Pyrex in the dishwasher! It removes the shine and color- there's nothing worse than finding a gorgeous piece of Pyrex with "DWD" dishwasher destroyed or dishwasher damaged.
Always soak in warm soapy water first and use a soft cloth to clean. If there are any dried on bits, use a fingernail or toothpick to remove.
For silverware marks on the inside or non-colored portion, you can use the liquid version of "Bar Keepers Friend"
For stubborn outside marks, I have used a Magic Eraser, VERY lightly. Don't scrub and use a gentle touch on the area. It will remove the color and or shine if you scrub too hard.
As always, proceed cautiously and clean at your own risk.
It's Pyrex's 100 year anniversary! They are celebrating with limited edition products you can find on their website. Their site is filled with fun facts about the brand- like more than 80 million Americans own Pyrex products! There are also great websites like www.pyrexlove.com where you can find information on the patterns in your collection. And don't even get me started on international Pyrex. That's for another day.
Interested in starting your own collection? Well, you're in luck because the Vintage Vertigo etsy team has some pretties available!
|Pyrex Casserole Midnight Bloom|
|Pyrex Cinderella Mixing Bowls Spring Blossom|
|Pyrex Casserole Delphite Blue|
|Blue Heaven Casserole Dish|
|Canonsburg Blue Heaven Creamer|
|North Star Bread And Butter|
|Taylor Smith Weathervane Saucers|
|Sabin China Soup Bowls|
|Canonsburg Temporama Bowls|
For even more options visit our team thread here -
Vintage Vertigo Mid Century Dinnerware.
Vintage Vertigo Mid Century Dinnerware.
As you can see, there are so many companies and patterns to choose from! Just find your favorite and get started. Happy hunting!