Pyrex and Pink Daisies: Midcentury Cookware Is Fabulous Again | lifestyle


If you’re looking to freshen up your kitchen, Grandma’s old casserole dishes are the right place for you.

Vintage kitchen utensils are back in style – pieces from the mid-20th century painted with flowers, bright colors, and specific functions, such as:

“I’ve always been an old soul and loved everything old,” said Megan Telfer, a collector of vintage dishes, salt and pepper shakers, cookie jars and “a little bit of everything”. The 26-year-old probation officer from the Dallas area said this hobby started with the family.

Her grandmother gave her mother a green and white Pyrex “Spring Blossom” mixing bowl. “That piqued my interest,” said Telfer.

Three years later, she has over 300 vintage Pyrex pieces on display on three large bookcases. Her 5 year old daughter also has Pyrex.

“We don’t use 90% of it,” Telfer said. “I’ll show it.”

Some collectors buy vintage tableware to resell for a profit, while others are in for nostalgia.

“It reminds them of their mothers, aunts and grandmothers,” said Hope Chudy, owner of Downstairs at Felton Antiques in Waltham, Massachusetts.

A year of the pandemic has seen an increase in home cooking and time spent in the kitchen. Vintage cookware fits right into this homely, old-fashioned atmosphere.

There are shiny chilli bowls with handles and baking dishes on brass candle warmers. These are long-lasting dishes that are often smaller than modern serving pieces and can range from the freezer to the oven to the table. But collectors usually acquire them for pleasure, not for benefit.

“It really sets your kitchen apart,” said Victoria Aude, an interior designer in Canton, Massachusetts. “It is not an item that can be easily bought off the shelf at Bloomingdale’s.”

The old dishes are also nice accents in decorating a room, said Atlanta-based interior designer Beth Halpern Brown. “You can add that quick pop of color,” she said. “You can use it to decorate a wall or display one and change the room.”

Corning first launched a Pyrex dish in 1915. In the 1930s, Anchor Hocking Glass Corp. launched its rival Fire-King. But it’s the kitchen utensils that were made between 1950 and 1980 and seem to be the most popular right now.

Jo Adinolfi, a 62-year-old nurse from Shelton, Connecticut, collects Pyrex mixing bowls and stackable refrigerators that collectors affectionately refer to as “refrigerators.” She started collecting and selling about 10 years ago and owns more than 2,000 pieces.

Mid-20th-century glass bowls and casserole dishes from brands like Fire-King and Pyrex haven’t changed, but their prices have changed.

“The more people gather, the higher the demand, the more people are trying to source the right merchandise to meet that request,” said Stan Savellis, 42, of Sydney, Australia, who has been collecting vintage kitchenware since his time Teenage years and runs the online shop That Retro Piece.

Television and social media have also sparked interest. Series like “WandaVision”, “Firefly Lane”, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Mad Men” highlight kitchens and kitchen utensils from the middle of the century.

Then there is social media, said Vicki Matranga, design program coordinator for the International Housewares Association and author of America at Home: A Celebration of 20th Century Housewares.

“Now when everyone is home, you can check out collections on Facebook or Instagram,” she said.

In days leading up to the pandemic, vintage collectors met for barter deals. Now people are buying and selling on eBay, Etsy, Facebook, and other sites.

The rarest pieces sold for thousands of dollars, such as the 1959 “Lucky in Love” covered casserole dish that Goodwill sold for $ 5,994 in 2017.

Still, some enthusiasts just like the vintage look and sentimentality.

“It fits my house,” said Ashley Linder, 37, of Lake Jackson, Texas.

Linder’s vintage collection includes can openers from the 1950s that still work. “Fortunately, I have space to display most of it, although some are seasonal,” she said.

One of her most valuable finds was a Pyrex casserole dish “Pink Daisy 045” on eBay. It was in very good condition, still in the box.

“You don’t come across a lot of pink pieces in the box,” she said.

She paid $ 300 for it and wrote the seller a message hoping to find out how well it was received. “The lady bought an old farmhouse in Nebraska and it was left there,” she said. “It’s an investment.”