Thursday, May 14, 2015

Seein' Stars - Unknown Black Atomic Star Pattern??

It all started with a conversation on Facebook in one of the Corning Ware collector's groups...   Someone had found a 2 1/2 quart saucepan with an elongated black star pattern on it.   None of us actually knew what the name of it was, cause none of us have seen a boxed piece. Up to that point, the only piece I had ever seen was a chipped and cracked 4 quart P-34-B dutch oven on Etsy over a year ago.  I did not purchase it, nor did I archive a picture of it.  At the time, I assumed it was just a test pattern piece, and I don't really collect those.  Several names were thrown out from Black Star and Atomic Start to Hyper Space and Event Horizon.  I contacted CMOG via email, but have not heard anything back yet...  Honestly, I am still waiting on a reply to an email I sent 6 months ago regarding the Green Wheat/Harvest Wheat/Wheat Floral pattern.

But true to Corning Ware form, cause these things go in waves, a 1 3/4 quart size appeared on eBay less than a month later.  I promptly purchased that one, so I could get a good look at one of these pieces.  It proved to be unmarked on the bottom.  No P-series mark, no embossing.... Nothing.   Which makes even attempting to date it's production virtually impossible, other than "prior to 1972" because of the P-series sized handle lugs.  (top piece)

Sadly, I lost an auction on a 1 quart sized piece last Tuesday.  (Which is where this photo is from)

But as with most things, when one door closes, another opens.  I became the owner of a 2 1/2 quart size piece just this morning, thanks to a fellow Facebook user with whom I worked out a trade.  (Thank you Terence!!)

I figured I should have at least 2 pieces in my possession before I wrote a blog post about it. Not that I am going to be able to do a "Big Reveal" on the name or anything, but this post will provide at least SOME information out on the internet about this pattern.

I would be up to only 4 known pieces, if it had not been for the original conversation on Facebook... You see another member graciously posted a picture of a 1 quart Saucemaker she had seen a while back.  (Thank you Heather!!) 

So to date, even though none of us know the name of the pattern and CMOG has not been forthcoming via email, we know there is at least a 1 quart, 1 3/4 quart & 2 1/2 quart saucepans, a 4 quart Dutch Oven and a 1 quart Saucemaker.

That seems like an awful lot of pieces (5) for it to have been simply a test pattern.  This leads me to believe it may have been one of the patterns made available to Corning Employees in the Employee shop... Like the Christmas/Holiday pieces.

Where is your Corning Ware??

Anybody out there have this pattern with a box??

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Following the Leader - Libbey Glass Ceramic Cookware

As you may know, Corning was not the only company to produce glass-ceramic cookware.  Oh, make no mistake, Corning invented and perfect the process of glass-ceramics.  It was Corning that manufactured pyroceram missile nose cones and they were first to market a glass ceramic cookware.  However, Corning Ware was such a hot product that other glass manufacturers had to jump on the bandwagon.

Anchor-Hocking released it's glass ceramic cookware in the early 60's (Black Wheat), but it was pulled from the market in 1968 due to a lawsuit by Corning for patent infringement.  Narumi, a porcelain manufacturer in Japan, also came up with a glass ceramic product (Neoceram), but was not marketed in the United states until the late 80s under the Mikasa name (Fire & Ice).  ARC, makers of Luminarc, Arcoroc and Arcopal glassware in France, came up with a glass ceramic product as well.  It was originally marketed through Princess House as "Nouveau", but also on the regular market in the mid 80s as "Arcoflam".  (Which, by the way, is still being manufactured in France to this day.)

One of the ones that most people are not familiar with, however, is Libbey glass's versions of glass ceramic cookware called Cer-Vit.  A play on the words Ceramic and Vitrification, no doubt.  I have no idea what the actual dates of manufacture are, but apparently it was only sold up until 1966.  The only pattern I have seen is the Brown Daisy.

The shape is a little strange, almost an oval, but not quite.

The bottoms are marked very simply with Libbey and, in this case, 1 quart saucepan.

Pieces that have surfaced to date are the 1 quart saucepan (above), 2 quart and 3 quart saucepans and an 8 inch skillet, though there may be other pieces out there.

The lids are shaped a little bizarrely and have white ceramic knobs that appear to be "riveted" on, so they are not removable or replaceable.

The handle has an interesting streamline shape that is surprisingly comfortable in the hand.

Simply place it on the dish lug, and flip the switch forward to lock.

They are marked on the underside with the script L within a circle and the word "Libbey".

Where is your Libbey Cookware??