Monday, December 10, 2012

Avoiding Identity Theft - The French White Doppelgänger

I have been receiving a lot of inquiries regarding French White, and how to tell the difference between the original pyroceramic version vs. the newer stoneware versions.  I can understand the confusion, since the French White was never discontinued and merely had it's constitution changed.  Cornflower, Spice of Life, Wild Flower and Floral Bouquet on the other hand, were discontinued and never produced in stoneware.  Thus when you find pieced in Thrift Stores, you are pretty much guaranteed that they are constructed of Pyroceramic glass and safe to use on the stove top.

So, I am going to try and pictorially show the differences between the two versions of French White.

Here they are, side by side.  French White 16oz (500ml) or (473ml) Ramekins. The pyroceramic French White piece is on the Left, and the new stoneware French White imposter is on the right.

As you can see, they do look slightly different.  The color of the stoneware is a little more of a cream color instead of the true white of pyroceramic glass.  The lines of the pyroceram version are a little cleaner and crisper, giving it a more "faceted" appearance,

while the stoneware version has softer detailing that give is a more "fluted" look.

But when all is said and done, it is the bottom that give the most information.

Pyroceramic glass pieces are smooth on the bottom.

Stoneware pieces have a firing ring where they sat in the kiln.

That's this ring right here.  It is unglazed and will feel kind of rough. 

If your piece has this ring, then it is not safe to use on the stove top nor under the broiler.  In the US, they are clearly marked as not being safe for stove top or  broiler. They also are printed with their country of manufacture, in this case China, along with standard 16oz and metrics 473ml marked on it.

Pyroceramic glass is made in either the USA or France (I think the German factory only made Borosilicate Pyrex) and will be marked on the bottom with an F-16-B along with a 500ml mark which is actually slightly more than 16oz.

I hope this information helps the next time you are scoping out some French White pieces in the thrift store.  Good Luck in your hunting!

Where is your Conringware?