Friday, May 16, 2014

3 from Pre-"P" - My Black Trefoil Collection

I suppose that it is only fitting that a pattern like Black Trefoil (3) actually came in 3 variations.   Trefoil is sort of a strange pattern though, as it was released in the "Pre" P-series era.  You see, originally (1958-spring 1961), Corningware didn't have model numbers.  During 1958-59 the information was embossed on the bottom center of the dish, but in 1960 Corning began using blue ink to print the dish size in quarts (or inches in the case of skillets) along with "Corning Ware Pyroceram" and "Made in the U.S.A".

Black Trefoil was originally released in 1960...  It's intention was to appeal to the "upper class" that might look down upon the humble little Blue Cornflower.   P-series model numbers weren't introduced until the Fall of 1961, along with the knob handled lids.  Thus, every piece of Black Trefoil produced before Fall 1961 had a Fin lid (like mine), and all pieces produced after (with P-series model number printed in black) had knob handles lids.

Now I am not sure which pattern variant came first or if they all came out at the same time, but the most well known is this one (shown on the 2 1/2 quart below)

which is known to exist in 1 3/4 quart (P-1 3/4-B) and 2 1/2 quart (P-2 1/2-B) Saucepans as well as the Electromatic Skillet (P-12-ES with an P-22-ES dish -- AKA: the SK-10) and several Percolators in both Stove Top (P-136 & P-139) and Electromatic (P-13-EP) versions.  (Please note that the 1st Generation Electromatic Percolators had different model numbers depending on the printed pattern.  The 10 cup Electromatic Percolator in Cornflower is P-23-EP while the Trefoil was P-13-EP.....   Also note that though the Back Trefoil Range Top models are identical in form to the P-116 and P-119, they were assigned different model numbers none the less.)

I have succeeded in getting my hands on the "Scroll" variant, but I have only seen this one on the Electromatic Skillet (SK-10) and not on ANY other sized piece.

Next to my "Standard" Trefoil 1 3/4 quart (cause it's printed in blue on the bottom) is my most recently acquired Black Trefoil variant...

Up until this piece, I had only seen the SK-10 skillet with this design... But even more surprising is the size of the piece.....

Yes, it really is a "1 1/2 quart" and not the more standard and well known 1 3/4 quart seen in the Main Pattern...   Thus, this one takes a Fin lid as well, like all the others.  Since this is the only piece I have seen, I cannot say as to whether the design carried over into the model number era beyond being applied to the Electromatic Skillet. 

I do not believe there is a Fin lid for the Electromatic Skillet as they were released in the fall of 1961, in the post Fin Handle Lid era... 

Where is your Corning Ware??


  1. I have a Corning Ware 10 cup coffee pot in Black Trefoil. What can you tell me about when this was made, if it is rare (I can't find another one) and what it is worth?


  2. I chanced upon a mail order catalog from the winter of 1961-2 that has a full page of Corning Ware offerings. These include Blue Cornflower, Starburst and Trefoil pieces, complete with pricing.

    Of great interest to me are the original prices. The 10-inch skillet with finned lid sold for $8.95 which in 2016 currency is a bit over $70.

    The Electromatic base with 10-inch skillet and domed lid went for a staggering $29.95, today equal to $238.

    Unfortunately this comments section doesn't allow images but if you are interested in posting this to your blog I have scanned the page and would be happy to send it along.

  3. Do you know if there is a platinum cradle (or any trivet for that matter) that fits the electromatic skillet. I have the black trefoil skillet but it does not fit in the P-10-M-1 cradle.

    1. There is a P-16-M cradle that should fit the electromatic skillet dish.

  4. I have a "my black trefoil" that has no markings, stamps etc. The size is different from the other pics listed above. It has a lid. I wish I could get a picture to you. I forgot my "google email" but you can email me "". Hope to hear back. I'm going to sell this piece but not sure what it's worth. Thanks, Angie DeLange

    1. Amgie, I sent you an email from the site's address. I would love to see a photo.

    2. Awesome! you should receive it shortley