Friday, October 24, 2014

Harvest Time - Corning Ware P-series "Harvest" Pattern

Originally available in early 1970 as part of the Floral Bouquet Limited Edition Gift Line, the 1 3/4 quart Party Buffet set (P-516) in solid Butterscotch (with matching butterscotch ceramic knob) appeared to have been a hit.  Or at least enough of a hit for Corning to expand the color into a line.

That line was called "Harvest".  (not to be confused with "Garden Harvest", a 90s A-series pattern)

Though expanded beyond it's original 1 piece offering, the "Harvest" pattern was only available in 3 sizes; the 1 quart (P-1-B), 1 1/2 quart (P-1 1/2-B) and the 1 3/4 quart (P-1 3/4-B) all came with Pyrex clear P-7-C sized lid. (The ceramic knob had disappeared)

Production continued until 1972 with the release of the A-series model Corning Ware.

Where is your Corning Ware??

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Flower Power! - The Floral Bouquet (1st Edition) Limited Gift Line

Though the Floral Bouquet pattern is covered in "the books".  I think these dates refer only to the 2nd and 3rd editions of the pattern (1970-1975) at which point a larger selection of pieces were in production.  1st Edition Floral Bouquet, however, was originally released in the fall of 1969 as a Limited Edition Gift line, just like Platinum Filigree (1966), Renaissance (1970) & Nature's Bounty (1971).   Unlike the other 3 gift lines, however, Floral Bouquet evolved over time, even before breaking out into a full fledged line.

At the end of 1969 Corning released just 3 pieces.  Similar to the Platinum Filigree Gift Line, the Party Buffet (1 3/4 quart) and the Royal Buffet (2 1/2 quart) were chosen.  However, unlike Platinum Filligree, the percolator released was a P-119 Stove Top model instead of an Electromatic (P-80-EP or P-6-EP).  It should be noted here that some of the P-119 percolators are marked as P-219, which means they were originally intended to be sold as "Just/All White" percolators, but apparently the popularity of the pattern forced Corning to dip into their "Just/All White" back stock to produce more Floral Bouquet percolators

These 1st Edition Floral Bouquet saucepans featured a wrap around pattern of white flowers in "negative" due pale avocado outlining and gold linen textured background print.  The matching percolator did not have a wrap around pattern, merely a portion of the design was set front and center.

As with all of Corning's Limited Edition Gift Lines these Floral Bouquet pieces were sold in specially designed boxes featuring a unique numbering system.  Thus, though the piece itself may be marked as a P-1 3/4-B, the box, containing the dish, lid and candle warmer cradle, was labeled as P-520.

Now this is where it gets fun.   Apparently, the gift line was a huge success, so Corning scrambled to add more pieces to the line.. Thus, in early 1970, more pieces were added, though not ALL had the floral pattern.  A couple of coordinating solids were added to break up the busy-ness of the design, when it went to the table.  After all, serve ware should compliment your table, not perpetrate a chaotic assault on your visual cortex.

Added to the original 3 pieces were the P-1 1/2-B with plastic trivet (box P-510), along with a new option for the P-1 3/4; being the plastic trivet (box P-515) instead of Family Buffet candle warmer (box P-520).  The solid complimentary colors were an Avocado P-2 1/2 with Candle Warmer (box P-517) and a Butterscotch P-1 3/4, also with Candle Warmer (box P-516).

1st Edition Floral Bouquet (and coordinates) kicked off what would become a tradition for Corning's "Limited Edition Gift Lines"; the "special" lids.  While Renaissance and Nature's Bounty both had pebble textured lids, the 1st Edition Floral Bouquet & Complimentary Colors had a ceramic knob that literally screwed down onto a threaded stump on the top of the lid. 

These knobs matched the dish.  

Floral Bouquet print pieces had white knobs (to match the negative space flowers) the Butterscotch Party Buffet had a butterscotch knob and the Avocado Royal Buffet had an Avocado knob.

The lid sizes are equivalent to the standard sizes, but followed by an extra C in their model number.  Thus, the P-1 1/2-B and P-1 3/4-B both have a P-7-CC sized lid and the P-2 1/2-B has a P-9-CC sized lid regardless of the knob color.

Though Floral Bouquet changed to the solid yellow background in late 1970 (2nd edition) it appears that a few other pieces were produced in the 1st edition pattern before the change to the design was made   The P-22-B Electromatic Skillet would be one of these pieces.

I also tracked down a P-80-EP Electromatic percolator... Alas, it was smashed during shipping because the seller did not properly pad the heating element inside..

To date, I have found no catalog information giving a date for the addition of these 2 pieces to the Gift Line.

Where is your Corning Ware??

Monday, October 13, 2014

"My Collection" Monday - Prepare to be Amazed!

I received some incredible Corning Ware collection photos from Bonnie in San Jose.   I am in awe!

1 Liter/Quart Saucepans (Spice O' Life, Cornflower, Forever Yours, My Garden "Traditional", Shadow Iris, Sunsations, Fruit Basket, Shadow Iris, Rosemarie, Blue Dusk, Silk & Roses, Provincial Blue, Blue Velvet)

1.5 Liter/Quart Saucepans (Fruit Basket, Lyrics, Spice O' Life, Symphony, Summerhill "Centura", Cornflower, 3rd edition Floral Bouquet, Autumn Meadow "Imoco")

2 Liter/Quart Saucepans (Spice O' Life, Forever Yours, 3rd Edition Floral Bouquet., Oceanview, Fruit Basket, Orchard Rose, Shadow Iris, Country Festival, Wildflower, Pastel Bouquet, Provincial Blue, Abundance)

 3 Liter/ 2 1/2 Quart Saucepans (Trefoil, Forever Yours, Country Cornflower, Pastel Bouquet, Duck)

5 Liter/Quart Sauce pot (Pastel Floral, Garden Harvest)

Baking Dishes (Wheat, Cornflower, Cornflower roaster, Wildflower, Country Festival)

Menu-ette Saucepans and Saucemakers (Spice O' Life Menu-ette, M-68-B Microwave Saucepot, Shell Oil's Green Macrame - 9 inch skillet and the Menu-ettes)

Petite Pans (Lots of Cornflower, American Oil Star pattern, Fresh Cut, Spice O' Life, Peach Floral, Country Cornflower, Fruit Basket)

Sidekicks & Baking Trays (Conventional and Microwave browning)

Merry Mushroom (Corning Ware Round)

Centura & Buffet Servers (Centura White Server and Butterscotch Round)

Casual Elegance (White Flora)

My Garden (on French White), Classic Black & Designer Casserole (April)

Christmas pieces

Grab-Its and French White

Even the "Copy Cats"  Anchor Hocking Cookware (pulled from the market in 1969), Mikasa Fire & Ice (by Narumi) and Arcoflam Nouveau from France (made For Princess House) with Pyrex Fireside tinted lid.

WOW!  Is all I have to say.

Where is your Corning Ware?? 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Which Came First, The Trefoil or the Variant? - The Trefoil Collection (Pre & Post P-series)

I have posted about the Trefoil pattern before, but I think it's time to break the entire collection out. Not just the standard 1 3/4 quart & 2 1/2 quart Saucepans, Electromatic Skillet and the 3 percolators in the pattern that we are all most familiar with....

I mean the whole kit and kaboodle. 

Meaning the "Standard" Trefoil and all it's variants. (for there are 2)

Made available in 1960 to catch a "higher class" consumer, Trefoil hit the market smack dab in the middle of the Pre P-series era (1958-1961).  Thus, older pieces have the blurry blue ink print found on 2nd generation Corning Ware, which means they were paired with Fin handle lids,

while others are stamped with the standard P-series model # of the 3rd generation, meaning they deserve knob handle lids. (1 3/4 quart is the only "P-series" cookware piece I currently have)

The P-139 and P-136 Stove Top percolators (1963-1965) seem to have only been available in the "standard" pattern, but the Electromatic Percolator (P-13-EP) predates the Stove top models by 3 years. (being available in 1960 along with the Electromatic Skillet)  It is possible that it is available in the variant pattern.

Speaking of Electromatic Skillets, the Trefoil Electromatic Skillet predates the Cornflower model by 1 year.  Trefoil patterned Electromatics were available in 1960 while the Cornflower patterned version was not made available until 1961.  It seems that ALL three variants were available at some point in Electromatic Skillet form.  Since the Electromatic Immersible Warming Tray was not on the market until 1964, it is possible that a Trefoil pattern was never produced since the pattern was discontinued shortly after in 1965.

The "Scroll" variant (right), was only available on the Electromatic Skillet.  (Note: that though the booklet has the "Standard" pattern and the box states "Trefoil" the skillet that came out of it, is a "Scroll" pattern one)

The variant on the left, however, appears to have been around from the very beginning because of this piece...

The 10 inch Skillet with the Pyroceram lid.  (which isn't available in the "standard" pattern)

It has the "Blurry Blue Ink" dating it to 1960-1961, along with the odd sized 1 1/2 quart and a 1 quart size that have been found in this same variant.

That being said, it appears that the only cookware available in the "standard" pattern, was the 1 3/4 quart, 2 1/2 quart, 11 inch Electromatic Skillet and, of course, percolators.

Where is your Corning Ware??

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

J C Penney Exclusive Design, by Corning - My JCP-Series Collection

I know very little about this pattern, except what I have read off the bottoms of the dishes themselves.  This slightly Scandinavian looking pattern may have an official name like "Needlepoint", "Candlewicking" or "Embroidery".  Your guess is as good as mine.  I usually just refer to it as the "J C Penney" pattern.  The design appears to be printed in what I would call Khaki green (somewhere between avocado green and taupe....  closer to the color of army fatigues than anything else)

Like the "Wheat" pattern, the J C Penney pattern has it's own model designation "JCP", even though it has P-series handle lugs.  Also of note, and what makes the model numbers slightly different from the norm, is that the ending hyphen is missing.   Thus, what would normally be a P-1-B or a W-1-B (in the case of the Wheat pattern), a 1 quart saucepan in the JC Penney pattern is marked as a JCP-1B with no hyphen. 

The only pieces I am currently aware of are the 1 quart (JCP-1B), the 1 1/2 quart (JCP-1 1/2B) and the 22oz Petite dish (JCP-43B)

As you can see from the bottoms, this was a pattern made exclusively for the JC Penney stores sometime before 1972, when the handle lugs were enlarged.  Since it has the proverbial "For Range & Microwave" printed on the bottom, my guess is that it began production in 1970.  It is unclear if these pieces actually graced the store shelves, or if they were only available through the Catalog.

Where is your Corning Ware??

Friday, October 3, 2014

Amber Waves of Grain - My W-Series Wheat Collection

The Wheat pattern seems to be an enigma.  Stories abound about how this was the original design in tended to grace the sides of Corning Ware pieces, but the final design wasn't ready, so the Cornflower took it's place in 1958 and stuck.  Most of these stories end with the fact that the Wheat pattern was revisited years later and released to a limited market (Bon Marche stores in the Pacific NW) in a limited number of pieces for only couple of years before it was discontinued again.

I am not buying this story anymore.

I have found WAY too many pieces that prove that production of this pattern began in 1963 (possibly 1962) and lasted at least until 1969, but more likely all the way through to 1971.  I also do not believe the pattern was restricted to the West Coast, since I see a LOT of Wheat pieces being sold on eBay and Etsy that are located in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida or New York.

Unlike other patterns printed on traditional square Corning Ware pieces, Wheat has it's own model designation (W-series vs. P-series), though the handle lugs are the same size as the P-series pieces.  To date I have never found a piece in the Wheat pattern with A-series sized lugs (1972).

This is my Wheat collection as of October 2014....   It is still not complete, as there are several pieces I know exist, but still need to track down.

The Basic Cookware Pieces.....

Back-left:  W-2 1/2-B (2 1/2 quart Saucepan) with W-17 (2 quart Double Boiler insert), W-10-B (10 inch Skillet), W-16-B (11 inch Skillet), W-34-B (4 quart Dutch Oven)
Front-left: W-1 3/4-B (1 3/4 quart Saucepan), W-1-B (1 quart Saucepan), W-4-B (1 1/2 quart Baker), W-1 1/2-B (1 1/2 quart Saucepan)

The Menu-ettes and Petites.....

Top-left: W-81-B (1 pint Saucepan), W-82-B (1 1/2 pint Saucepan), W-83-B (6 1/2 inch Skillet)
Top-right: W-41-B (12 oz), W-43-B (22 oz) both with P-41-PC (Plastic Cover)

The Bakeware and Misc. (which gives me a potential end date for the pattern)

Back-left: W-105 (8 cup Teapot), W-103 (3 cup Teapot)
Back-center: W-309 (9 inch pie plate), W-322 (8 inch Baker), W-35 (Broil and Bake Tray)
Back-right: W-65-B (2 quart Saucemaker), W-64-B (1 quart Saucemaker)
Not Pictured - W-104 (6 cup teapot) which is still in a box mixed with other things and not labeled so I have not been able to find it.

The P-309 Pie Plate (back center) was released in 1967 while the P-322 Square Baker (middle center) was not released until 1968.

The Electromatics (These give me the beginning date for the pattern)

Back-left: P-12-ES with W-22 Skillet (flat ground W-16), W-6-EP (6 cup Percolator), W-53 (Self Timing Saucepan with flat ground W-4)
Front-center: W-54 (Immersible Warming Tray)

The P-53 Self-Timing Saucepan (right) gives me the beginning date for this pattern, as it was only available in 1963.  Granted, the Electromatic Skillet P-12-ES (left) was released in 1962, so it is possible that the pattern was released earlier, but the Saucepan proves that the pattern was in production in '63

There are several other pieces that I know exist, but do not have in my possession for one reason or another.  The 4 quart Sauce pot (W-84-B) and Deluxe Tea Kettle (W-57) I purchased were both broken during shipping.  I have found every one of the Open Roasters (W-332, W-21 & W-76) as well as the "Well & Tree" Roasting Tray (W-19) and the Loaf Pan (W-315) at one time or another at the Thrift Stores, but each time I found one of these pieces, it had a big chip taken out of the rim, so I left them.  I have seen the 8 inch Round Cake dish (W-321) in an antique store, but it was WAY too expensive.  There are also 2 stove top Percolators (W-116 & W-119) and the 10 cup Electromatic percolator (W-80-EP).  All of them are on the "recall list" because of their epoxied stainless steel rims. 

There are several potential pieces that were possibly made during the Wheat Timeline (1962-1969) though none have been confirmed as of yet.  These items would include such pieces as the original W-504 & W-508 Beverage Servers from 1965 or the original 10 cup Electromatic Percolator (W-23-EP) which was discontinued in 1966 in lieu of the W-80-EP.

Where is your Corning Ware??

Update:  10/09/2014...   Yes, 6 days after writing this post, I found a W-19 "Well & Tree" Roasting Tray (that wasn't chipped)....


Update:  12/31/2014...   More additions to the collection (Santa was kind this year).  W-321 cake dish (8 inch round), W-9-B Skillet (9 inch), W-315 Bread Dish and the large W-76-B Open Roaster.


Update:  4/4/2015...  Newest additions to the Wheat family of pieces.  The W-116 percolator (6 cup) sits next to the W-119 percolator (9 cup) and both sit in the P-21-B Open Roaster.  Next is the large 4 quart Sauce pot (W-84-B) which thankfully arrived unbroken this time.... and right down in front, the little 7 inch Skillet (W-7-B)

Update: 5/6/2015....  At first, I was just excited that I got my hands on a P-332 Oblong Baker...

THEN, this other beauty showed up in the world...   Yes!

And thanks to Karen in Seattle, it has now come to join my collection.   The W-910-B... This means I can push the Wheat production as late as 1970 (the year these were released), possibly 1971.

As to whether this means there is a W-908-B (8 1/2 inch skillet) out there, I am not sure....  That size did not come out until the spring of 1972 and was only available for a VERY short time.  By Fall of that year, the A-series hit the market.  That being said, though it is very unlikely for the W-908 to exist, I must concede that anything is possible when it comes to Corning Ware. (I have learned my lesson) 

Only 1 more confirmed piece to go...  The W-57 Deluxe Tea Kettle.

Now, as far as UNconfirmed pieces go... The W-23-EP 1st generation Electromatic Percolator (10 cup), a W-124 Stove top percolator (4 cup), a W-85 flat ground bottomed 4 quart Sauce pot and the Beverage Servers (W-504 & W-508) may all exist.   But, as I said, all of these  pieces remain unconfirmed at this point.