Rummage through your mum or grandmother’s cookery collection and you may discover a gold mine. That old CorningWare baking dish languishing in the back of the cupboard could be worth a small fortune.
With the 1970s retro revival in interior decorating comes classic cookware to have on display and these little numbers are fast becoming collectable, with some netting as much as $10,000 at auction.
Glass expert, Dean Six, told New Idea Food that the familiar white casserole dish is making a comeback in a big way, but the more rare the pattern, the higher the price at auction.
The US-based parent company behind iconic kitchenware brands including Corningware, Pyrex, Instant Pot and Corelle has filed for bankruptcy.
Instant Brands President and CEO Ben Gadbois says “After successfully navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the global supply chain crisis, we continue to face additional global macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges that have affected our business. In particular, tightening of credit terms and higher interest rates impacted our liquidity levels and made our capital structure unsustainable.”
Prices for second-hand Corningware items have been listed on eBay, Etsy and Facebook Marketplace for exorbitant prices. One set of four casserole dishes featuring the ‘Spice of Life’ pattern is currently available on Etsy for $30,000.The end of Corningware?
Common CorningWare patterns
Perhaps the most recognisable CorningWare design is the pretty blue ‘Cornflower’ pattern. Because this pattern is so common, however, it remains more widely available and is less valuable to collectors. These versatile dishes are still excellent to own and cook with, as the ceramic cookware can be used on the stove and in the oven.
Valuable CorningWare patterns
1. Spice of Life (1972-1987)
The ‘Spice of Life’ range is widely regarded as the second-most common CorningWare pattern after Cornflowers. But, certain models in this range can fetch thousands of dollars online when they are in good condition with the original lid.
Only the earliest dishes had the model name inscribed below the pattern. Rare model names include ‘L’echalote La Marjolaine’ and ‘Le Romarin’. According to rarest.org, the holy grail for collectors is the ‘Spice of Life 4-quart casserole dish’ which has sold online for upwards of $4000.
2. Floral Bouquet (1971-1975)
One of the most rare designs is the ‘Floral Bouquet’ pattern which was manufactured for a very short time period between 1971 and 1975.
The pattern features the outlines of flowers in orange, black and blue with pale green leaves.
A second, limited edition version the Floral Bouquet design was released in 1971 and features the same familiar flower design but on a yellow, rather than white, background.
The “Wildflower” pattern, which is was made between 1977 and 1984 and is harder to find now.
The design features bright red poppies surrounded by yellow daises and small blue flowers.
4. Country Festival (1975-1976)
The ‘Country Festival’ design is also referred to as the ‘Friendship’ pattern.
The symmetrical design is reminiscent of cross-stitching and features two blue birds facing each other surrounded by orange flowers.
“Collecting is often what you remember, which is why this is big now because baby boomers are buying back what they grew up with” says expert Dean Six. “Boomers are decorating with these pieces in their homes.”
Take another look at that teapot above your fridge your Mum gave you when you first moved house – if it’s in good condition with no cracks or discolouration it may be worth thousands of dollars!