CorningWare originated in Corning, NY in 1958. It was created as an oven-to-table cookware and it could be used on the stovetop as well. Vintage CorningWare is anything made prior to 1999, which is the year that the brand was sold to World Kitchens. The most valuable pieces were made with a limited run.
CorningWare is popular with collectors today because there is a trend in mid-century modern pieces that are made after World War II, especially in the 1960s. Baby boomers are collecting the items that they grew up with. Read on to learn how to tell if your CorningWare is vintage.
Check the Backstamp
When CorningWare was first produced, it was extremely popular right away. In fact, it was so popular that other manufacturers started making patterns and pieces that were very similar and almost identical to CorningWare pieces. It is hard to know by looking at the piece if it is CorningWare or not. However, there is a backstamp on the underside of CorningWare pieces. Prior to 1998, the backstamp will read “Corning Ware” in two words.
In 1998, the company began using “Corningware” as one word, and this continued for another four years before it was discontinued. In 2009, they began making it again, and it is marked “CorningWare.” It is important to remember that the company name was Corning, Inc., which made both CorningWare and Pyrex, but these are two separate divisions of the company.
Look at the Pattern
CorningWare is known for its patterns and the pattern on your piece can tell you if it is vintage or not. The original pattern was a triple-cornflower motif and it was normally blue on a white dish. This pattern was consistently produced throughout the years while others were made for specific periods of time.
Some of the rare patterns are as follows:
- Black starburst percolator: 1959 to 1963
- Blue Heather: 1976 to 1977
- Butterscotch: 1969
- Nature’s Bounty: limited edition gift line in 1971
- Platinum Filigree: limited edition gift line 1966 to 1968
- Renaissance: limited edition gift line in 1970
- Medallion: olive green stenciled design that was a Shell Oil Co. promotional piece from 1972 to 1974
- Spice O’ Life: table design with French word in script underneath
- Wild Flower: large poppies with yellow, blue, and green accents
- Country Festival: folk art motif with two bluebirds and a tulip
If you find that you have any of these items, they are not only vintage but popular among collectors as well.
Ask a Professional
Another way that you can determine whether your CorningWare is vintage is by checking with a professional. You can buy a reference book by a professional and will have pictures and descriptions of all of the pieces and when they were made. You can also go to an antique shop or thrift shop to find out what their experts think. There are authenticators online who can often tell you whether your CorningWare is vintage or not with a few pictures of the item.
CorningWare was incredibly popular and the products are so durable that many have lasted and are still around today. If you are looking to purchase CorningWare, you will get better prices if you look at thrift shops and garage sales. People do trade CorningWare online but the prices are much higher.
Often, trends in collecting are based on the people who do the collecting and today Baby Boomers are buying the items they grew up with. CorningWare has experienced a recent surge in popularity for this reason. Whether you are looking to add a few vintage pieces to your kitchen or you have them already, you can find out if it is vintage by following the steps listed above.