Sunday, February 26, 2012

Putting it all together

I recently moved this cabinet into the kitchen. At first I filled it with mixing bowls and Pyrex I wanted to display. But then I had a change of heart. My 1950's Pyrex dinnerware has never been out on display, so I decided this would be a good opportunity to pull it out.

This is a hodge-podge of 4 colors of Pyrex dinnerware and a whole rainbow of Homer Laughlin dishes. Mostly Fiesta, Harlequin & Riviera.

The Pyrex dinnerware was my first love. I started hunting vintage Pyrex two summers ago. But instead of finding a bowl like I was looking for, I found 3 grey teacups and a serving bowl. And once I researched them, I made up my mind pretty much immediately that I wanted all 4 colors they came in - dove grey, flamingo red/pink, turquoise, & lime green.

Fast forward almost two years later as I am discovering Fiesta and other vintage HLC lines. What crossed my mind then was the idea that I could collect complimentary HLC pieces that were never even made in Pyrex, such as teapots, coffeepots, gravy boats, certain serving pieces, etc. Even the colors line up. Fiesta Chartreuse to Pyrex Lime, turquoise to turquoise, grey to grey - But no real match to Flamingo (Rose is the closest).

Well, come to find out that - of all colors - Flamingo pink may actually be the newest HLC color this year. I think they'll announce it in March. It would be really cool if it is!

And while I think it was a good idea/intention to only collecting complimentary pieces, that's not exactly what's happened. I've bought redundant pieces, like as teacups, creamers, & sugars and also bought plenty of Fiesta colors that are not at all the 4 that match the Pyrex. I think, like plenty of other collectors, if it's nice, and in my price range, it's all mine. LOL!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day loot!

Can you tell from this blog that holidays are mostly just an excuse for the hubs & I to go antique shopping?

And shop we did. And I think I got some killer bargains.First up, this vintage ivory Fiesta ice-lip pitcher might not be a bargain to anyone but me because of its numerous cosmetic issues - the biggest of which is a chip on the spout. Also two chips around the base & scuffing both inside and out. But I fell in love with it. I washed it up with TLC and told it that it was home now, where it could retire with some equally chippy brethren.

Now this brings me to a question: Are you willing to buy chipped pieces? And pay more than just a yard sale or thrift store price?

My personal philosophy is this: I will buy damaged pieces if this price seems fair (takes all the damage into account) - especially and particularly on a piece I otherwise couldn't afford. It's important to me that the price is fair, because I may replace the piece in the future, so I'd like the damaged one to be inexpensive enough I could just give it to someone who might enjoy it and not feel like I wasted too much money.

Also, a replacement piece in my price range may not come along. Soon or ever. I'd much rather have a reasonably priced but damaged piece than have no piece at all. I just wonder how much my philosophy agrees or disagrees with fellow collectors?
Now, I don't understand the dealer I bought these from. They had them marked "New Fiesta" and priced at 10 dollars a piece.

I'm 99.99% sure these are the real deal vintage. There's confusion with turquoise, since it has been around almost the entire lifespan of Fiesta, only to change shades in the P86 era (the new turquoise is greener). But what got me was that this particular dealer had other vintage Tom & Jerry mugs as well as cream soup bowls right there is their own booth to compare these to, and all the others were correctly labeled vintage and were 4 times the price!

These were obviously just for me, then, because turquoise is my favorite vintage Fiesta color (Scarlet in the new Fiesta), and Tom & Jerry mugs are one of my most favorite pieces. So hooray!
A complete set! Outstanding!! I've had the smaller brown-on-white pieces for well over a year now and was just missing the biggest white-on-brown piece (the 503 for those of you who speak Pyrex-ese). Now my Early American refrigerator dish set is finally complete. I also have the 3 non-handled mixing bowls, which are all the pieces I'm collecting for this pattern. I'd love to find the largest bowl (the 404) some day, but it's fairly uncommon, so I consider my bowl set complete without it.

Gosh, I'm long-winded. But I'm almost done. And my final piece is a jaw-dropper!

This is a piece I seriously didn't even think I would even SEE in real life, much less own. It is the coveted and expensive Fire King "Kitchen Aids" pattern!

This baby here is a salt shaker. And I paid...........drumroll please.......


I am thrilled to the gills!

My first thought when I saw it was "this has got to be a repro". But it had every characteristic of being real. From rusty lid to brown, nasty salt still inside it! (Come on, dealers!!! Can't you even WASH your wares before putting them out to sell?!)

And here's my insane good luck with shakers. I've got a total of 12 dollars invested in these. No joke.

But, if it makes you feel better, I have wholly and disgracefully overpaid for every single mixing bowl I've bought to match the tulips, so my great bargains are kind of a wash in bigger picture.

It was a great Valentine's day, a great adventure with the hubs (who also found some neat treasures which I refuse to blog about, because he's got his own blog that he never updates! LOL).

Have a great day & great treasure hunting!

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Fire King Charm collection, One year later

I just noticed that it's been almost a year to the day since I first wrote about my
Fire King Charm collection. And I don't believe I've updated since.

Well last night I found - or I should say, my husband rather triumphantly found a Forest Green Salad Bowl at GW for $2.99. Same GW I found the Serving Platter & a saucer at last year.

This is the only piece I've come across at a thrift in all that time. The rest of my pieces have been antique store purchases.

First up, I was very happy to find this dinner plate. I'd never actually seen the gold foil sticker before that was/is the only identifier on most pieces of Charm. This was the only one with a sticker from a stack of dinner plates, all 5 dollars each.

At first all I was going to buy was the one with the sticker. But then I had a change of heart and bought 4 more. I rationalized it as a 20 dollar splurge. I'm too cheap to spend 3 dollars a piece for more Corelle plates from Walmart in my pattern (Memphis), but I'll spend 5 bucks piece on vintage plates that I don't even use. Go figure!

And I didn't know it at the time, but 5 dollars a piece for barely-if-ever-used dinner plates is actually a pretty good price.
And here's the rest of my collection. Not much progress at all on other colors. No Jadeite, only a single Royal Ruby teacup, and a few little Azurite saucers, sans teacups.

Hopefully by this time next year I'll have the same pieces in Azurite as I have in Forest Green!