NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
Ruby Lane's Past Times Newsletter for May 2005
Welcome to Past Times!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o Pyrex Is Hot! by Lorraine Buckley of Black Dog Kitchen
o Resurgent Interest in Worcester Flight Barr & Barr Period
Tea Wares (1813-1840) by Amy Ishmael of Oak Leaf Antiques
o Share Past Times with A Friend
PYREX IS HOT! BY LORRAINE BUCKLEY OF BLACK DOG
Kitchen Collectibles always evoke a sense of nostalgia. It's not
uncommon to hear comments such as, "My mom served her tuna
casserole in this bowl," or "I drank my morning juice from a
glass just like this!" It's no wonder vintage kitchen items are
so collectible! Everyone enjoys a walk down memory lane.
So today, with a new younger customer base, it's only logical
that the new items of desire are from the 50's, 60's, and 70's,
making Pyrex one of the new hot collectible items! Anybody
growing up in this era can recall a cupboard full of bold Pyrex
colors. Almost everyone has a memory related to the primary bowl
or refrigerator set, making them one of the more desired items
in the Pyrex line. From the large yellow bowl, to the smallest
blue, there is a size for every function, whether it be serving
or mixing. And picture how pretty it will look inside your
refrigerator when you find your leftovers stored in Pyrex
refrigerator dishes. Although the primary colors may be one of
the more popular sets, there ia a plethora of styles and colors
to choose from. No matter what decorator colors you have choosen
for your kitchen, Pyrex will have a bowl and refrigerator set to
Pyrex dinnerware is another item gaining in popularity. With
colors to match every scheme... you can choose from flamingo
pink, turquoise, burgundy, green, grey and even chartreuse.
Available in two styles, choose from either a solid color band
or the more elegant color band with gold trim. Durable, vintage
Pyrex withstood daily abuse and so it is easy to find full sets
in very nice condition. Starter sets included dinner and salad
plates, fruit bowls and cups with saucers. Other size pieces
are available, including cereal bowls, bread plates, vegetable
bowls, platters and sugar and creamers. These pieces are
somewhat harder to find and add to the excitement of the hunt!
Mugs have always been a collectible kitchen item and Pyrex
doesn't disappoint here, either. Mugs can range in price from a
couple of dollars to over $100.00, depending on scarcity.
Harder to find advertising mugs are the more collectible ones,
but you can put together a nice set of pretty floral mugs for
Of course, we'd be remiss not to mention the Pyrex flameware
line. If you want a perfect cup of coffee, brew it in a Pyrex
coffeepot. Available in many different styles, these coffeepots
have been around for a long time attesting to their
functionality and durability. There are teapots, saucepans,
baking dishes and much more in this line. Find ones with clear
blue tinted glass, minimal wear, and shiny stainless bands. The
handles on items with lids will help you date pieces: knobs
being newer and tab handles being older.
Still reasonable in price, you can find Pyrex items online, at
garage sales and flea markets. But don't let that fool you as
they are also being featured at reputable Glass Shows. I've
noticed more and more dealers making room on their tables for
Pyrex. Reference books solely dedicated to this hot trend are
When shopping for Pyrex, look for strong design and no use
marks. When purchasing, make sure the color is strong with only
minor wear and there should be no chips or cracks. Be sure that
your find bears the Pyrex logo, as almost all Pyrex items will
have their logo on them. Unused sets still in the box are
always a great find and located with a little luck. Many a
wedding shower gift was put away, unused, only to come out of
hiding at an estate or tag sale. You can still be picky with
Pyrex as, for the time being, it's still abundant!
Have fun collecting Pyrex and better yet, enjoy using it!
We invite you to visit Lorraine's shop, Black Dog Kitchen
BARR PERIOD TEA WARES (1813-1840) BY AMY ISHMAEL
OF OAK LEAF ANTIQUES
Flight Barr & Barr tea wares were prized nearly 200 years ago as
the table adornments of the privileged. With the Victorian age
came an expansion of tableware production, which allowed the
wealthy middle class to afford porcelain, too. However,
Flight, Barr & Barr proved slow to adapt to changing aesthetics
during the Reign of Queen Victoria. Consumer interest fell and
the firm suffered financially, finally merging with Robert
Chamberlain in 1840. The wares remained out of favor until the
last decades of the twentieth century. As noted in Sotheby's
Concise Encyclopedia of Porcelain, "During this last period the
quality of wares was outstanding." Their work is noted for the
superiority of craftsmanship and the fineness of their finish.
Flight, Barr & Barr paid their painters by the hour instead of
by the item, which encouraged them to do their best work.
On the simple tea wares a shade of salmon known as "Barr's
Orange" became a popular ground color during this period. A
ground developed during this time was a marbled design, though
it is a bit more rare. The services were embellished with
mercury oxide based gilding that is bright and hard. Their
designs range from simple ground colors with gilded leaves to
enameled floral sprays, insects, shells, landscapes, birds,
animals and figures.
A whole book could be written on the more elaborate pieces of
this period, which included vases and desk accessories. However,
I believe the charm and excellence of the tea wares are being
rediscovered because they fit comfortably into both the formal
and more casual rooms of today's homes.
A sugar boat complementing the color of a room is at home
holding candy on the entranceway table or holding guest soaps in
the powder room. A tray with gadrooning becomes a useful
accessory on the buffet or a focal point to adorn a wall. A
teapot may be used for tea or as a floral vase. Prices are still
reasonable for this period and these newer collectors are
getting the satisfaction of collecting, decorating and using
high quality antique accessories from a leading firm.
What to look for: First choose the style of painted decoration
you enjoy. You don't want a home filled with examples that do
nothing to increase your pleasure. Then, if thinking toward
investment, select the best condition items from the period that
you can find within that genre.
Chips and cracks will devalue an item significantly. Because tea
ware by nature came in sets it is worth holding out for an
example without that damage. Commissioned services or a rarer
pattern may be the exception to this guideline. Gilding loss is
a more acceptable fault in tea ware. Because many wares were
used daily, the set could be well cared for and still exhibit
some gilt loss over the years. Marks: Some pieces were stamped
with the full name and address of the firm "Flight, Barr & Barr,
Worcester Coventry St. London" below a printed crown. Others
have the name and location of the firm hand written on the
bottom. Still other examples bore the impressed crown with an
impressed FBB under it, identifying it to the public as Flight,
Barr & Barr. Not all period pieces in a service would be marked
when manufactured so don't pass up an unmarked example that you
like if the quality measures up.
Study the various shapes, painters and patterns from the period
by visiting museums or shops that carry tea wares from the
Worcester factory. Compare the quality of the various periods of
production. Look for fine modeling, finish and gilt details as
all items were done by hand.
Flight Barr & Barr period tea ware is indeed making a comeback,
once again being appreciated by collectors and decorators for
its excellent quality.
We invite you to visit Amy Ishmael's shop Oak Leaf Antiques at :
Oak Leaf Antiques to view some examples of Flight, Barr & Barr
tea ware currently in stock.
Do you enjoy receiving Past Times every month? Do you know
others who would enjoy receiving it? We invite you forward this
issue on to others. Happy reading!
We are one of the largest Internet sites for collectors, with an
active community of hundreds of shops from all over the world
offering antiques, fine art, arts & crafts, and collectibles.
Ruby Lane displays quality inventory in over 2,000 categories.
Visit us at www.rubylane.com
If you have a suggestion on how Ruby Lane can better serve you,
or if you have an article you would like to submit or a subject
you would like us to cover in an upcoming issue, contact us at
For previous newsletters, view the Past Times Archives.
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
© 1998-2013 Ruby Lane Inc. ® All Rights Reserved.
Press the Back button on your browser to return to the previous screen.