Wednesday, May 01, 2013
It's been a couple years, but I remember it clearly. A 3 piece (out of 4) set of the perfect aqua pyrex bowels at an Antique Fair. I decided we'd look around and come back later. When we did come back, they were gone. A fatal shopping regret I've thought of numerous times over the years. So when I recently came across the smallest aqua bowl I bought it. Then I realized I could piece a set together off ebay and etsy. And that's just what I did. Yesterday I received my last bowl.
Behold, my complete set of aqua pyrex nesting bowels.
I've got a thing for aqua colored vintage server-ware. And vintage kitchen ware in general, but this aqua-turquoise color will always call out to me. The thing about collecting these vintage pieces is of course about style and a love of all things vintage, but there's also a story to go with each piece. The small round cast iron dish was found in a little thrift store in New London, Connecticut during a Thanksgiving vacation a number of years ago. Almost let the husband talk me out of that one... I (he) would have regretted that one for a long time. The large dish in the back right is actually a vintage Le Creuset dutch oven, also called La Coquelle, designed by the famous (but new to me) Raymond Loewey who designed such iconic things as the Greyhound Bus and the Lucky Strike logo. We got this just last year up in Austin and lovingly refer to it as our third child. And you already know all about the pyrex bowels.
See, it's not just aqua. Both of these pieces are vintage enamelware from Scandinavian company Dansk. I love the bright colors, the interesting handles and if you can't tell... I'm a sucker for enamelware. Both of these were purchased in Cincinnati at our favorite Antique mall. Apparently Dansk has had such a loyal following that Crate and Barrel has brought it back for a limited time, in limited colors. But it's not hard to find these pieces on ebay and etsy, and even Antique shops so I say stick with vintage! (The picture above is a painting waiting to happen is it not?)
One last shot of my collection, including a vintage mid century Finel mushroom bowl that was actually in our home growing up and something I remember fondly from my childhood. So glad my mom gifted that to me a few months ago.
I love collecting these pieces and use them often. I think that's one of my favorite things about them--they are not only beautiful, but completely durable and useable. I also love wondering about who used these dishes before me--when and where did they live and how did they get from their kitchen into my hands? Any other vintage kitchen collectors out there? Do you have a particular brand that you collect, or are you all over the board like me?
A few tips for collecting vintage kitchenware.
1) So many of these items are quite popular and easy to find of ebay or easy, so make sure you know your average price point before taking the plunge.
2) If you see a good set, at a good price that you LOVE, take the plunge. It may not come again. The original 3 bowl set of pyrex bowels I walked away from were dirt cheap...buying them again has not been as cheap.
3) If you see something that's not a well known brand and you love it and the price is right, get it! My little round turquoise dish is not a brand I've ever heard of before or since, but I love it.
4) When in doubt, hand wash! Even though my pyrex bowls are dishwasher safe the water is so hard in San Antonio that I just won't risk it. The husband shakes his head a little, but complies.
5) Lastly, make sure you look for care instructions--like is it stovetop and oven safe? If it can go in the oven, what is the highest temp?