Pyrex is one of those accidental product discoveries that has become legendary. It was created by a physicist who worked for the Corning Company in 1908. Being the fun-loving physicist he was, he apparently brought a cut-down battery jar home from work and probably said something like “Honey, can you make some muffins in this?” She did, it worked and he loved her muffins. A whole new oven-safe glass product was introduced to the public just a few years later. Pyrex has not only become a household staple for generations, but much of it has become very collectible.
Why Is Pyrex Collectible and Valuable?
Pyrex collecting has been fueled by a variety of factors that have boosted prices in recent years.
It provides a sense of nostalgia. Mothers and grandmothers sweated in kitchens holiday after holiday using a variety of Pyrex products. Who wouldn't want to relive those good olde days?
It is available in discontinued patterns and colors. Nothing creates value like a pattern or colors that are no longer being produced. Avocado green and harvest gold? White Gooseberry on pink? Now, how much would you pay?
It appeals to young, mid-century décor collectors. There's a whole new group of young Millennial collectors who are using vintage Pyrex to decorate their spaces. Yep, Pyrex not only survives the heat but it is cool.
Pyrex products were produced in a wide-range of products.You can find Pyrex produced nesting bowls, measuring cups, chip 'n dip sets, casserole dishes, and more.
It often comes in “sets”. Collectors feel a sense of accomplishment when completing a set, whether it be of the vintage nesting bowls or clear Pyrex casserole dishes. The fact that pieces get scratched or may be missing tops makes the hunt even more challenging.
The Most Valuable Pyrex Pieces
Of course, Pyrex values will depend on the pieces involved and their condition. Those looking to invest in cookware may find these editions collectible:
Dotted Pyrex Bowls.These dotted bowls will often sell for $75 or more each and are even more valuable in a set.
Early American or Americana Blue White Rim Pyrex. A set of these three slightly different colored light blue bowls will fetch close to $300 or more.
Starburst or “Cinderella” Pyrex.The casserole dish with a heavy top and warming stand can command $300 or more to buy for your castle.
Pink Stem Pyrex. Initially produced in the early 1960's, a scratch-free casserole dish and lid can carry a $500 price tag. That's a lot of scratch.
This being said, the value of anything is what someone is willing to pay. There have been unique Pyrex pieces listed for thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars. Unless you have an enormous knowledge of glass wear, a certain amount of courage, and a bottomless wallet, you may be better "served" collecting more traditional pieces.
Where Can You Find Expensive Pyrex?
If you are really fortunate, you can find these collectibles at a garage sale where the seller may be less than knowledgeable about what they have. Just pay and walk away slowly without saying a word. Other sources for valuable Pyrex will be flea markets, estate sales, and online auction houses. You'll likely also find it at antique shops, but be prepared to pay the price.
Who would have thought that everyday pieces of kitchen cookware would turn into such a collecting phenomenon? Damn Beanie Babies.