Many collectors appreciate the value and practicality of vintage CorningWare. Not only is it fun to display, it can be used in the oven, freezer, refrigerator, or the microwave. Discover which CorningWare patterns are worth collecting and which ones you should leave on the thrift store shelves.
Popular CorningWare Patterns and Designs
Although CorningWare is still in production, the term vintage CorningWare refers to the dishes that were made before 1999. While CorningWare's Cornflower Blue is perhaps one of their most well-known patterns, there are other great patterns to collect.
|CorningWare Pattern||Average Value of an Individual Piece|
A few of CorningWare's most popular patterns include the following.
The first design released, as well as the one produced in the most quantity, was the Cornflower Blue pattern. This simple decoration featured three blue flowers on a plain white background, and it became the trademark pattern for over thirty years. The handles were quite small and the earliest pieces had sloped sides. After 1972, the sides became straighter, and the handles became larger. The pattern has been revived in recent years.
Despite how prolific the production numbers were and over-saturated the market is, Cornflower Blue is still one of the most popular vintage CorningWare patterns. For these, you get the most bang for your buck when you sell larger sets. For example, this 21-piece collection sold for $70 online.
The Starburst pattern was popular on coffee percolators from 1959 to 1963. While the blue black version is considered highly collectible, the opaque white background is quite valuable too. CorningWare coffee percolators of any vintage are somewhat rare. Because they were recalled during the late '70s, few are still around.
Because they're harder to find, these percolators run the gamut in values. At the lowest end are the translucent ones at about $15 a piece (like this one that sold for $14.99). Meanwhile, the white and black percolator is worth about $50. For example, one recently sold on eBay for $74.29.
CorningWare made the Floral Bouquet pattern from around 1971 to 1975. It featured outlined blooms with hints of blue and yellow. Large blooms made up the central design with smaller clusters surrounding it.
The Blue Heather design was made for a short amount of time in the mid-1970s. It features small five-petal blooms in blue that cover most of the dish sides. Small leaves and vinery connect the flowers.
Since the busy pattern had such a limited run, the vintage dishes that make their way to the auction block are highly valuable. Blue Heather casserole dishes can reach upwards of $50, depending on the dish. For example, this 2.5 quart casserole dish sold for $59.99 online.
Nature's Bounty is a limited edition pattern made in 1971. It features mustard-yellow vegetables with a harvest feel on a pale white dish. Despite having such a limited run, Nature's Bounty dishes are some of the cheaper old CorningWare items you can buy. They're only worth about $15-$20, like this bread loaf pan that sold for $19.99.
Created in 1975, this pattern features two blue birds facing one another with an orange and yellow tulip between them. It has a folk-art feel to the design. Sometimes it's called the "Friendship Blue Bird" pattern as well.
Right now, the Country Festival pattern is one of the least valuable CorningWares. Individual pieces only sell for around $5-$15. For instance, this perfectly kept small casserole dish only sold for $5.99 on eBay.
Spice O' Life
The Spice O' Life is the second most produced CorningWare design. Made between 1972-1987, it featured the earth tones that were so popular in the 1970s. The pattern itself was a band of vegetables that included mushrooms, artichokes, and garlic. L'Echalote (the shallot) was written in script under the vegetables on some pieces, and dishes with the script are also called "French Spice" because of this.
If you go searching for vintage CorningWare dishes, the first two you'll always find are the iconic Cornflower Blue and the Spice O'Life. That being said, these dishes are still popular today and regularly sell for about $20-$30 apiece. Together, they're worth about $50-$100, like this 5-piece casserole dish set that sold for $80.
CorningWare released French White in 1978. The United States was in the midst of an infatuation with French cooking, and CorningWare filled a need for oven-to-table ease. Influenced by French culinary customs, the French White is a classic, timeless design. Don't confuse it with an earlier release, All White (Just White) which was manufactured from 1965 to 1968. French White is a softer white and has a more modern look.
Delightfully simple and pretty low in value, French White CorningWare dishes are classy and affordable. The larger the piece, the more it's worth. For example, one lasagna pan recently sold for $39.50.
Orange poppies showed up in 1978. Accented with yellow, blue, and green, this pattern was manufactured from 1978-1984. This design was more intricate than many former CorningWare designs. However, this intricacy doesn't translate into value as Wildflower pieces are only worth about $10-$30 each. Take, for instance, this 2-quart casserole dish that only sold for $17.99.
The English Meadow pattern was from the 1980s-1990s. In true 80s fashion, it featured small vines of tiny blooms in yellow, orange-red, and blue. Several versions of this pattern were produced, with none of them breaking your bank account. Today, English Meadow dishes are worth about $15 each, like this casserole dish that sold for $15.95.
Is Vintage CorningWare Valuable?
Vintage CorningWare designs are still very affordable. They're readily available at thrift stores, garage sales, and online at inexpensive prices. You can find some pieces for as little as 50 cents. Harder to find pieces may go for around $30 to $50, but few are truly rare collectibles valued at a high dollar amount. Pieces that are worth more are rare, come from an extremely limited production, and are in pristine condition.
How the CorningWare Bankruptcy May Affect Values
In June of 2023, the parent company of CorningWare, Instant Brands, filed for bankruptcy. They cited a number of reasons, including falling sales of new items. While the future of the company is uncertain, the value of vintage CorningWare may be going up even more sharply than it has in the past.
For example, one listing in the days after the bankruptcy offered a CorningWare Spice of Life casserole dish for $25,000. Although this is a coveted pattern, a similar dish in the same pattern sold for less than a tenth of that price in May of 2023 - about $2,400. Long term, this increase in asking prices may affect the value of especially coveted CorningWare patterns, but it's hard to predict for sure.
Beware of Asking Price Versus Sold Price
Due to a recent upswing in interest, many collectors are asking for thousands of dollars for their pieces on resale websites such as eBay. However, an asking price doesn't mean the piece is worth that much. Instead, check recently sold listings or visit with a kitchenware appraiser to find out what a piece is worth before buying or selling CorningWare.
CorningWare Trivia and Tips
CorningWare has evolved over the years, so knowing more about the company and its products is helpful for the avid kitchen collectibles user. Most importantly, Corning no longer makes CorningWare. World Kitchen purchased them, and they happen to own Pyrex as well.
How to Tell if CorningWare Is Pyroceram
CorningWare was made of Pyroceram, a ceramic-glass invention from S. Donald Stookey in the early 1950s. This material could withstand very high temperatures, making it a good choice for kitchenware and other uses. If you look at your dish bottom and it says "not for stovetop," then it's not Pyroceram. Dishes today are made from both Pyroceram and ceramic stoneware, so it's important to know what your piece is made from before using it.
Keep your vintage CorningWare in top condition by following these cleaning tips:
- Don't wash in the dishwasher or use dish soap with lemon. It'll fade the design and ruin the finish.
- Baking soda mixed with water is a cleaning option. Just rub on gently and rinse thoroughly for sparkling CorningWare.
- Denture cleaner may also work for cleaning. Cover the dish with warm water and drop in two or three denture cleaning tablets.
- If the piece has gray streaks, it means that the finish is wearing off, and there's nothing that can be done for it.
Is It Safe for the Microwave?
Since vintage CorningWare was made before the microwave, is it safe to cook with in a microwave? CorningWare is safe to use in the microwave as long as it doesn't have metal parts attached. The Corning company also manufactured certain products that are not safe to use in the microwave. Among them are:
- Any design which has gold leaf, silver leaf, or platinum on it
- Solid glass lids with screw on knobs
- Centura, a dinnerware that preceded Corelle
- Any CorningWare that has obvious flaws, cracks, or air bubbles
You can read more about identifying which items should not be used in the microwave at Corelle Corner.
Testing for Microwave
If you're still not sure, you can try this test:
- Fill a microwave-safe cup or measuring cup with water.
- Put it in the microwave with the dish you are testing. Do not allow them to touch.
- Heat on high for one minute.
- If the empty dish is warm or hot do not use it in the microwave in the future.
A Beloved Kitchenware Brand for Generations of Families
Vintage CorningWare has been beloved by the American family for decades. The pieces were so well made that they've been in continuous use for 50+ years. Since they're affordable, they're a wonderful way to outfit a vintage kitchen. If you ever need more information about your pieces, they're many price guides specific to Corning, Pyrex, and other glassware. If you have other antique dishes or stoneware crocks, it's worth learning about their value too.
Looking for more mid-century classics? Try collectible Melmac dishes.