Treasures in the Kitchen

While I appreciate the conveniences of a modern kitchen as much as the next woman, if you look behind my cabinet doors you will find my true passion is very little 2017 ….and very much vintage. Kitchen collectibles have long been one of my guilty pleasures. If you share this interest with me, here are the top kitchen collectibles for the Summer of 2017 which, with a little creative shopping, can be yours for pennies on the dollar!
In 1916 Sunkist initiated their “Drink an Orange” campaign, and the glass reamer became a must for every American kitchen. The earliest reamers were clear with color appearing in 1922 from the Fry Glass Company. Pink, green, amber, and milk glass are popular colors as well as jadeite, Vaseline Glass and Delfite. Reamers were produced until the early 1960s and there are an abundance of them still floating around. While you will not find them with their original price tag of 10 cents, examples from Jeanette, Anchor Hocking, Pennsylvania and McKee’s are out there for $5 and under.
Glass nesting bowls are as useful today as when they were first issued. If purchased in sets online or at antique shops they tend to be rather pricey. However, if you have the patience to search for them individually they can be had for a few dollars each. Watch for Hazel Atlas and Anchor Hocking sets in cobalt blue, clear, pink, amber and green, as well as McKee’s Glassbake milk glass sets, jadeite bowls from Fire King and Pyrex Delphite in blue or turquoise.
Kitschy small appliances from the 1950s and ’60s are an important part of a vintage kitchen. Mixers, toasters, coffee pots and soda shop blenders give a sense of authenticity and are running in the $10-$20 range. When purchasing appliances from the mid-20th century safety can be an issue. Make certain to have them checked out by a electrician if you are planning to use them.
From the hand-painted pieces of Indiana’s Ransburg Pottery Company to the brushed aluminum sets from Kromex, canisters and shakers are fun to collect and great space savers in the kitchen. Condition is the main consideration here so check thoroughly for rust, dents and erosion. Most full sets will have four pieces. Flour, Sugar, Coffee and Tea.
Without question the top collectible for the kitchen this summer is, once again, vintage Pyrex. Watch for the bright colors such as they are usually of more value than the muted tones. Patterns currently trending include Butterprint and Gooseberry from the 1950s and Rainbow Striped, New Dot and Daisy from the 1960s. Condition is a top consideration with Pyrex. Discoloration, missing lids and scratches in the bottom of mixing bowls can reduce that value of a piece by 50 percent or more. Antique malls are your best bet for finding full sets, but be prepared to dig deep into your pockets. Personally I prefer to take my chances at the thrift shops and flea markets where there are still bargains to be had.
NOTE: Canisters and shakers should be empty at the time of purchase. Salt, can be highly corrosive and tea and coffee stain. Reamers and bowls are often chipped so run your fingers over the seams and around the edges. Old glass kitchenware will have bubbles, straw marks and other impurities that were there when they left the factory. So beware! If you are looking at a piece that looks “to good to be true,” it may very well be a reproduction. Until next time….Linda

Linda Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in downsizing for seniors and the liquidation of estates and may be reached at or 317-258-7835.