Tuesday, June 12, 2012

History Lesson: Fire King's Vintage Premium Collectibles

Azurite Swedish Modern Mixing Bowl by Fire King
Azurite Swedish Modern Mixing Bowl, Wise Apple

Fire King History

Back in the 1940s through the 1950s when the Sky King adventure series was on the radio and television, you may be surprised to know he wasn't the king of the house, that title was reserved for Fire King.  The Fire King line of of ovenproof borosilicate low-expansion glassware that is!  Fire King was available in grocery stores, hardware stores, and used as premiums by gas stations, appliance manufactures, and had a restaurant line.

Mid-Century Anchor Hocking Bowls
Mid-Century Anchor Hocking bowls, The White Pepper

Produced by Anchor Hocking of Lancaster, Ohio, Fire King reigned over the premium kingdom and was given away with household staples like flour, sugar, oats, coffee and tea.  Tupperware didn't begin until 1946, and the first microwaves for home use weren't on the market until 1967.  In the early 1940's and 1950s glass mixing bowls, storage and cookware was an important park of any well equipped kitchen.  Glassware which could go from the refrigerator to the oven was the perfect storage solution for make ahead casseroles and reheating leftovers.

From humble beginnings in 1942, Fire King was intended to be inexpensive and used for everyday living.  If you are interested in collecting Fire King one of the best places to find it is on Etsy and e-Bay.    There are several online information resources for the beginner including an informative synopsis on Wikipedia.  Beginner collectors should invest in a current collector's guide to avoid costly mistakes.

Jadite Jadeite Anchor Hocking Fire King Mint Green Serving Pieces Instant Collection  Alice and Jane Ray Saucers Swirl Mixing Bowls Set
Jade-ite Anchor Hocking dish set, Itchin' Stitchin'

Jadeite aka Jade-ite

The Fire King Jade-ite restaurant-ware line is perhaps the most popular line, made famous in part by Martha Stewart, with collectors.  However, Anchor Hocking wasn't the first company to produce Jade-ite.  Two companies McKee and Jeanette both had jade-ite lines prior to Anchor Hocking's Fire King line.  So popular in fact that Anchor Hocking re-released Jate-ite in 2000 and there are Jade-ite reproductions on the market.  The Anchor Hocking line is clearly marked with a "Fire-King 2000" on the bottom.

The Jade-ite line is so popular in Japan, according to The Antique Trader Magazine, one seller on the Bay translates his listings in Japanese.  In Japan jade is popular because it is believed to bring good luck.

Here's a link to a wonderful blog post with excellent photographs of a Jade-ite collection, and table setting:  http://vhcg.blogspot.com/2012/03/collecting-closer-look-at-jadeite.html it's definetly worth a peek!

Tom and Jerry History

I was intrigued by the Tom and Jerry line which actually wasn't from the cartoon series; but rather taken from a British stage play called Tom and Jerry or Life in London.  According to one article the author came up with the idea of adding brandy to eggnog and calling it a 'Tom and Jerry' to promote the play.  Tom and Jerry punch bowl sets can be found for sale around the holidays

Fire King Ivory Casserole    White Fire King Mixing Bowls     Vintage Fire King Casserole and Chafing Dish: Vintage Anchor Hocking Candle Glow Serving Dish, New with Label
Fire King Ivory Casserole from Modred12 on Etsy
White Fire King Mixing Bowls from thewhitepepper on Etsy
Fire King Casserole and Chafing Dish by TheBeetlesKnees on Etsy

Fire King Patterns

Decal Patterns
Blue Mosaic
Forget Me Not
Anniversary Rose

Vintage Fire King Milkglass Cups and Saucers Gold Trim Swirl Pattern Milk Glass     Milkglass Creamer Vintage Fire King Milk glass  Gold Rim Swirl Style Depression Glass ECS     vintage 1960s milk glass platter. Anchor Hocking Fire-King Golden Shell  / the PETIT FOUR serving platter
Fire King Milk Cup and Saucer Set by SeasideRoseCreations on Etsy
Fire King Creamer by SeasideRoseCreations on Etsy
Fire King Golden Shell Serving Platter by LuncheonetteVintage on Etsy

Solid Glass Patterns

Sheaves of Wheat
Jane Ray
Alice - Jade-ite premium with Quaker Oatmeal
Fish Scale
Three Bands
Restaurant Ware including Jade-ite
4000 Line - Ruby Red
1700 Line - Plain and with decals

Glass Colors

Rose-ite - creamy pink
Turquoise Blue
Azur-ite - light pale blue

Vintage Peach Luster Ware Bowls by Fire King     Vintage Fire King Peach  Lustreware Custard Cups and Mini Casserole Instant Collection     Bowl / casserole / dish in Peach Luster Swirl by Fire King Ovenware - set of 2
Peach Luster Ware by WiseApple on Etsy
Fire King Peach Luster Ware custard Cups by SeasideRoseCreations on Etsy
Fire King Peach Luster Ware Casserole by SCAVENGENIUS on Etsy

Classified with Fire King

According to Wikipedia, "It can also be a fired-on coating over crystal in shades of pastel green, pastel blue, pastel peach, pastel yellow, primary orange, primary blue, primary yellow and primary green. These fired on colors are part of the pattern Rainbow. Rainbow is not technically Fire-King, but included in the same category with most collector books. There is also a fired on Lustre color finish that comes in several patterns and a few colors, grey, white and the most popular Peach."

Fire King Care

Hand washing your Fire King is recommended as dishwasher soap will micro-etch the glass ruining the finish and remember Fire King was not intended to be used in the micro-wave.

Vintage Fire King Mugs: Set of 2 Meadow Green Pattern Milk Glass Stackable Cups with Flower Motif     Vintage Fire King Casserole Dish: Narrow 1 Quart Pyrex Baking Pan with Mod Flowers, Retro Dish with Green Orange and Yellow Floral Motif     Sky Blue Azurite Bowl by Fire King

Fire King Pricing

Don't be surprised at some of the prices you see, Fire King is highly collectible now and I've researched some auction prices which are of interest.  A Red Baron coffee mug © 1965 United Features Syndicate, Inc., with a orange roof sold for $310.00 and recently I saw a Jade-ite Swirl Ball Pitcher with bid offerings at over $1,250.00 not sell as the reserve was not met.  I read of the rare Jade-ite Ball Pitchers selling for over $2,000.00.  Still, most Fire King prices are well below these exceptions and it is a fun and affordable collectible!

Happy Collecting!


Yashwant Naik said...

Yummy.......... Thank you for posting
Nice site.

HilltopTimes said...

I love Fire King! Your info and photos are so wonderful, so admirable! The colors and styles are amazing. Wonderful blog. Thank you so much.

Modred Vintage said...

I love Fire King! Such a great post, enjoyed every word.

tracy said...

Love, love, love ~ there is so much to learn & research on Fire King and all the different styles. There are definitely some great examples here! Great info!!

Niftic Vintage said...

What a fabulous post! Your peak into the history of Fire King is fascinating and the showcased product are a must have for any Fire King collector! Thanks for this wonderful learning experience, I have even more of an appreciation for this collectible.

Wise Apple said...

This is such a wonderful post! I love Fire King pieces and they really are sort of a weakness for me - be it common milk glass or fancy jadeite, I can't seem to get enough of this stuff! Thanks for sharing such awesome info!

Itchin' Stitchin' said...

Beautifully done! I really love Fire King pieces. I'm looking for their plain white restaurantware set - They are the dishes I want to fill my kitchen with when we move.

Mothra Sue said...

I love this post! Fire King is so dreamy, thank you so much for writing about it!

Miss Farfalla said...

What an amazing article! I LOVE Fire King... and now I know someting about it! Marvelous... and these examples are so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

got this set of black and white casserole and loaf type dish and 5 small bowls. Has an F crest on bottom of all pieces, Got from my mom. Can not find any of this type on ebay. anyone got any ideas.it is white but with star type designs all around. one white with gold star , then black with white star type design

karen payne said...

I have a piece I can't find anywhere on Ebay or Etsy or google. It is a Anchor Hocking fire chief chafing dish in a turquoise. Very ornate. Any idea where I can get info and value on this/ Sincerely,

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