If you’re an Australian, it’s time to rummage through your kitchen cabinets, as you might be sitting on a goldmine of vintage casserole dishes. These seemingly ordinary pieces of cookware can fetch thousands of dollars on resale websites, making them a fantastic way to earn some extra money.
In the 1970s, CorningWare cookware was all the rage, but its popularity eventually waned as it became seen as “daggy” and “outdated.” However, in recent years, CorningWare has made a comeback among collectors and home chefs alike, thanks to its high-quality glass, lasting durability, and nostalgic charm.
The origins of this extraordinary glass date back to the 1950s when a groundbreaking ceramic material was discovered, boasting incredible resilience. This material found applications in kitchenware production and even military weapons used by the US.
Nowadays, some of the rarest white casserole dishes with clear lids are up for grabs on eBay, with price tags reaching a staggering $15,000 – even for items that aren’t particularly sought after! An eBay search for CorningWare reveals a wide range of items, with prices varying from a mere $20 to a whopping 15K.
One shrewd seller told Seven News how they’ve managed to make a small fortune selling their mother’s vintage CorningWare collection.
“My mother was a CorningWare collector, and her pieces were quite popular back then. They’ve just been gathering dust in our house for years,” the seller said.
“So far, I’ve sold a few items – with my mum’s blessing, of course – and have made about $9,000. I have another piece listed right now that I hope will bring in around $2,500.”
The seller admitted that, as a child, they had no clue the cookware could be so valuable. At the time, the pieces seemed “just daggy.”
“Now they’re bringing in more money than I ever dreamed,” the seller remarked.
Among the most coveted CorningWare items is the Spice of Life range, which features a vegetable and greenery pattern alongside the French words “L’Echalote La Marjolaine,” meaning “Shallots and Marjoram.” This exclusive series can fetch up to $15,000 on eBay.
Other valuable ranges include the Wildflower and Floral Bouquet series, which were available for seven and four years, respectively. These sets can now sell for as much as $10,000. Surprisingly, even the less sought-after blue range can command a significant price, with intact casserole dishes going for over $1,200.
According to glass specialist Dean Six, the current surge in prices is fueled by nostalgia.
“Collecting is often about reminiscing, which is why CorningWare is booming now – baby boomers are buying back what they grew up with. They’re using these pieces as decor in their homes,” Six explained.
He also mentioned a rare CorningWare piece, in a not widely produced pattern, that recently sold on eBay for $US7,000 (AUD$9.8k). “It was a 1970s product that fizzled.”
This unexpected demand for collectible dishes has ignited a lively online debate among Australians. Some have even been selling CorningWare items in op shops for hundreds of dollars.
One woman shared on Reddit, “I just found out that most modern CorningWare is made of fairly ordinary glass. The original material was a super heat-resistant product, but when Corning was taken over, the new owners opted for something cheaper.”
Another person added, “The original CorningWare material was a by-product of research for the US military, used for shielding ballistic missiles during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. It’s strong stuff.”
Stanley Donald Stookey, a pioneering glass chemist, will always be remembered for his revolutionary invention of the iconic CorningWare dishes. His discovery of this super-strong glass material during a serendipitous experiment in the 1950s changed the face of cookware forever.
Before being transformed into “indestructible” cookware, the material was used in guided missiles for the American military. Its heat-resistant properties and resistance to scratches and breakage make it the perfect candidate for kitchenware that can withstand extreme temperatures without any issues.
So, whether you’re a baby boomer looking to relive your childhood or someone interested in owning a piece of history, it’s worth checking out the CorningWare market. Who knows – you might just find that your once “daggy” and “outdated” cookware is now a sought-after collector’s item worth thousands of dollars.
For Australians, it’s time to dust off those old casserole dishes and see if they hold more value than meets the eye. With prices skyrocketing and collectors eagerly searching for the next great find, there’s never been a better time to cash in on the vintage CorningWare craze.
So, don’t wait any longer – start rummaging through your kitchen cabinets, and you might just uncover a hidden treasure that’s both nostalgic and lucrative.