As I shared the other day, while visiting an antiques shop in Virginia, I fell in love with a set of vintage Pyrex. I’ve also shared in prior posts that other than cookbooks, I’m not a collector of anything.
I’m also not an antiques lover, or so I thought. But this Pyrex bug has bitten me pretty hard. I found a very nice set of vintage Amish Butterprint Pyrex mixing bowls on eBay the other day for $35. An early Christmas gift to myself, it almost made up for leaving the pink Gooseberry bowls behind in Virginia. But not quite.
I’m sure you can see where this is heading….
This morning I had to run a couple of errands. Along the way there is a pretty big Salvation Army store. From what I’ve read on the vintage Pyrex site, Pyrex Love (don’t even give me crap that I’m aware of this site), it’s not uncommon to find vintage Pyrex at thrift shops and rummage sales. So, I stopped in to see if they by any chance had any pieces. You just never know.
I beelined right to the house wares section and lo’n behold there it was. A gleaming stack of Amish Butterprint just sitting there amongst the other junk. A big sticker on the top said Sold As Is $5.99.
Sweet mother of Betsy! $5.99? I grabbed it off the shelf and did my best to inspect it. It was all taped together with packing tape and I couldn’t see the bowls tucked inside. There were no visible chips or cracks, so off to the cashier I went. $5.99. Craziness.
Now, to be honest, I felt a little guilty about this purchase. I had already ordered the bowls in this very pattern off of eBay as I mentioned before. BUT when I took the tape off, I discovered that it wasn’t the bowls nesting inside. It was the matching casseroles. I danced in the parking lot.
Just look at this. I don’t even think they were ever used. I mean, they were produced in 1957! So lovely.
Ok, so that was pretty amazing and I should’ve stopped there and gone home. But as luck would have it, right across from the Salvation Army is an indoor weekend flea market. Why would I not just take a peek?
When I walked in I was a little creeped out. Ok, a lot creeped out. It was in a sketchy building that looked like it should be condemned and most of the stuff was piled up in jumbled heaps on the floor and on teetering tables.
The sellers were smoking cigs outside and I’m pretty sure they had flasks squirrled away somewhere close by that they’d probably tap into before noon. I guess you could call it a little rough looking.
But as you know, I’m an adventurer and I plunged ahead. This is the kind of place where you have to dig a bit to see what’s there. And I thought I was going to leave empty handed, but I saw a glimmer of red and white peek out of a very banged up cardboard box.
As I pushed the dusty junk off of the box, I discovered that it was a vintage 1950′s Pyrex nesting bowl set along with a set of ramekins. Lord Have Mercy.
The owner of the table was not around and he put his neighbor in charge of his table. The set had no tag, so I asked how much? $20 he said. I tried very hard not to let my jaw hit the floor. I didn’t haggle. I whipped out my payment and hustled back to my car. Smiling a big cheshire smile the entire way.
But it still wasn’t pink.
At that point I should’ve called it quits. Really, that was a lot to be content with. Beautiful vintage bowls that I will certainly not only treasure, but get tons of use out of in my baking and also as props for my food photography. And I paid a fraction of what they are worth. A very good morning indeed.
But that pink Gooseberry was still haunting me, so I made one last stop at a local antiques dealer. I really didn’t think that they would have the set and if they did, they’d surely know the value.
My area is known for antiques shopping. Antique shops line our roads and are as prevalent as Dunkin’ Donuts. But the problem is that they know the value of their stuff.
It’s not like other parts of the country where you can go find a sleepy little antiques shop and score something spectacular for $5 when it’s worth $5,000. The dealers here know their values.
I figured if they had the Pyrex Goosberry set, they’d charge accordingly. So, when I saw three pink Gooseberry bowls stacked up on a shelf I was shocked and I figured I couldn’t afford them.
But upon closer inspection, the bowls were very reasonably priced. They were tagged individually, but when I asked if they would lower the price if I bought the whole set, they tossed in a bowl for free.
$30 for all three. Certainly not as amazing as my $5.99 Salvation Army find, but $15 less than what the dealer in Virginia wanted.
It would appear that I’m now a collector. And while I won’t do the eBay thing to grow my collection, I’ll certainly keep my eye out for crazy thrift store finds in the future.
Some people collect LLadro. I collect Pyrex. At least it’s not an expensive thing to collect. But it sure is pretty! And it’s pink. Squee.
Now I just have to figure out where in Sam hill I’m going to put this stuff…