Rare and Reliable

Introduced to the American public in 1915, Pyrex kitchenware still is being produced and marketed, but is no longer only a household staple; today it’s also a treasured collectible.

While some enthusiasts are driven by nostalgia, Evansville resident and Pyrex enthusiast Nikki Davis says she likes the vintage pieces because they are useful. She estimates she has close to four dozen Pyrex dishes in her permanent collection, some of them gifts from her mother, step-mother, and mother-in-law.

“They’re just as beautiful and just as functional today as when they used it,” says Davis, adding that when she was without a microwave for a year during home renovations, she relied on her Pyrex to shift meals directly from refrigerator to oven.

Davis keeps in touch with other collectors in the Evansville area via Facebook, and some of them get together occasionally for “sale and swap” events that can draw hundreds of customers.

People tend to collect a favorite pattern or color, she says. Dots, dandelions, daisies, and Dutch characters decorate everything from mixing bowls to butter dishes; snowflakes, tulips, gooseberries, mushrooms — the designs are endless and so are the hues.

Prices also vary tremendously, starting at a dollar or two. Rare items — particularly limited edition publicity pieces — may sell for $2,000 or more. Davis says she enjoys hunting for bargains at rummage sales, estate sales, and auctions.

“That’s part of the fun,” she says.

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