Utility Bowls and Containers, Pottery, China, Glass, Stoneware, Yelloware and Etc.

Vintage bowls have been a favorite collectible for a very long time, long before anyone thought of using the word “vintage” for anything but wine.
Homemakers would proudly display their pottery, china, stoneware and etc., mixing bowls, pudding basins, bean pots and platters where they could be admired by visitors to the kitchen. Every kitchen, in the days before the “built-in” or “fitted” kitchen, had a “dresser” or “press” with open shelves where these would be handy to use. These also usually had drawers and cupboards below where linens and other items could be stored.

No one actually knows when pottery bowls were first made but it was a very long time before any records were kept and it seems that every culture, all over the world developed the idea of making vessels from clay and baking them so they would be more durable. By the time the Egyptians were producing very sophisticated bowls, jugs and other vessels, the methods were long established.
No matter if it were in China, the Steppes of Central Asia, the lands around the Mediterranean, in Africa or the New World, there would be potters making vessels that took the shape of a globe or part of one. This shape lends itself well to many uses and is an inherently strong construction, no corners to get knocked off and no nooks and crannies in which the contents could stick. Ingenious, really!

In any event, by the time the potteries and later the glassworks in America began developing their craft, it had long been a strong craft in Europe and England, Scotland and Ireland and the settlers to America brought their art with them and found wonderful clay deposits in many parts of the new land. Small, family owned potteries grew up around these areas where clay could be easily mined and later these morphed into factories as the demand grew with the increasing population. Huge swathes of forest were cut down to fire the potteries and a secondary result was more open land to farm.

Later the glass makers developed tougher and thicker molded glass that functioned in the same manner as the pottery and stoneware bowls but it remained a secondary material for utility ware until the development of a tough, heat resistant glass by a German chemist in the 1890s who developed Duran for laboratory use.
During WWI, Corning developed a product of borosilicate glass and patented it under the name “Pyrex.”
See the Page titled Glass and Pottery Cookware and Bakeware.

Pyrex “white rim” bowls

Pink Pyrex bowls:

Other manufacturers.

The McKee Glass produced the Glasbake line of ovenware beginning in the 1920s. By that time McKee had been around since its first factory was founded in 1853. The company moved to a new facility in 1888 to be nearer a good supply of coal. They established the town of Jeannette, named after Mrs. Mckee and it was a perfect location for that type of industry. They continued to make handmade glass until well into the depression when competitors, who were increasing machine-made glass, cut into their market share.
McKee glass items are extremely desirable, probably the most looked for are the Carnival glass lines. Unfortunately many of these have been reproduced in China and SE Asia and collectors have to be very careful when buying these.
McKee initiated many colors in their utility lines, most famous the “Jadeite” which they produced for Sunbeam and Magic Maid mixers, as well as a few others.

The Fire-King line of ovenware produced by Anchor Hocking did not appear on the market until 1937, although pieces are often advertised as “antique” and “vintage” Fire-King articles as being from the 1920s.

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Pottery and Stoneware Bowls

Pottery and stoneware have been around for a very long time. The shapes and styles have been perfected over time and some companies have truly made an art of it.

It is probable that the most desirable name in kitchen and tableware collectibles is Bauer Pottery. Most people are familiar with the Los Angeles factory but Bauer started out in Paducah, Kentucky, not far from my childhood home. On the farm there were pickle crocks, butter crocks, jugs and “settling basins” as well as chicken feeders and other utility ware, all carrying the Bauer Pottery name and made in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They also produced flower pots, vases, wall vases and other decorative ware at the Paducah factory.
In 1908 J. Andy Bauer moved to Los Angeles and opened a pottery and expanded into the Arts and Crafts movement that had many adherents on the west coast and especially in the Los Angeles area.
The pottery began producing utility kitchen stoneware and in the late 1920s added dinnerware and art pottery and introduced the brilliant colors and surface decorating, particularly that known as “Ringware” which is probably the most desirable to collectors. A few people refer to the ringware bowls as “beehives” because when turned upside down the shape is like an old beehive.
These pottery pieces were far different from the usual offerings of the time, being neither plain white or bisque colors or covered with detailed, fussy floral and fantasy designs that were popular in Victorian times and well into the Edwardian and this was called the “esthetic movement in the U.S. The shapes and colors developed by Bauer for their stoneware were what made the wares so attractive to consumers who were anxious to forget the problems of WWI.

Small pink Bauer bowl:

Large shallow Bauer bowl with small pink bowl:

Three Bauer bowls I have owned since the 1960s.

Bauer deep bowls and a shallow straight sided bowl.

Bauer bean pots;

Bauer was so popular that other potteries began copying their most popular items and among these were;
Metlox and Vernon Kilns, Homer Laughlin, who began producing the colorful Fiesta ware in the latter half of the 1930s and Gladding, McBean who produced Franciscan ware and others such as Catalina Pottery and Pacific Pottery.

Bauer continued in business until 1962.

The Bauer line was revived in 1998 when Janek Boniecki purchased the expired trademark and began production of the colorful table ware, complete with the original backstamp. This was altered to include a “2000″ after she found that some of the pieces were being sold as vintage originals.

This is a pre-WWII stoneware bowl from Germany. It has the “Germany” stamp inside the bowl, something never seen on pottery made in the U.S.
It looks a lot like the Bauer “Ringware” but is unglazed on the outside. Inverted it does look like a beehive.

Here are three bowls of slightly different materials.

The brown is stoneware, the middle bowl is English, also stoneware and the white and green is “yellow-ware.”

Here are two bowls made by Stangle Pottery of Trenton, New Jersey.

The next photo is of a “Pudding Basin” made in England by Pearsons of Chesterfield.

Here are two very early stoneware bowls. One with an inner dark brown glaze with an interesting design on the bottom, the other with a clear glaze.

This one made by Pacific.

This utility bowl was made by Universal Potteries in Cambridge, Ohio.

The following photos show three Hall China bakers. The large green one and the little brown one have “stub” handles. The medium sized brown one has “lug” handles.

Hall China round backstamp.

Bean pots are also popular collectibles. Here are two.

This is a “Mystery” bowl. It does not have a name backstamp. It does have a “12″ stamped into the bottom under the glaze.

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Here’s one of the water jugs that were popular beginning in the 1930s. I’m not quite sure of the date of this one.

Cattail jug.

Another bean pot:

11 Responses to Utility Bowls and Containers, Pottery, China, Glass, Stoneware, Yelloware and Etc.

  1. joji says:

    i would like to inquire about solidex france clear glass cookware. my mother has some of them in sets also -like serving bowls and pie plates. i cannot seem to find them on the internet. are they oven and stove proof like fire king cookware? do you have the solidex brand items or have you encountered in them in your shopping?
    we are from the philippines and my mother has some of the duralex,pyrex,fire king items, too. she has bought them in the 50′s to 80′s.
    thank you for your help.

    • asenjigal says:

      I’m really not familiar with glass cookware from anywhere but the U.S. I have one casserole dish from France that has only an “A” in a triangle and along one edge “résistant à la chaleur” which I have been told means it is for use in the oven and I have used it so with no problems.
      I have not heard of the Solidex brand. I’m sorry I can’t help you.

  2. jessie crook says:

    I have an amber colored stoneware bowl with vertical lines on the rim. There is an unglazed stone edging around the rim with more unglazed stone edging on the underside of the rim in a wavey pattern. The most striking feature of this bowl and it’s several companions in differeing sizes, is the star and moon imprints around its outside….got that? There’s a number 8 with a line under it embedded on the bottom of the bowl. I’ve had several of these similarly marked “stars and moons” bowls over the years….probably from one of the many Ohio potteries. Any help in identifying their origin and age?

  3. Sharon Vander Meer says:

    I have come across a set of clay/ceramic cookware made in the USA. It is a 9″ item that looks to be made of glazed terra cotta. I has a bowl-shaped bottom and a flat topped dome. It apparently can be used together for roasting/baking or as separate cookware. This came from my husbands parents and we just found it in a box in the basement. It could be anywhere from 30 years old to 80. We don’t know and would like to find someone who can lead us in the right direction.
    Thanks

    • asenjigal says:

      A great many American companies made covered casseroles of stoneware, vitreous china, redware and etc.,
      Most would mark the bottoms with a pressed backstamp, some added inked stamps prior to final firing.
      Bauer, McCoy, Hull, Roseville, Watt, Weller, Hall, Marcrest, and others whose wares were often marked with a logo symbol or simply “USA” and etc.

      This sounds like what you describe.

      Here’s one made by Hull.

      Some makers produced shapes that were widely copied but some added surface decoration that was unique to those manufacturers.
      Some were widely distributed but some were somewhat “local” and are not routinely found nationwide.

      I have some pieces that are a hundred years old and still used for special dishes.

  4. Pat Gross says:

    I found a black bowl, it has rings and on the bottom under the glaze is SP.115 USA or Sp.11s USA. I can’t find the manufacture in any book. This pottery piece is abt. 6″ across and abt 4″ deep. Is this another Mystery bowl?

    • asenjigal says:

      There were several companies that produced “ringware” bowls and plates, cups, etc. Especially the “California Potteries.”
      Bauer did produce bowls in black and not all are marked. Like this one.
      Coorsite (Coors Pottery) nothing to do with the beer company,
      also produced black items and some had rings but were wider than Bauer.
      Offhand I don’t recall the other companies but it was not a unique design.

  5. Darienne says:

    Hi Andie,

    Great and interesting posts as usual.

    I may well be mistaken, but I can’t seem to find any warnings anywhere in your discussions about Pyrex about the fact that the makers have removed the borosilicate from the chemical makeup without informing the public, and that the lack of that element renders the Pyrex much less safe to use. Could you please elaborate about that a bit.

    Darienne

    • asenjigal says:

      That’s a very good question.

      I’m only commenting on vintage Pyrex and other glassware for baking, cooking, etc., and as the questionable Pyrex is too recent to fall into my collecting category, I haven’t discussed it.

      I have followed the testing procedures of the newer items that have been the source of complaints but as there has been a great deal of discussion and information on other sites, I felt it wasn’t necessary to post about it here.

  6. Darienne says:

    Right you are. Thanks, Andie. As ever, Darienne

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