11 Most Valuable Vintage CorningWare Pieces for Collectors

If you‘re a fan of vintage kitchenware, CorningWare pieces from the 1950s through 1980s are highly sought after by collectors. The durable ceramic dishes featured charming floral and geometric patterns that epitomized mid-century style. While CorningWare is still produced today, the vintage pieces have become increasingly valuable, with some rare items selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Whether you‘re an avid collector or just have some old CorningWare handed down from Grandma, it‘s helpful to know which patterns and pieces are most desirable in today‘s market. In this guide, we‘ll round up the 11 most valuable CorningWare items, share tips for identifying and valuing different pieces, and offer some advice for buying and selling these vintage kitchen staples. Let‘s dish!

What Makes Vintage CorningWare So Special?

First introduced in 1958, CorningWare was an immediate hit thanks to its versatility, durability, and elegant designs. The original pieces were made of Pyroceram, a unique glass-ceramic material that could withstand extreme heat and cold. This made the dishes perfect for oven-to-table cooking and microwave use.

The earliest CorningWare patterns tended toward minimalist florals and nature motifs in soft blues and greens. Newer designs in the late 1960s and 70s took on bolder, more psychedelic color palettes and geometric graphics that reflected evolving trends.

While hundreds of different CorningWare patterns were produced over the decades, certain designs have emerged as clear collector‘s favorites. Factors like the rarity of the pattern, age of the piece, and nostalgia for a particular motif all play a role in an item‘s desirability and value.

So which vintage CorningWare pieces are worth the most today? Here‘s our roundup of the top 11 patterns and items that seasoned collectors are snapping up.

1. Spice of Life Casserole Dish

Featuring veggie and herb illustrations in warm, earth-toned hues, the Spice of Life pattern feels quintessentially 1970s. It‘s one of the most sought-after CorningWare patterns today, especially in the larger casserole sizes.

Pattern: L‘Echalote La Sauge (Spice of Life)
Years Produced: 1972-1987
Typical Value: $300-$1000 for a 4-quart casserole dish in very good condition. Some pieces have sold for as much as $4000!

2. Cornflower Casserole Dish

The simple, delicate blue flowers of the Cornflower motif are iconic – it‘s the pattern most people picture when they think "CorningWare." Though this was one of the most widely produced patterns, certain pieces in the Cornflower line command premium prices due to this design‘s timeless popularity.

Pattern: Blue Cornflower
Years Produced: 1958-1988
Typical Value: $200-$1000 for an 11/2-quart casserole dish in very good condition. A rare Cornflower percolator sold for $1192 at auction.

3. Blue Heather Pattern

Dainty periwinkle flowers connected by green vines make the Blue Heather pattern feel fresh and slightly dressier than some of the other floral motifs. It‘s tricky to find in top condition, which drives up prices for pristine pieces.

Pattern: Blue Heather
Years Produced: 1977-1981
Typical Value: $100-$150 for items like casserole dishes and mixing bowls in excellent condition.

4. Renaissance Pattern

Starkly different from CorningWare‘s signature florals, the black and white Renaissance pattern depicts an Italian cityscape with detailed etching. It was only produced in 1970, so it‘s quite rare compared to other designs.

Pattern: Renaissance
Years Produced: 1970 only
Typical Value: Casserole dishes in very good condition typically sell in the $80-$150 range.

5. Wildflower Pattern

This bold floral featuring orange poppies, yellow daisies, and blue forget-me-nots has timeless cottage charm. The motif sometimes went by the alternate name "Spring Bouquet." A set of Wildflower casseroles in graduated sizes was sold as a stackable "Wildflower Tower."

Pattern: Wildflower (Spring Bouquet)
Years Produced: 1978-1984
Typical Value: $60-$100 for a 1.5-quart casserole dish in excellent condition.

6. Nature‘s Bounty Pattern

Those who love a good retro color scheme will appreciate the autumnal palette of the Nature‘s Bounty pattern, which showcases harvest veggies in mustard yellows and browns. This was a limited run produced as a gift set only in 1971, so it‘s harder to find than many other designs.

Pattern: Nature‘s Bounty
Years Produced: 1971 only
Typical Value: $50-$120 for various pieces like casseroles and ramekins in very good condition.

7. Starburst Percolator

The Atomic Age-inspired Starburst pattern was only featured on CorningWare percolators, not their famous casserole dishes. The striking starbursts came in an inky blue or black version, both of which are equally coveted by collectors today.

Pattern: Starburst
Years Produced: Late 1950s-1960s
Typical Value: $100+ for a 4-6 cup percolator in excellent condition. Be wary of reproductions.

8. Daisy Pattern

The delicate floral pattern and transparent lid give this 1970s CorningWare teapot a lovely lightness. Made of Pyrex rather than the signature ceramic material, these teapots were part of a limited edition set that also included sugar and creamer dishes.

Pattern: Daisy
Years Produced: 1970s
Typical Value: $50-$150 for the teapot in very good condition. Sugar bowls and creamers may sell for slightly less.

9. Black Atomic Star

The starburst pattern gets a sophisticated update in this black on white design. It reflects the space race fascination of the 1960s when it was produced. Not much is known about the history of this mysterious motif, making it all the more intriguing for serious collectors.

Pattern: Black Star / Black Atomic Star
Years Produced: 1960s
Typical Value: Casserole dishes in great shape usually sell for $50-$75. Rare Black Star items have fetched close to $200 in online auctions.

10. Forever Hearts

Who says CorningWare can‘t be romantic? The delightfully retro Forever Hearts pattern features a motif of pink and red hearts with turquoise flowers, perfect for serving up something sweet. Because this wasn‘t one of CorningWare‘s most popular patterns in its day, it can be harder to hunt down now.

Pattern: Forever Hearts
Years Produced: 1970s
Typical Value: $80-$140 for a 4-quart casserole dish in very good condition.

11. Pure White

Sometimes simple is best. The understated beauty of gleaming all-white CorningWare has its own appeal for certain collectors, especially those who love a clean, monochromatic look.

Pattern: All White / Just White
Years Produced: 1965-1968
Typical Value: $60-$90 for various pieces in very good condition.

How to Determine the Value of Your Vintage CorningWare

Think you might be sitting on a CorningWare gold mine? Here are some tips for evaluating any pieces you may have inherited or picked up while thrifting:

  1. Identify the pattern: Flip the dish over and look for the CorningWare backstamp. Most will have the name of the pattern listed. If it doesn‘t, try looking up the design using online resources like Corelle Corner‘s pattern guide.

  2. Check the condition: To get top dollar, vintage CorningWare needs to be in excellent shape with no chips, cracks, utensil marks, or fading. Small flaws can dramatically decrease value.

  3. Consider the size and type of piece: In general, larger casserole dishes and more unusual items like percolators tend to sell for more than smaller, more common pieces like ramekins and mugs.

  4. Look up recently sold items: Check sites like eBay and Etsy and filter results to "sold items" to get an idea of what pieces in your pattern and condition typically sell for. Replacements.com is also a good source for identifying and valuing many patterns.

  5. Get an expert opinion: For a valuable collection, it can be worth having an antiques expert who specializes in kitchenwares evaluate your pieces.

Buying and Selling Vintage CorningWare

Whether you‘re looking to start or expand a CorningWare collection or trying to rehome some inherited pieces, there are plenty of online communities where you can connect with other collectors to buy and sell.

Some of the most active sources for vintage CorningWare include:

  • Etsy
  • eBay
  • Facebook Marketplace and collector groups
  • Craigslist and other local buy/sell sites
  • Specialty matchmaking services like Replacements.com

If you‘re selling, be sure to capture several well-lit photos that clearly show the condition of the pieces. Note any chips or imperfections in the listing. Share the pattern name, item measurements, and any other relevant details that will help buyers know exactly what they‘re getting.

When buying, don‘t be afraid to ask sellers for more photos or details about the item‘s condition and history. Check their reviews and seller ratings to make sure you‘re working with someone reputable.

Frequently Asked Questions About CorningWare

Still have burning questions about this hot collectible? Here are answers to some of the most common queries.

What is CorningWare made of?

The majority of vintage CorningWare was made from a glass-ceramic material called Pyroceram that was resistant to thermal shock. Some specialty pieces were also made of Pyrex and ceramic stoneware.

What was the original CorningWare pattern?

Cornflower is considered the first official CorningWare pattern, launched in 1958. The Cornflower motif was an instant hit and came to be closely associated with the CorningWare brand.

Is there lead in old CorningWare?

While the Pyroceram material of the dishes themselves does not contain lead, the paints and glazes used in some patterns have been found to contain lead. For this reason, it‘s recommended to use vintage CorningWare for display only, not for cooking or serving food.

Where can I find more information about identifying and collecting CorningWare?

There are many online resources for CorningWare enthusiasts, including:

Find Your Perfect Piece of CorningWare History

Whether drawn in by the classic mid-century patterns or the promise of a great return on investment, there are many reasons to love collecting vintage CorningWare. Though some folks have struck gold with rare pieces worth thousands, the true value of CorningWare is the way it connects us to the kitchens and cooks of yesteryear.

As you hunt for that perfect Cornflower casserole or Spice of Life sauté pan to add to your collection, embrace the thrill of the chase. The search is part of what makes collecting this iconic kitchenware so rewarding and just plain fun. Happy hunting!

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