Saturday, October 5, 2013

thrift store spoils, ch. 6: red, white, blue, and Barbed Wire

Okey-doke. I'll just jump right in.

For the first time in a while, I stopped by a yard sale. And for the record, I don't like yard sale shopping, because I always feel like all sellers' eyes are on me. This is not because I'm self-absorbed; instead, I suppose, it's a result of a history of shopping at low customer volume yard sales? Like, I'm the only one in the driveway, and these poor folks are wanting to get rid of their junk. That's a lot of pressure.

I also don't like negotiating price. I say just place a sticker with a $1 on it, and I'll decide whether to purchase or to walk. That's just me. 

And I generally take only a minute to look around and decide whether there's anything on the tables or blankets worth my time before heading back to my vehicle to get the heck out of Dodge. Inevitably, I feel like I should apologize to the sellers for not wanting to sort through their old socks and pajamas looking for a gem. 

But enough about my issues. 

The yard sale I did stop in at was one was held in a school parking lot and benefiting a local high school lacrosse team. (Translation: more sellers and customers to take pressure off of me to find something worth buying. Yep. I'm a nut.)  

Anyhow, I bought some vintage cookbooks that are pretty cool but that I don't really need. 

They’re in great shape and look hardly used, and I love the illustrations in a couple of them. I must say, though, that they stink to high Heaven—you know, that musty, old-book and old-house smell. I now have them quarantined in plastic bags with used dryer sheets placed in between some pages. (This is a technique I learned from Martha Stewart before I quit watching her.) The crepe cookbook is for one of my daughters, who holds the title of family crepe maker. (I'm thinking it's time for her to branch out and add some variety to her dishes. Enough with the Nutella.)

There was also an older, obviously used and loved, dessert cookbook at the yard sale—one with vintage two-color, happy homemaker illustrations—but the pages were sticky and splattered with flecks of batter and such. (Definitely used and loved. How sweet.) I could not overlook the grunge, however, and I left it there. 

Now on to my thrift store finds, starting with four pieces of Pyrex. 

This is my first piece of Barbed Wire Pyrex, and I paid more for it than I have for any other piece—$7.99 for both the divided dish and the lid (with no chips or cracks anywhere).  I know that $7.99 doesn’t sound like too much for Pyrex in good condition, but I’m a thrift store shopper: I like a bargain. 

According to my copy of Michael Barber’s PYREX Passion, this pattern is a promotional one produced in 1958, and it was offered as a 1 1/2 quart Cinderella Divided Serving Dish (#063) only. In fact, Barbed Wire was the first promotional pattern produced as a divided dish. 

By the way, turns out that Barbed Wire is considered an unofficial pattern name—meaning, I suppose, that there’s no official literature around referring to it as something else?  

I’m still trying to find out when this Opal Pyrex Cinderella Bowl (#441) was produced. There seems to be more info out there on patterns than on either solids or clears. Please chime in if you can help me out on this one.

(Note to self: Don't take any more photos using your black coffee table as a base. Everything comes out too dark and unflattering.)

This is a 9-inch (#703) Pyrex Tableware dinner plate. The handy-dandy website Pyrex Love states that Pyrex Tableware is also known as Restaurant Ware. And according to PYREX Passion's convenient pattern guide, this pattern is called Copper Filigree. Lovely.

I bought a cute, clear and covered Pyrex casserole dish (#602) at SA. I've done some research and determined that this is clearly vintage 1980srather than vintage 1930s (during which a very similar #602 dish was produced). The reference to "700 ml" on the bottom of mine should have been an instant, dead giveaway. 

I've mentioned before that I tend to go for Bicentennial items, as well as most American-themed stuff. Well, I picked up four patriotic tumblers (in the pattern above and in worse shape) at a nearby SA. I carried them around the store for a few minutes, browsing, but finally I put the glasses back on the shelf. They were just too dishwasher damaged for me. My next stop was a GW, wheregoodness graciousthere sat five of the same glasses in the same pattern. They were in mint condition and half the price of the ones I had almost bought just a half-hour before. I already had three at home, so now I have a complete set of eight. God bless America.

These salad utensils have no name or mark on them, so I have no idea who produced them. But aren't they so Mad-Men cool?

The melmac gravy boat says it's Royal by Branchell on the bottom. I recently bought some pieces from this set at my favorite GW. But I found the gravy boat about a week later at the same store. This seems to happen a lotfinding pieces to the same set spread out over days. I figure that sometimes pieces get separated in the stockroom, but later get put out on the floor.

The orange bowl is stamped "Syracuse China" on the bottom. I don't know how old it is, but it's hefty. And it's orange. So I bought it.

I found this little bowl, with "Grant Crest Tempo" printed in gold on the bottom, next to two marred teacup saucers of the same pattern. I bought only the bowl. Gotta love the mid-century starbursts.

And now to the mugs I bought. (Note to self: Quit buying mugs.)

This Starbucks mug is dated 2006.

This mug just feels in the hand like a coffee mug should feel.

 What can I say? I like cats. I also like orange and brown.

This mug, I believe, was produced by "Western Stoneware Company" of Monmouth, Illinois. At least, that's what my research turns up. The writing on the inside of the maple leaf reads WSC. USA is stamped beside the stem.

I had a very good Tupperware shopping week. Just happened in at the right store at the right time, I suppose. 

I'm guessing that everything I got is vintage late 1990s and 2000s, except for the topless orange Servalier canister, that is.

One last thing—on a quick stop-in at a SA, I found a 1961 issue of The Congressional Cookbook, compiled by "The Congressional Club" with a forward by "Mrs. John F. Kennedy." Inside are recipes after recipes submitted by the wives of politicians of the day (or at least by staffers of politicians of the day—am I too cynical?). And the illustrations are great: elephants and donkeys cooperating in the kitchen! I'll share more in a later post. For now, here's a sneak peak. 

Thanks to Sir Thrift-A-Lot and a living space for the opportunity to link up!

And much appreciation goes to We Call It Junkin for allowing me to join their link-up party We Call It Olde.

That is all. And, I'll admit, that's certainly enough.


  1. The Barbed Wire is the very first piece of Pyrex I ever thrifted. I was so excited to have found it. Now I have decided that I am not a big fan of the divided dish simply because they are hard to store since they don't stack. I did keep this one for sentimental reasons but got rid of all of my others. Yours is awesome because it came with the divided lid. Those are hard to come by here!


    1. Greetings, Erica.
      You're certainly right about the stacking issue with the divided dish. And, yes, the lid was a selling point for me--though it won't even fit upside down on the dish to make it stackable.
      Something else about the divided dishes--I've never used the other one I have (a solid opal/white one) for anything in the kitchen. It's now in between our master bathroom sinks--one side to hold my little stuff, the other for my husband. I read somewhere about how folks use the divided dish to separate, say, corn and peas. And I can see the dish working for two separate dips?
      I've passed over lots of divided dishes in thrift stores. But, like you, I wanted the Barbed Wire.

  2. I'm with you on vintage books - just love to look at the photos and illustrations.

    Putting musty-smelling books in a container lined with baking soda and then enclosed in a bag works sometimes. I worry that the oils on the softener sheets would ruin the books.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Melissa. I'll try that. I'd never thought about the oils . . . I guess Martha Stewart didn't either!

  3. Oh my gosh - the barbed wire Pyrex and the cookbook are awesome and I *love* the cat mug! Great finds! I'm with you about not liking to haggle but I have to admit, seeing your finds makes me think I need to give yard sales a try :)

  4. Great finds! I don't like cats but that mug is sure cute!!

  5. What a score!!! I love the barbed wire pyrex, I've never seen that one before. And those beautiful colors of tupperware you found makes me think I should be giving tupperware a better look.

  6. Wow, what a list of finds! I've never seen barbed wire Pyrex before -- what a cool pattern!

  7. Well you've been having fun! I can identify with your yard-sale thought process. My fave's of your finds are the barbed wire (I passed one up and always regretted it) and the atomic bowl. Hope to see you at the We Call It Olde Link-Up today. Take care - Dawn @ We Call It

  8. Love the mod cooking theme you have going on here :) Each find is beautiful.