Sunday, February 15, 2015

Jadeite Collection - Part 1 of 2: Kitchenware

After reading The Collector's Guide to Jadeite article in the March issue of Country Living magazine, I decided to unwrap my own personal collection of jadeite kitchenware to see just exactly what I have amassed over the years. I admit, I didn't even know what I had insofar as the kitchenware was concerned until I unwrapped it all for this post. I also own jadeite tableware, and I already had a good idea of how much of it I own because I actually use it, and I store it where it's easily accessible. I collect jadeite because I love the fresh, green color of the glassware, and I love the fact that it's so utilitarian and durable in purpose.
My Jadeite Kitchenware Collection
The term jadeite, jadite, jad-ite, or jade-ite, depending on which manufacturer's nomenclature you refer to, originates from the production of this opaque, jade-green colored glassware (made in other colors also) stemming from the Depression years. First produced by the McKee Company in 1930, and then followed by the Jeannette and Anchor Hocking companies, it was the literally and figuratively the much-needed bright light to kitchens and businesses of the time. With low-cost production, jadeite was made and distributed heavily, much of it being offered as premiums for purchases of household items.

Due to the fact that it has withstood both industrial and home use, jadeite remains a highly collectible glassware, and vintage pieces are still readily available. Jadeite also enjoyed a renewed enthusiasm from consumers when Martha Stewart introduced her line of jadeite, reproducing new pieces and often using vintage molds. Have you ever taken a look at Martha Stewart's Jadeite Collection? Oh my goodness!
Jadeite Kitchenware Collection in Storage
After working to organize all of my 'stuff' last summer, one of the benefits was knowing exactly which storage tub to go to for much of my jadeite. Today I'm sharing what's in my jadeite kitchenware collection.
Hamilton Beach Drink Master shake mixer; McKee and Jeannette Measuring Cups, Juicer, Refrigerator Storage Jars (Anchor Hocking Batter Pitcher, Bowl on stool in background)
Even though I used natural light for my photos, there are slight variations detectable in the intensity of the jade colors, due to the changing amount of light exposure I had in my sunroom or basement, where my photos were taken. As you can even tell from the photos, there are also slight color variations in the different manufacturers' items (brands noted in captions).
Jadeite Anchor Hocking Batter Pitcher, Bowl; Tulip Grease, Salt & Pepper, Swirl Pattern Nested Mixing Bowls
Without going into too much detail, I can, with 95% certainty, say that what I am showing here are all authentic and original, vintage jadeite glassware. The only certain exception is the Hamilton Beach Drink Master (Model 65250), made to look retro with the jade color (and is actually plastic). Another possible exception is my jadeite rolling pin (standing, right corner of display), of which I know the metal, screw-on lid is not original, but cannot determine with certainty if the pin itself is or not. Though a different brand, the working, Fitzgerald Magic-Maid mixer - a really unique find - dates from the 1930's, and still has its original instruction booklet.
Fitzgerald Magic Maid 2-speed Mixer with Original instruction booklet, two bowls
After collecting for a number of years, I have come to learn many, not all, nuances of the real deal from the reproductions in jadeite glassware. Though a collector may own both (old and new), knowing the subtle difference in the two is important, and can save one from making costly mistakes. Authentic, vintage jadeite, being a highly sought-after collectible, is currently in a seller's market. In other words, demand is high, so prices to purchase can be outrageously expensive. The CL article referenced above gives some insight into current pricing.

Although not truly jadeite, another company - the Akro Agate company of Clarksburg, WV (originally of Akron, OH) - produced marbles primarily but, in the 1940's, made other items. Also highly collectible, the photo below captures a jade-colored, Akro Agate child's 10-piece tea set I sold in 2010. Akro Agate items are also fairly expensive to buy, unless the seller doesn't know what they have.
Akro Agate Child's 10-piece Tea Set in Jadeite
Another Akro Agate item, which I currently have in our retail booth space, is the standing lamp you see in the photo below, taken last fall (with new shade).
Akro Agate floor lamp
I have one reference book that I can recommend, if you collect or are interested in collecting jadeite. Though last updated in 2003, it is still one of the best references (with price guides that remain close to market pricing even now, twelve years later) for this glassware made from the 1930's through the 1970's. Not only does it include history, original makes, and good photos of the wares by McKee, Jeannette and Anchor Hocking, it also expounds on the topic of reproductions and ways of determining real from reproduced items. The captioned link in the photo (below) will take you to the Amazon source (I received no compensation for any of these mentions or links).
Jadite An Identification & Price Guide, by Joe Keller and David Ross (3rd Edition)
What I've shared so far is only my jadeite kitchenware, a portion of my personal collection of jadeite. I also have another subset of jadeite that I'll be sharing in an upcoming post (tableware). For a preview of what's to come in my tableware collection (Jadeite Collection - Part 2 of 2: Tablescape), here's a sneak peek (below).
Jadeite Sneak Peek
My jadeite collection has been curated over the last twelve years, and it may appear random because it pretty much is. I would only pick up items as I saw a fair (to me) price at flea markets, antique shops, with fellow dealers and the occasional estate sale. I think I am ready to sell much of my kitchenware, just keeping a few pieces, Putting it all back in the tub for storing was like working one of these puzzles. Remember how frustrating those were??
Do you collect jadeite glassware? Do you use the items you collect?  Is there a piece or pieces you would love to own but haven't found yet? I'd love to hear from you! Also, I'd love for you to come back later in the week when I share the tableware.
(Thank you, Jann, for sharing this post at Share Your Cup Thursday #138!)
Rita C. at Panoply
Sharing with any given number of these fine hosts: