Do you have special memories of someone’s kitchen?
For me, it is my maternal grandmother. She had pink appliances! The refrigerator, stove and telephone were pink. She was an incredibly good cook, known for her sweets, especially her pies. There are so many items that remind me of her and her kitchen. Seeing and using these items reminds me of the love and happiness I felt in her kitchen, which was the center of her home.
I think that many people have similar experiences, and that is why kitchen collectibles are so popular. Most of the collections I have seem to be either kitchen related or food related! Collectible kitchen items span a wide range of objects, from teakettles and toasters to skillets and stoves. Aside from their aesthetic appeal, many of these items are still usable, which makes them both functional to use and fun to own.
I found this great sugar shaker at an antiques mall a few years ago. As I started getting in to buying and selling antiques, I realized what it was. It is part of what is known as a Depression era “range set.” Typically, a range set consisted of shakers for salt, pepper, flour and sugar, and also had a jar for drippings. The set was kept right beside the range, or on a built in shelf on the range itself.
I found out that my shaker was part of a Hazel Atlas set, so I hunted down and found a full set, including the drippings jar!
There are a few companies that are known for their shakers and range sets.
Fire King: Had several lines, Vitroc, Splash Proof and Fired On among them. Fire-king came in many colors such as Jade-ite, Sapphire Blue, Turquoise Blue, Milk White, Royal Ruby, Pink and others. Fire-king came with many hand painted decorations from dots to ornate floral patterns. Because of its durability and selection of colors, styles, and patterns, and price this became one of the most popular kitchen dish ware lines in America.
Hazel Atlas : Some are round, ribbed, and sometimes decorated with stripes, while shakers designed for ranges and stoves made by Electrochef and Hot Point are square, made of milk glass and capped by threaded, metal lids in black, silver, Mandarin red, and Delft blue. The painted designs on the sides of these milk glass shakers tended to be plain and simple—a Dutch boy or girl, a windmill, a black Scottie dog, or flowers.
McKee : McKee Glass Company, which made some of the earliest cookie jars, also made simple square shakers in the 1930s but chose Art Deco lettering instead of painted designs for most of its exteriors. McKee also bucked the milk-white trend in favor of colors such as amber, ruby, and a green hue called jadite, which glowed in the dark when exposed to a black light.
Tipp City: Tipp didn’t produce their own shakers, they just decorated shakers made by other companies, especially McKee Glass Company. Tipp shakers may be embossed ‘Tipp U.S.A.’ or ‘Made in U.S.A.’ on the bottom, or, more likely, are unmarked altogether. The unmarked shakers generate the reasonable assumption that someone else made these unmarked versions for Tipp to decorate.
Jeanette: Jeanette Glass Co. of Jeanette, Pa., made Jennyware, a blue or green ribbed glass. The company also made kitchenware in Delphite, Jadite, shell pink and other colors. Delphite, a light-blue glassware, is a collector favorite. A Delphite range set was offered recently at DepressionKitchenGlass.com for $245.
Condition and Value
Luckily, most kitchenware was made with the abuse it would receive in mind. These pieces generally pretty heavy so they wore quite well, but some scratching or a little roughness may be present. If you’re willing to accept that, you might find pieces for your collection at a discounted price. Discoloration or removal of lettering on labels, decals and metal lids is a common problem too, since repeated washing over the years ultimately took its toll.
A little wear actually adds a desirable patina to many of these commodities, so don’t completely rule out a piece due to minor flaws. Just remember that top values should only be paid (or asked) for items in perfect, relatively unused condition. Avoid pieces with major damage such as large chips, cracks, faded decals and excessive wear to build a collection that will increase in value over time.