Thursday, August 25, 2011


As I have said before, the first thing I do when I receive my Martha Stewart Living magazine is to open it up to the "Collector Page".  Imagine my surprise this month when the focus is on Jade-ite.  It showcases hers and her daughter's amazing collection of Jade-ite.  My collection is a pittance compared to hers, but I love it just the same.  I have always loved dishes, glasses, serving pieces, etc., even when I was little.  I clearly remember my grandmother's dishes and my mother's "special" dinnerware that were used only on special occasions.  Because of this, I have a few sets of dishes that I like to use intermittently.  I learned about Jade-ite a few years ago.  Jade-ite is a dinnerware that was made during the 30's and 40's by a number of different companies.  It is a glassware similar to Pyrex, but is a beautiful pale green, somewhat translucent color.  I think that dinnerware was the original focus of production, but the line expanded to almost everything that you can imagine.  I have even seen towel rods made of Jade-ite.

Most of my Jade-ite is made by Fire King, a brand of Anchor Hocking.  However "the history of Fire King's Jadeite glassware begins with two other glass companies: McKee and Jeanette. McKee Glass began manufacturing the distinctive jade-green-colored glass in the 1930s; soon, another glass company, known as Jeanette Glass Company, also began manufacturing the green glass and is credited for coining its name "Jadeite."The much larger Anchor-Hocking Company followed suit in the early 1940s, producing green glass items as part of its Fire King line. While Anchor-Hocking produced many colored glass items for the Fire King line of kitchenware for everyday use, the Jadeite variety became most popular. Jadeite was produced by Anchor-Hocking until the 1970s."

"Anchor-Hocking's Fire King Jadeite is among the easiest to find of the antique jadeite simply because it was so popular as a promotional or giveaway item. One of the most famous examples is the "Alice" pattern of Fire King Jadeite cups and saucers that were included in canisters of Quaker Oatmeal. A cup or a saucer was included in each canister of Quaker Oatmeal, allowing thrifty homemakers to collect an entire set just by purchasing that oatmeal. Promotional items made by Fire King Jadeite were also used as service station, movie theater and department store giveaways."

I have not been a serious collector, but rather I purchase items that I really like and can use.  There are a number of reproductions, and the way to avoid those is to find the items in the Jade-ite catalogs and compare.  There are also markings on the bottom of some of the pieces, but some of the legitimate Fire King items were not marked.  Some of my pieces have the anchor and capital H along with the Fire King logo, some have just the Fire King logo, and some are unmarked.  I stopped worrying about reproductions, and tend to just check for the Fire King mark.

Because of this, I will focus mainly on Fire King Jade-ite.  Fire King made a number of different patterns of  Jade-ite, some of these were "Alice", "Shell", "Jane Ray", "Charm",  and "Restaurantware".  Fire King also made these same patterns in other colors such as a pale pink- Rose-ite, Pale blue- Azure-ite, etc.

Jade-ite is highly collectible, probably because so many pieces were made.  It is an ovenware which means it can be put in the oven, but it doesn't do well in the dish washer which tends to remove the "luster."

You can find Jade-ite on-line (ebay has a lot!), at antique stores, flea markets, and garage sales.  Some patterns seem to be more expensive than others (Charm always seem to cost more), and some pieces are very rare.  There was a tipped ball pitcher that was on ebay recently that was listed at $3500. 

The prices can be amazing, considering pieces of Jade-ite used to come in a box of oatmeal, a bag of flour, or given away at a gas station or movie theater. 

I think that this pitcher and glass set, that I purchased in NYC, is a reproduction, but I really like them.  

A footed jade-ite bowl.

Bakeware-  an 8" X 8" pan, a 9" X 13" pan, and a 10" pie plate.

More bakeware-  A large "Swirl" mixing bowl, and a rolling pin.

A scalloped "Cake Plate" or serving plate.

My favorite Jade-ite pattern-  "Jane Ray," has the small lines on all of the pieces.

I have been able to acquire a large enough set to serve my family of four, with a few extras. 

I just love the shine.  My husband is not so thrilled that they must be hand washed!

"Restaurantware- Fire King's Jadeite glass was a staple in cafes and restaurants in the 1940s and 1950s. Prized by restaurant owners for its durability and light weight, not to mention its affordability, Jadeite plates, bowls, saucers and cups were produced by Anchor Hocking as restaurant ware for decades."

Restaurantware is a bit chunkier that the other patterns and is very smooth.  The mugs shown above have the "D" handle.  The "C" handled mugs are more collectible.  I always picture Robert Redford in "The Sting" when he is in the diner, having the "Blue plate Special", and can only fit one finger in the mug handle while drinking his coffee.

One of the Fire King marks, without the anchor and H.

These dishes are from the "Charm" pattern line.  All of the pieces in this pattern are square shaped.

A 2 quart casserole dish-  I suspect this is a reproduction, but am not sure.

A serving platter in the Jane Ray pattern, and a refrigerator storage dish without its lid.

A grill plate....I love these!

My latest find is this butter dish, which I found at an antique store for a very nice price.  It is marked Fire King on the bottom.

It has been fun looking for and collecting Jade-ite, and even more fun using it. 

Enjoy these last few days of summer...fall it on its way!


  1. What a beautiful collection- and the dishes in the bakery rack look AWESOME!

  2. You give Martha and Alexis some competition! I also read the collection section in the Martha magazine! Thanks for all the jadeite tips and photos. Your meatloaf, baked potato and corn dinner looked delish on the plates! tmv

  3. Thank you for sharing your collection and your knowledge. I enjoyed reading this background information and descriptions. I collect pieces for my daughter although I share her love for this color!