Bowl Me Over

Zephyr RRP
Zephyr RRP

I love bowls. I am not sure why or where it started but when I am in an antique shop or thrift store, I am immediately drawn to kitchen stuff, especially bowls. I have quite a collection. I really love the pottery bowls like the ones shown above. These were a find that I couldn’t pass up, although I did until they suddenly went on sale for half price. I talked the buyer down another $10 and got them for a song. The ones above have an amazing relief of Viking ships being blown by the wind. It is sometimes called the “Zephyr” pattern. They were produced by the Robinson-Ransbottom Pottery Company out of Roseville, Ohio. There are no marks so I had to do a bit of research to find the maker.

One great reference is Cajunc.com. This website helps to identify pottery in a variety of ways. Of course just Googling what marks you can find will begin your search nicely, until the point when you just can’t find what you are looking for.

Close up of relief on Zephyr mixing bowl
Close up of relief on Zephyr mixing bowl

Another bowl that I fell in love with was this one:

McCoy mixing bowl
McCoy Mixing Bowl 1920s

This one I found sitting quietly on a shelf at a favorite antique store. I didn’t really know what it was when I bought it. I have since found out it is a mixing bowl (it’s a baking thing) from the 1920’s made by McCoy. It isn’t marked McCoy on the bottom but “166 USA.” Had I realized what it was when I bought it, I wouldn’t have hemmed and hawed about it. I bought it for $7, it’s worth a lot more than that! Google “girl with watering can McCoy” someday.

The thing is, I use these bowls. I hand wash them when I do but they are just perfect for baking. Go figure. I love it when I can find a use for them.

According to Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles (2011), McCoy is a pottery company that was in business from 1899 when it was established in Roseville, Ohio under the name J.W. McCoy Pottery Co. They produced stoneware and some art pottery. Over time, there was a merger with 2 other potteries which created the Brush-McCoy Pottery Company. Many of the early pottery pieces are not marked. In 1910, the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Co. was formed when J.W. McCoy and his son, Nelson, left the Brush-McCoy Company. Most of the pieces marked “McCoy” fall under the Nelson McCoy Company line.¹

Another of my favorites is Pyrex. Almost everyone knows what Pyrex is. The website Pyrexlove.com is a good resource for all things Pyrex. According to Pyrexlove.com, Corning Glass Works introduced Pyrex in 1915. This was the clear Pyrex. Pyrex Flameware for use on the stove top (think coffee pots and sauce pans), was introduced in 1936 and was still being produced in the 70s. The colored Pyrex did not come along until 1947. Here is part of my collection of colored Pyrex bowls. They are all fairly common but I love them and the colors never fail to cheer me up.

Pyrex Colored BowlsThe orange one has a pattern called Butterfly Gold made in the 60s and 70s. The yellow one has a clear bottom embossed Pyrex and was made during the mid-80s. The blue one is from an earlier primary color set manufactured during the 1940s.

I have a few more that I haven’t photographed yet but that doesn’t mean they aren’t loved and used. I am sure I will continue to add to my collection; it is inevitable. The call of all things vintage and kitchen continues to lure me. Just think of all the cakes, cookies, pancakes and eggs that were beaten and stirred to feed families long since changed by time. Amazing.

¹Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 45th Edition. Ed. Mark Moran. Iola: Krause Publications, 2011. 184-185. Print.

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