Vintage hunting can be challenging for an untrained eye! As a kitchenware collector, you might have to pursue auction stores to yard sales in search of the rarest pieces. Vintage Fire-King pattern identification can be tricky after its sudden boom in the atomic age.
The stylized glassware by Anchor Hocking has been ruling the antique shops for over four decades. The dishware’s aesthetics and practicality make it highly sought-after among collectors.
There was a time when Anchor Hocking’s Fire King was a household name. However, these mid-century patterns have gained an enormous following in the past decades, imparting a sense of nostalgia to vintage collectors. Today, Fire King products get the highest bids on online sites like eBay and auction stores. For instance, this Fire King Charm Jadeite Large Collection Set is sold at a bid of $1426.
Though Fire king patterns have been enjoying the limelight for quite a while now, it still takes an eye for detail to figure out original vintage patterns. This guide is developed for precisely that!
Stick with the guide to figure out true Fire King dishware and its worth before you buy or sell it at your local store!
Table of Contents
Anchor Hocking Fire King Kitchenware- A History of 117 Years
Anchor Hocking glassware history spans over a massive 117 years. The kitchenware giant has seen its fair share of ups and downs during this period.
The brand Anchor Hocking started its operation in Lancaster, Ohio, in the 1900s. It soon became an industry leader in the 1930s. The company thrived through the post-war period in the 1940s and continued its production.
The mass production of glassware by Anchor Hocking proceeded for three decades, from the 50s to the 70s. The kitchenware sets by the company became a common sight in American households. The most popular was their Fire King range. They were sold everywhere, from homeowners to chefs; everybody bought the products.
The 1980s was not easy for the American economy overall. Globalization took over, and mergers and acquisitions hit nearly every business practice. Anchor Hocking was no different, as the cheaper manufacturing costs affected its production.
Fire King- The Collector Wave
The true collector wave of Fire King patterns emerged in the 1990s. The vintage fire king patterns suddenly created hype in the market, and their prices sky-rocketed. It was partly because online marketplaces like eBay came into the picture. These marketplaces provided a way for people to buy and sell vintage products online.
The Vintage Fire King Jade ite was particularly applauded. Jade ite dishes came back in style, and Anchor Hocking reproduced their collection in 2000 to celebrate them. Since everyone discovered the worth of these dishes, soon, these were sold for hundreds of dollars in the market.
Though clear glass by Anchor Hocking is still available in all big stores like Walmart, the colorful vintage patterns are only limited to secondary markets. The Jadite glassware products have successfully maintained their value in the market. Their prices are, in fact, increasing with time, making them worthwhile to collect.
Vintage Fire King Pattern Identification
Anchor Hocking’s Fire King line is immensely famous for its aesthetic appeal in patterns, beautiful color choices, and durable borosilicate material. The Anchor Hocking company made Fire King by taking inspiration from bold colors and depression glass. These rich shades caught the attention of every vintage collector.
Among these, the special Jade ite series (opaque green glass) is highly sought after (we will discuss this series in detail below).
Popular Vintage Fire King Patterns
The family of Fire King glass is not only recognized for its bold hues but for sophisticated stylized patterns. The colors used were finite, but the company had substantial pattern choices. The Fire King pattern series came in two types
- Stylized patterns directly molded onto the glassware looking like painted designs
- Solid backgrounds with decaled patterns on the front.
Let’s take a look at common vintage fire king patterns
1. Primrose Pattern
Hands down, one of the most sophisticated patterns in the Fire King family is primrose. This pattern is made of tiny red and pink primroses against a white background. The bundle of romantic flowers creates a stark hue contrast against the background.
The pattern is highly collectible as the company produced it for a limited time. The delicate feminine pattern is also loved by collectors all over the U.S.
As the name suggests, this particular pattern is also associated with delicate flowers. It contains an attractive flower circle engraved on a plain white background. Fleurette had a decent selling at its time and was considered perfect for evening and tea parties.
3. Anniversary Rose
Anniversary Rose is yet another delicate floral design by the company.
This pattern depicts a single, simple, creamy pink rose with some side branches and leaves. It was famous as a gift item for anniversaries. The design is feminine and sits well on a dish or cup against a white background.
4. Forget Me Not
Forget Me Not is one of the vibrant and regal patterns of the Fire King glassware. The small blue flowers are paired with the yellowish wheat bundle to showcase a simple yet bright hue.
Striking against a background of milky glass, the Forget Me Not pattern is a delicate swirling flower motif. It is more magnified in the 12- piece full dinner set.
5. Wheat Pattern
Collectors admire the classic wheat pattern on the Anchor Hocking glass. The design contains gorgeous wheat stalks in a graceful gold tinged color. The presence of gold and silver-infused surface brings out the magnificence of the pattern.
Modern collectors equally admire this pattern on large dinner plates and coffee mugs.
6. Meadow Green Pattern
Another typical mid-century pattern on the Fire King pieces is Meadow Green. The colors and design chosen have a vintage touch with forest green leafy motifs showcased in an oscillating manner on the glassware.
7. Blue Mosaic
Unlike the usual flowery designs, the blue mosaic is subtle and retro. This pattern features shaded blue squares in various hues fanning out from the middle of the glassware piece. The pattern is unique and vivid and looks like a stained glass window.
Apart from the feminine flowery design patterns, Fire King is available in opaque solid glass patterns. Some well-accepted patterns by collectors are
The swirl pattern is the ridged border around the glassware. It rotates uniquely to form a swirl.
9. Three Bands
Three bands are a classic Fire King pattern with stylized banding across the edges of the glassware. Vintage lovers across the country also adorn this pattern.
This solid pattern has molded edges that are raised to form a sea-shell-like design
11. Fish Scale
The fish scale is a mermaid-like pattern engraved around the edges of the glassware.
12. Sheaves of Wheat
A delicate pattern of wheat stalkings that are interwoven within the glassware body.
13. Alice pattern
Alice pattern is another solid glass pattern consisting of concentric circles across the border of the glassware. A central ridged pattern also accompanies the flower circles.
Fire King Glassware- Most In-Demand Series
Although the whole Fire King brand is quite popular among the collectors, two series especially stand out. These series have gained enough gazes from vintage lovers to make them particularly special and high-priced.
1. Peach Lustre Series
The peach lustre series by Fire King featured pieces of milk glass in a lovely peach pink shade. These pieces were specially made with a sparkling glaze on them.
The dinnerware from this series is rarely available today as they were more delicate than others. Most sets have not survived to be available, making them worth even more.
2. Jade ite Series
If you are into collecting Fire King, this might be the first name you have heard. The Jade ite series produced by the company between 1942 and 1956 is undoubtedly the most in-demand series from the brand.
This milk glass opaque series features kitchenware in a forest green color. Industries gave away the pieces from this series for free during the 40s and 50s era. However, the current prices of Jade ite pieces are worth more than others.
Vintage Fire King Price Guide
Vintage Fire King glassware has made its place in the 21st century quite well. The durable pieces produced by the company are still in high demand. However, their price point varies based on various factors. For instance, the larger the set, the more it will be worth.
Some Fire King pieces are relatively common, which decreases their monetary value. However, the niche products such as the Fire king mugs of restaurant use are still sold at a high price.
The Jade ite series by the company is yet another successful investment option as it remains pretty famous to date. For instance, the Jade ite set is up for bidding on eBay at $1125. The bowls set by the company are sold at $95.
Here are some factors that you can look at to determine the value of your Fire King products
How Do I Know The Value of My Fire-King Pieces?
Developing a trained eye for locating rare pieces is the number one skill a collector should have! This skill requires that you have in-depth knowledge about the items you wish to collect. There are many online sites like eBay, Etsy, auction stores, or even local markets to hunt for products, but you need to know the value of your piece before you buy or sell it.
Knowing a true vintage Fire King piece from the fake manufactures requires attention to detail. Most importantly, you should look for the following factors
The Anchor Hocking company used its trademark logo to mark the Fire King pieces. These logos have slightly changed over the years and promotional products were not marked. However, the logo design on the glassware is still an essential indication of the genuine vintage Fire King glass.
You can also assess the manufacturing date of the Fire King from its logo. Vintage designs have more value in the market. For instance, this vintage Fire King bowl on eBay is listed for $135.
The Trademark and the date range for the Fire King products in various eras are represented in the table below.
FIRE-KING (Block Lettering)
1942 – 1945
OVEN FIRE-KING GLASS
mid-1940s – early 1950s
OVEN FIRE-KING WARE (Block or Script Lettering)
mid to late 1940s
OVEN Fire-King WARE MADE IN U.S.A
ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King WARE MADE IN U.S.A
1960 – the late 1960s
ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King DINNERWARE MADE IN U.S.A
late 1960s- early 1970s
ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King OVEN-PROOF MADE IN U.S.A
ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King Suburbia OVEN-PROOF MADE IN U.S.A
Always remember that the original Fire King products produced by Anchor Hocking are hand painted. The design patterns are painted and then fired to maximize the durability of the Fire King products.
Therefore, you need to check for the signs of hand painting to ensure that your product is authentic, “vintage”. If you feel like it’s not the case, it is probably a “red flag” and not worth much.
Pro-tip: In order to ensure hand-painting, look at the design pattern under a direct light source. If the pattern has a certain shine or glossy texture, it is likely NOT vintage.
Condition of the Product
Another important factor that determines the value of a true Fire King is its apparent condition (the signs of use). A piece in neat and good condition would cost much more than one worn out with use. For instance, the value of this Jade ite mug in new condition is $249.99.
Checking the condition of opaque glassware is particularly important as the signs of use are not clearly visible on the surface. The trick is to run your finger across every edge of the glassware to feel any cracks or chips.
However, there are two exceptions to this
- If the cracked item is scarce or completes the set, it can be worth more
- The factory-originated flaws do not affect the value of the Fire King glass. It includes minor roughness, mold marks, or dark specs under the gaze and the ripple.
Also, look out for “dishwasher haze”. It is a layer representing damaged luster due to repeated washing of the dishes.
Look Out For Minor Details
As mentioned earlier, locating hidden treasures involves looking out for every minor detail in the item. How can you do that? We suggest that you educate yourself about the intricate details of the product you are collecting.
Read about the identifying colors and shapes of the Vintage Fire King pieces, such as royal ruby, turquoise blue, peach lustre, and Jade ite.
Here are some books and articles you can study to know more about Fire king glassware
- A Collector’s Guide to Anchor Hocking’s “Fire-King” Glassware
- Jadite: Identification & Price Guide (Nov 2014) by Joe Keller and David Ross.
- Anchor Hocking’s Fire-King & More: Including Early American Presscut and Wexford, 4th Edition Hardcover – Illustrated, August 13, 2009
Key Dates For Determining Value of Fire-King Jade ite Dishes
Jade ite is the most popular and valuable series among sellers and collectors in the Fire King family. You can determine the value of your Jade ite through its markings. Markings indicate when precisely a particular Jade ite piece was manufactured.
The rarest and vintage piece is the most valuable in terms of price. You can identify your Jade ite through the following markings
1942-1945 marks the earliest pieces of Jade ite. They are rare and thus, are of great value. If you are lucky enough to find such pieces, you have hit a Jade ite jackpot.
These dishes have the following markings in the block letters (with no other marking on the upper or lower side)
- OVEN FIRE-KING WARE
- OVEN FIRE-KING GLASS
- FIRE-KING OVEN GLASS
Pro-Tip: If you are an online seller of a piece with the markings mentioned above, make sure this appears in your title. Knowledgable collectors always look for such markings.
During this period, the company introduced the script logo of Fire King. This logo became the Trademark in 1950. However, the markings on Jade ite dishes were still straightforward. Check if your Jade ite dish has the following markings
- OVEN Fire-KingWARE
- OVEN Fire-KingGLASS
- Fire-KingOVEN GLASS
The script logos with no additional markings represent this era.
This manufacturing period is typically identified by the
- “MADE IN THE U.S.A.” mark
- Addition of piece and mold numbers (does not add much value to the price)
- The number at the top is the piece number. The middle one is the mold number which might be associated with some dots.
The markings will move from simple to more complex as the age of the piece decreases. This period’s pieces will show the “Anchor Hocking” logo and a wordmark. The emblem of this era will clearly show an “H” over the anchor.
The pieces will be from this era if they do not mention “2000,” which will be the case with 2000s pieces.
1976 is the last year for original Jade ite production, after which the company stopped making these pieces. The production ran for 34 years before its resurrection in 2000.
In 1976, Anchor Hocking changed its logo and made it the form of a rounded square with an anchor inside it.
The Jade ite pieces produced in 2000 were particularly a homage to the long history of original Jade ite. These included casserole dishes, batter bowls, and baking pans. The articles made in this period contain a clear marking of “2000” on them that separates them from the rest of the Jade ite series.
Although the “2000” pieces are not as highly-priced as the vintage original jade ite, they have consistently seen a growth a in their price. The collectors have shown interest in these products and still like them.
Apart from the regular markings, some pieces from Jade ite had foil stickers on the front. The dishes with foil stickers are quite rare and, thus, are valuable. The presence of original labels adds to its price. You can also find them in some 2000 reproduction pieces.
Check some flea market finds of Jade ite here to get a better idea about its price!
What If My Jade ite Is Not Marked?
It is possible that you don’t see any markings on your Jade ite dish. It could be due to three reasons.
- It might have a foil label which is now removed.
- It could not be a Fire King but another brand of Anchor Hocking such as McKee or Jeannette (these dishes glow under U/V light whereas, Fire King does not)
- It is not a true Anchor Hocking Jade ite and probably a fake (If you are not 100% certain about originality, better to leave it)
This guide is developed for collectors passionate about original Vintage Fire King kitchenware. You can head to reading online books for more information as the Anchor Hocking website does not offer much about its rich heritage.
- Identification of Fire King
The original Fire King can be identified through its exclusive patterns, vibrant colors, markings, and logo design on the dishes. Each era of production is represented by a specific logo design.
- Value of Fire King
The value of Fire King depends on various factors including the date of production, condition of the glassware, completion of a set, and how rare the collection is in the market. Earlier pieces of Fire King are more rare and valuable. Jade ite series is one of the most popular series among the collectors, making it high priced.