Collecting Vintage English Pyrex aka JAJ Pyrex

Collecting Vintage English Pyrex aka JAJ Pyrex

One of the most popular vintage trends, especially among the younger Tiktok generation is Collecting Vintage English Pyrex. This refers specifically to the brightly decorated opaline glass items made in a short period from the 1950s – 1980s, not the clear ovenware still available today. It is a massive trend on Tiktok under the hashtag #vintagepyrex and displaying a collection of colourful casserole dishes and bowls has become a perfect example of the mid century design aesthetic. The rarest Pyrex items sell for hundreds of pounds on Ebay and Etsy which is a testament to how popular it has become with collectors.


Pyrex as a brand was launched in 1915 by Corning Glass Works in New York, USA. It was made from borosilicate glass which is a strong, heat resistant material used for industrial glassware. Researchers soon discovered it could be used for cooking use too, and displayed properties making it almost unbreakable. Their new consumer brand was marketed directly to housewives in the USA and employed women to demonstrate the product in deparment stores. Initial products included casserole dishes, baking dishes, pie plates, loaf pans and trays. According to company records, the name came from a mix of the word pie (representing their dishes), an ex which was used to mark products. Corning glass museum continues to add that “However, early ads have “fire-glass” printed beneath Pyrex, showing that Corning was at least partially “playing with pyre.” Source:

Collecting Vintage English Pyrex - Early Pyrex products Image
Early Pyrex Products

Meanwhile in 1922, a UK based company, James. A. Jobling & Co Ltd started to make Pyrex in their Sunderland factory under licence to manufacture and sell it across Europe. It was first sold in Harrods and they stocked the full range of products which by now included oblong utility dishes for roasting Yorkshire pudding, round cake dishes, tart dishes and oval eared dishes for cooking fish (Source: Pyrex was also sold in Selfridges where they demonstrated the product in their china and glass department. As these were expensive shops, Pyrex was mainly purchased by more well to do ladies for use by the servants in the kitchen.

However, impacted by the changes in society after the first world war, domestic servants were becoming a rarity. Middle class women were now expected to work in the kitchen and found the new Pyrex products helped them to cook recipes with ease, and the attractive design of the dishes meant they could be taken directly from the oven and served at the table.

Collecting Vintage English Pyrex - an early advertisement
1950s Uk Pyrex Ad featuring new 'Colourware'

After the Second World War, new designers were brought in to revive the product and appeal to younger, more modern consumers. Prestigious product designers were brought in from the Design Research Unit (a post WW2 agency set up to help shape modern Britain). They developed innovations such as a flat lid for casserole dishes, as well as introducing bright modern designs that could be easily applied the new Opalware range. This was a new toughened glass with a pure white colour, scratch resistant, and able to withstand high temperatures without losing integrity of form or design. The first colour patterns were introduced in the late 1950s and included Gaiety, Snowflake, Cloverleaf, Gooseberry and Daisy. Some dishes came with wire stands and handles as a nod to the atomic era.

Collecting Vintage English Pyrex - 1950s Pastel Colours
The most sought after JAJ Pyrex among collectors is 1950s patterns such as Gaiety and Daisy in pretty pastel colours
Vintage JAJ Pyrex Large Green Cloverleaf Cinderella Mixing Bowl 1950s
The JAJ Pyrex Cloverleaf pattern is also popular among collectors and came in pastel colours too

Other products aimed the younger market were coffee and tea making items, such as elegant glass coffee jugs with gold star design and a keep warm stand. This was very fashionable at the time with the younger coffee bar drinking generation and continued well into the 1960s.

The 1960s saw peak production for the Jobling factory with 25 new patterns introduced including Matchmaker, Chelsea, Fiesta, Harvest and Autumn Glory. Coffee cups and saucers were also added into the range.

Rachel’s Vintage & Retro Facebook follower Vix Cutler explains her love of Collecting Vintage English Pyrex from this era, “I’m obsessed with Briarwood and Carnaby Tempo. Love my Pyrex although I can’t really say why! Just love the colours and it’s more sustainable than using new kitchenware!”.

Pauline Clubb also reminisces, “My Nana had the harvest pattern, two dishes in a brass stand. Peas and carrots were served in this on a Sunday with a roast dinner. The best memories”.

As the decade went on and Pyrex became more popular, selling prices were slashed once James A Jobling announced they would no longer enforce recommended retail prices. At the end of the 1960s the 2001 range was introduced with bright flower power design in bold orange or blue. This was a nod to the space race and optimism about the future. These pieces have become very popular with collectors today.

Vintage JAJ Pyrex Chelsea Pattern 60s 70s - Various Items To Choose From
The ever popular JAJ Pyrex Chelsea range
Vintage JAJ Pyrex Chelsea Boxed Tea Set 18 Pieces 60s 70s. Contains 6 tea cups, 6 saucers and 6 side plates
A rare boxed JAJ Pyrex Chelsea Teaset

Chelsea remains one of the designs that people remember the most from this time. Its combination of geometric and filigree blue and black pattern graced many a table in the 60s and 70s, and well into the 80s and beyond. Its durability surviving the test of time.

Pyrex Chelsea enthusiast Kirsty, (@kirstyscollectables on Instagram), took part in a special Pyrex100 online exhibition by Sunderland Culture. She even has a tattoo of the design on her ankle!

See Kirsty’s video here:

Collecting Vintage English Pyrex - Chelsea Tattoo
Kirsty's Chelsea Tattoo!

By the 1970s production costs were rising and the company found it hard to keep up with other brands. So in 1973, J A Jobling was taken over by the American Corning Corporation (the original makers of US Pyrex. The name changed to Corning Ltd and the JAJ shield mark was dropped, which is a useful indicator to collectors of date.

The company continued to introduce new products in the 1970s including brightly coloured plastic-cased Drink Ups. There were cheaper copies of these on the market but Pyrex offered a two year guarantee, making them stand out from the competition.

There were also scales, storage jars and mix n measure bowls added to the product range. One of the popular ranges introduced at the end of the decade was the orange and yellow Sunflower, complementing the fashion for all things orange popular for kitchens then.

Teresa McCullagh, Rachel’s Vintage & Retro fan, remembers her experience of Vintage Pyrex on our Facebook page, “Pyrex dishes and even teasets were a must in every house when I was growing up. When we were making dishes in home education to take home, the best pyrex was taken. Lasagne, cottage pie, apple crumble, the list is endless”. 


Vintage JAJ Pyrex Drink Ups x2 Glass Coffee Picnic Mugs Orange Plastic 1970s
Iconic JAJ Pyrex Drink-Up Coffee Cups 1970s
JAJ Pyrex Sunflower pattern
JAJ Pyrex Sunflower was the first Pyrex my parents bought in the late 1970s

Production continued into the 1980s with more muted designs that appealed to the rustic kitchen look of the time. Smoked brown glass lids appeared on casserole dishes, although the milk glass look still remained. This design, Pesca was one of the new patterns and contained the backstamp, PYREX ENGLAND.

Milk glass Pyrex, as well as the original clear glass items such as measuring jugs, lasagne dishes etc was available well into the 1990s. In 2005 Pyrex celebrated its 90th anniversary with a commemorative glassware collection, however by 2007 the factory in Sunderland had closed down bringing a sad end Pyrex production in the UK.

However JAJ Pyrex is not forgotten! As well as those collecting vintage english pyrex for its Mid Century design aesthetic, many love it purely for nostalgia as Lydia Quilter, another of our Facebook followers notes, Endless memories of my grandparents cooking beautiful and yummy wholesome meals for us and the family. The patterns, the colours, easy to clean, durable and reliable. Particularly my Welsh granny in her pinny and oven gloved hands bringing a beautiful fruit pie out of the oven. Perfect!”.

Vintage Pyrex Pesca Peach Large Casserole Dish with Lid 1980s
1980s UK Pyrex Casserole Dish in Pesca design and featuring the non-JAJ backstamp

English Pyrex JAJ Patterns

Here is the full list of English JAJ Pyrex patterns, courtesy of That Retro Piece

Where to Buy

Rachel’s Vintage & Retro always have Vintage Pyrex available in our web shop. Pieces can easily be found in flea markets, vintage shops and car boot sales. Etsy and Ebay are also good places to search.

You might also be able to find pieces closer to home as your parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles clear out their old items!


As with most collections, the rarer pieces are going to fetch the highest prices. The older 1950s designs like Snowflake and Daisy, on the lovely pastel backgrounds command a princely sum. There is also a lot of competition for these among US collectors, which pushes up the price.

Some recent sold prices on ebay are:

£100 for a pink daisy oblong casserole dish with lid,

£85 for a set of 3 pink gooseberry set of Cinderella nesting bowls

£50 for a green gooseberry pouring bowl with lid

Expect to pay considerably less for the more popular designs like Chelsea, June Rose, Harvest, Wild Fowl and Matchmaker (the red set is worth more).

Generally the brighter colour designs such as Market Garden, Briarwood, 2001 and Carnaby Tempo make them more attractive to collectors, so the price will be slightly higher.

Pyrex Collectors Display Image
@kirstyscollectables extensive JAJ Pyrex collection displayed perfectly in her vintage kitchen!

This blog post is written by Rachel Toy, owner of Rachel’s Vintage & Retro. I am a vintage enthusiast writing about 20th Century Antiques and Collectables. I also sell a wide variety of vintage items such as Vintage Toys and Games, Vintage Tupperware, Vintage Pyrex, Vintage Kitsch and Vintage Plastics from my Vintage Website and Social Media.

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