The Gaiety Range, which includes both Daisy and Snowflake designs, seems to be a favourite with just about every Pyrex collector I’ve ever met, no matter where they come from. I got very excited when I got my first piece of pink Daisy but not as excited as I got when I finally managed to get a piece of turquoise Daisy! With the Snowflake, I think white on coral is my favourite, closely followed by white on black.
The Gaiety Range and therefore these two designs are in some ways most closely associated with JAJ or Crown Pyrex, which is British, although the design was used two years earlier, although I believe in less colours, in the United States. As far as I can discover, through pieces I have in my collection or have seen elsewhere, the Daisy pattern on pink was produced in the USA and the UK but was only done on turquoise and yellow in the UK. With Snowflake, it was produced in black on white and white on turquoise in the USA and also in turquoise on white, although this last colour arrangement was not available in the UK. To add to the confusion, American Pyrex also has a design called Snowflake Blue, which bears no resemblance to Snowflake! In the UK, Snowflake was produced in; black on white, black on yellow, white on black, white on pink, white on coral, white on turquoise and white on duck egg blue! Quite why Snowflake and Daisy were produced in more colours in the UK than the States I don’t know.
Daisy was released by JAJ in 1958 and continued to be produced into the mid-sixties. It was mostly produced in pink with the daisy pattern in white, the other colour schemes (turquoise with white daisies and yellow with black daisies) were only produced from 1958 to 1959, which is why they are harder to find. These additional colours were only used for the deep and shallow oblong casserole dishes, not the rest of the items in the Daisy range. The pink Daisy was used for these two dishes and also a gravy boat and stand, a divider and an oval casserole dish. Pink Daisy dishes are very popular and slightly easier to find than the turquoise and yellow, simply because the range was bigger and produced for longer. From my own experience, I would say that the yellow is the least favourite of the three colours, although I don’t know why as it looks very fresh, although it is quite a light yellow (which I think fits well with the pink and turquoise) and perhaps was not considered vibrant enough by the shoppers of the day. The three colours in the Daisy range do go beautifully together – sort of ice cream colours – and many collectors have dishes in all three and display them together. Although just as many opt for one colour and collect everything which was made in it!
Snowflake was also introduced by JAJ in 1958, although the range of pieces made seems to have been slightly larger. The white on pink and white on duck egg was only produced from 1958 until 1960 and the white on coral from 1958 until 1962. The white on pink were only available in the shallow and deep oblong casserole dishes. The Black on white was available only in a deep oblong casserole but also in round easy-grip casseroles (which were not made in any other colours) and a sauce boat and stand. As far as I am aware, the rest of the colours had shallow and deep oblong casserole dishes, an oval casserole dish and a divider produced in them. I say as far as I’m aware because as any vintage Pyrex collector knows, it isn’t always easy to be sure exactly what was produced in which colours and just when you think you know, something turns up in a colour or pattern which you didn’t expect it to!
The black on white easy-grip casseroles come in the tiny eight ounce size (I always think this tiny dishes are very cute) and I know one pampered baby who regularly has her meals served to her from one! When I was first collecting, I really wanted to get hold of what I thought of as Goth Pyrex (the white on black) but had a really hard time finding any and the stuff I did find always seemed to be in bad condition. I finally found an oval casserole on eBay… you’ve guessed it, it arrived smashed (although I could tell from the pieces it had been in lovely condition!). As far as popularity is concerned with Snowflake, the pink and turquoise are always liked but people do go rather crazy over the white on coral! These dishes obviously come into their own in the Winter, particularly if you celebrate Christmas.
Many of the oven dishes (as with other ranges) come with metal stands which have spaces underneath for two tealights, so the hot dish can come straight to the table from the oven and you can even keep the contents warm, if you linger over the starter – just another couple of touches which explain why
Pyrex became a household world for ovenproof glass, despite having rivals.
With both these patterns the most important thing to look for as a collector (providing there are no chips, cracks or nibbles, of course. Sometimes I think I could say that in my sleep!) is the vibrancy of the colour. As I’ve said, the white on black doesn’t seem to survive that well and I think the pink and yellow versions also seem to be prone to fading. Some people feel that the yellow is insipid but I think that may be because they’ve seen examples which have faded. A really good yellow is lovely and bright, just as pretty as the others. Also, don’t forget that Snowflake comes in both duck egg and turquoise – some people don’t realise that and think that their bluey dish must be turquoise (presumably in the case of duck egg, turquoise which has gone drastically wrong!). These dishes, especially in their turquoise and pink versions are usually what the non-Pyrex collector is looking at when they say “I never knew Pyrex could look like this!” – often the first step to Pyrex addiction!