fiestalover

Identify Fiesta Large Bowl & Nested Unmarked Bowls

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I inherited a lot of fiesta from my mother. One item, a large bowl, I cannot identify. I have never seen it on Ebay or in the book I have. It is 11" wide by 5-1/2" high, it is footed. It is the vintage red in color. It has

"Genuine fiesta H L C USA" inscirbed on the bottom. The only thing I can think of is that it is a salad bowl or a fruit bowl. Can anyone help me identify this bowl!

Also, I have three nested yellow bowls with flat lids. They are unmarked but look like fiesta with three rings on the top but the rings are spaced further apart than usual. Are they fiesta?

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Your bowl may be a footed salad bowl and, if it is, you're very fortunate. The book I consulted, "Fiesta, Harlequin, & Kitchen Kraft Dinnerwares" gives very specific dimensions for the vintage pieces, and the dimensions vary slightly from your measurements, but are close. It finds the footed salad bowl to be 11-3/8" wide and 5-9/16" high. I'll quote a portion of what it says:

It's not the tallest Fiesta piece, or the heaviest or widest, but it is a very large bowl and one of the most sought after items in the line. Priced at $2.25 in 1936 it was a big piece for the money. This bowl was introduced and discontinued along with the 9-1/2" nappie, but they are much harder to find than that bowl. No doubt this is due to the relative few sold when they were in production. Yellow ones are reportedly the most elusive.

There are two versions of this bowl, an early one and a later one. In the early one, the band of rings on the inside edge of the bowl stop about 1.5" from the rim.

The second variety has a much thicker foot which appears to be hand turned. . . . The inner ring pattern descends 2" into the bowl from the rim and the rings are more widely spaced. . . These bowls are usually marked with the "Genuine Fiesta" backstamp. Both types will have three imperfections in the center of the completely glazed foot. This is due to the tripod stilt used in the glazing kiln.

My copy of this book, which was published in 2000, gives a value of $350-$375 for this bowl in red.

As for your nested bowls, they may or may not be Fiesta. I found a fairly clear photo on eBay of one in green (see below). There are four single rings and the fifth ring at the bottom is actually several rings very closely spaced. The rings are sometimes indistinct depending upon the color of the piece and thickness of the glaze. The mixing bowl covers are not exactly flat. There is a round indentation in the middle with a circular projection that serves as a knob of sorts. Also, apparently the Fiesta mixing bowls had backstamps -- two or three different varieties, but I found no mention of unmarked mixing bowls.

fiestagreenmixingbowl.jpg

I hope this is helpful to you in determining if your bowls are Fiesta or not.

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Thank you for identifying my bowl! According to the description I have the later version. It is good to know finally that it is a salad bowl, I thought that was what it must have been used for. The bowls were hers also and I know she loved Fiesta, but they just don't look exactly like fiesta. I have the nested mixing bowls

like the picture you sent, however, mine are blue, red, and yellow. I will try and take a picture of the bowls so you can see them, the lids are a little arched and almost flat without a handle, they are certainly a mystery.

Can you suggest the best books to get to identify fiesta and one that tells what the estimated value for the pieces? I want to make sure I have enough insurance to cover the collection, I believe I do but you never know.

I use my fiesta everyday, as my mother did, I grew up eating every meal on fiesta. My mother always said, "what is the use of having something you love and enjoy if you don't use it for the purpose it was made?" She made me promise to use it and not just put it on a shelf to collect dust. I find it is really very sturdy and holds up to daily use. I don't have a lot of cracks or chips like I see on some of the items on Ebay. In fact, I even feed my cat using a fiesta cereal bowl. One of my friends almost had a stroke when she saw me using it for that purpose, she could not understand why I would use a valuable bowl like that to feed my cat. Why not I said, it is a bowl, and just the right size. OK, I hope I have not offended fiesta collectors everywhere! Don't get me wrong, I value my collection and take very good care of it. Hand wash only.

I have heard mixed opinions about using the red pieces, some say you should never use them but others say that as long as they do not have cracks it is OK. I don't use them (like my salad bowl) because I don't know the correct information. What do you think?

Also, the relish trays, when they were originally sold did they come with mixed colors (did you have a choice)for each piece like the ones I see now on Ebay? The four I have all the pieces are one color but I guess you could mix and match them if that is what you like. I guess that was what was so great about the dishes, you could buy just one color or all the colors like my mother, depending on what you liked and then mix and match as you wanted. I fed my youngest daughter in a relish tray when she was young because she would not eat any food that touched another food. It was perfect!

Thank you again for responding to my questions. I really appreciate it!

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There are a number of good Fiesta books available. "Fiesta, Harlequin, Kitchen Kraft Dinnerwares" is my favorite. It's not cheap -- $31.38 on amazon.com -- but it is very comprehensive. Another good, but less detailed, source is "Collector's Encyclopedia of Fiesta." Currently in its tenth edition, it is cheaper -- $16.47 -- but far less comprehensive. Both books are filled with beautiful photographs and include price estimates. There are more Fiesta-related books available. You should go on amazon.com and look around.

The "Collector's Encyclopedia of Fiesta," however, has a very nice little section concerning Radioactive Red, as the color is affectionately referred to by collectors. I will quote in part:

Exactly when the first rumors began circulating, hinting that the red Fiesta could be hazardous to your health, is uncertain. In most probability, it was around the time that Fiesta red was reintroduced after the war and was no doubt due to the publicity given to uranium and radioactivity during the war years. Clearly another case where "a little learning can be a dangerous thing. . . .

Back in May of 1977 on an eastern television station, an announcement was made concerning the pros and cons of the safety of colored-glazed dinnerware. Fiesta was mentioned by name. We contacted the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, FDA, in Chicago. This in part is their position, and it is supported by HLC.

The presence of lead, cadmium, and other toxic metal in glaze or decal is not in intself a hazard. It becomes a problem only when a glaze or decal that has not been properly formulated, applied, or fired, contains dangerous metals which can be released by high-acid foods such as fruit juices, some soft drinks, wines, cider, vinegar, and vinegar-containing fods, sauerkraut, and tomato products.

Be on the safe side by not storing foods or beverages in such containers for prolonged periods of time, such as overnight. Daily use of the dinnerware for serving food does not pose a hazard. If the glaze or decal is properly formulated, propertly applied, and properly fired, there is no hazard.

I think that's pretty clear.

About the relish trays, they were shipped by HLC in sets of one color. Retailers, however, broke up the sets allowing customers to mix and match as they pleased. I have read that cobalt and red are the most valuable colors.

I hope you can get a good photo of your mixing bowls -- along with those mysterious lids.

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Thank you for the info on the red dishes, I will be making a big salad this weekend but I will serve the dressing on the side! Isn't it remarkable how misinformation gets started! I will look for the books on Amazon, just did not want to invest in any unless I knew they were good. Thank you again! I asked my daughter to take a picture of the bowls and lids, she said she would this weekend. I am sure she will be able to upload it for me, she is a computer wiz, unlike her mother! I don't think they are fiesta though. Thank you again!

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Thank you for the info on the red dishes, I will be making a big salad this weekend but I will serve the dressing on the side! Isn't it remarkable how misinformation gets started! I will look for the books on Amazon, just did not want to invest in any unless I knew they were good. Thank you again! I asked my daughter to take a picture of the bowls and lids, she said she would this weekend. I am sure she will be able to upload it for me, she is a computer wiz, unlike her mother! I don't think they are fiesta though. Thank you again!

OK, it only took me 6 months to get the pictures of my nested unmarked bowls. I am going to try and insert some pictures but if they don't work, you can email me and I can email the pictures. The last picture shows the bottom of the middle bowl. As I was cleaning them to take the pictures I noticed that the the middle bowl crackled on the bottom but the rest did not. As I cleaned, I think I found some initials scratched into the base before firing (I say this because they are under the glaze). Take a look and let me know what you think.

yellow5pv1.jpg

yellow4lt1.jpg

yellow3is7.jpg

yellow2kx5.jpg

yellow1sn1.jpg

yellow7cl9.jpg

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