Spoils of Brimfield | Fire-King | A Continuous Lean.

Spoils of Brimfield | Fire-King

May 25th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, Brimfield | by Michael Williams

Shopping Brimfield gives me the same sort of consumer apprehension that I get in Tokyo, I see so much great stuff I can’t pull the trigger. I’m afraid that I will spend my money before I come across something really amazing. With this in mind, I only made a few acquisitions at the show. However, I did pick up something that I have been meaning to buy for a long time — two Fire-King coffee cups and saucers in the classic green colorway. When introduced in the 1940s Fire-King was a cheap brand of sturdy dinnerware sold in gas stations, grocery stores and even given away in promotions by flour brands and the like.

The classic tableware (often refereed to as Jadeite) is, to me, the quintessential American coffee cup — which is great. Plus I have a personal connection to Fire-King’s maker, Anchor Hocking, the long time glass maker based just south of Columbus, Ohio in the town of Lancaster. When I was in college I must have seen their plant hundreds of times when driving between Columbus and Athens (where I went to school). That is when I first discovered Fire-King, and with this past Brimfield it is one less thing on my list.

Comments: 23

23 Comments to “Spoils of Brimfield | Fire-King”

  1. Jessica
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 9:33 AM

    Nice, I’ve never seen these in markets. I do the same thing–keep my money safe–holding out for that one greatest thing ever. We shouldn’t do that, it spoils it, don’t you think?

  2. Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 10:02 AM

    I love Jadeite I bought some of mine at Brimfield too a few years ago.
    http://thefrencheye.blogspot.com/2010/02/jadite.html

  3. alex
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 10:06 AM

    so jealous of this find!!! :)

  4. mistermidwester
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 10:07 AM

    I love the Jadeite Firekings, but also hold a special place in my heart for their white, milk glass mugs that were long emblazoned with both wild patterns and company logos alike. Another classic piece of Americana.

  5. Logcabineer
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 10:28 AM

    Excellent find! May i suggest that your next quest is finding a 40′s Fire King 8 cup Silex Dripolator to match?

    My 1952-63 FK Peach Lustre Laurel collection is soon complete.
    Ed Harris drinks his coffee out of Fire King mugs in that Pollockmovie he made a couple of years ago.

  6. lineage of influence
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 10:29 AM

    They’re beautiful and the colour’s great.

    A very good purchase sir, I’m green with envy.

  7. Al The Unfazed
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 10:59 AM

    One Christmas my grandmother gave all of the grandkids Fire King coffee mugs from her and my grandad’s collection. It was the first piece in a pretty big collection that I’ve amassed over the years. Now if she would just part with her Wear-Ever coffee pot collection and Fiestaware… Nice post. It’s often the little pieces that we use every day that are the best.

  8. kiya
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 11:59 AM

    Every time Flat Head (the Japanese denim brand) comes to America i have to take them around to every big vintage furniture store around SF or LA so they can buy up every single piece of Fire King they can get their hands on.
    They have two restaurants in Nagano where all the plates/cups/saucers for customers is all Fire King. Pretty wild especially when you sit down to have a burger and you look around and you’ve been transported to 1955 but you’re sitting at the base of the mountains in Nagano.

  9. Nico
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 1:01 PM

    I recently watched Wong Kar-Wai’s “In the Mood for Love” which takes place in the 60′s and there’s a scene about 25 minutes in where the two main characters bond over noodles at a local diner. The cups they drink from were Jadeite and I remember thinking what a strange color it was for dinnerware. I’m glad to see it was once a classic color, I’d love to get my hands on a full set.

  10. jfox/10e
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 1:52 PM

    like the milky white ones too . all of it really… but the white ones easier to find i guess…

  11. JonIndia™
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 2:17 PM

    The greenish color looks so ill.

  12. Thornproof
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 2:55 PM

    While Fire-King is nice, my personal favorite dinnerware is Fiesta. That is what my wife and I got for our wedding ‘china’ and it is great!

    Cheers!

  13. Odysseus
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 7:40 PM

    You should check out Russel Wright’s stuff. An American designer who changed the way people lived in the 1950′s and who’s dinnerware is still as fresh today as the day it was fired. The Iroquois line in particular is worth a look, because it is almost indestructible and fairly affordable considering its heritage.

  14. Justin
    on May 25th, 2010
    @ 9:56 PM

    I love Fire-King as well. Some of my best memories are of having my Saturday morning cereal from Fire-King bowls with the fun BC comic pattern at my Grandmother’s house while staying there. When my son was born, I Ebay’ed a set of four and we have been making morning memories with them for years.

  15. Matt
    on May 26th, 2010
    @ 9:47 AM

    I remember when nobody wanted this stuff…not even that long ago.

  16. Misty
    on May 27th, 2010
    @ 10:52 AM

    I would love to find an entire set. Personally I like thinner glass, but these would awesome for luncheons.

  17. Classics Patriot
    on May 27th, 2010
    @ 2:50 PM

    So beautiful, in such a wonderfully homey way.

    My wife is gonna kill me if I start collecting green Fire-King ware….

  18. MR Mister
    on May 27th, 2010
    @ 8:43 PM

    I collected a ton of the turquoise Fire King dinnerware, much rarer as it was only produced for about three years in the ’50s, on ebay and at flea markets and Brimfield. It’s virtually the same as the jadeite, but in a really pretty robin’s egg blue.

  19. Robin Charlotte Humphrey
    on May 28th, 2010
    @ 2:30 PM

    soooooooo jealous reading everyone’s posts about brimfield!

    these cups are stunning!

  20. Andrea
    on May 28th, 2010
    @ 4:40 PM

    They look nice in the photo and they do evoke an era, but I don’t like the feel of a thick cup on my lips. I also like a handle that isn’t only big enough for one finger. (Call me a killjoy!)

  21. rebecca
    on May 29th, 2010
    @ 9:46 AM

    If anyone’s looking for more FK (patterned) pron, <a href="http://www.firekingmugs.com/images/Japanese_Book.jpg"this book is awesome.

  22. M.Y. Mim
    on Jun 2nd, 2010
    @ 9:39 PM

    Fiestaware lovers, esp. you two who received it as wedding gifts, please be aware that one of the reasons it was discontinued is the heavy lead content that gives us those great colors while poisoning us. I know it’s not the same, but the contemporary knock-offs really are safer. I admit to being a killjoy, but, then again, I miss that great cancerous red dye #4 (or was it #7?) of our colorful babybooming youth. And of course I know and love and remember the fabulous Fireking coffee mugs and always catch it, and Russel Wright and Eva Zeisel in films. Actually, I have been accused of ruining many a video night by calling out furniture and design items that “have a name,” as one detractor put it. Sigh.

  23. krty
    on Jun 3rd, 2010
    @ 2:57 PM

    i’d love to see a better shot of the lamp in the background.
    and those cups have real nice color to them.