Fiestaware Identification: Fiesta Vintage or New?

Fiestaware Identification: Vintage or New?

Vintage Utility Trays

Vintage Utility Trays

Dating dinnerware, pottery and china from Homer Laughlin”s Fiesta line (often referred to simply as “Fiestaware”), can be quite tricky. In fact, dating Fiesta is the number one topic that was brought up by readers and commenters over at Discount before the site was taken down.. Identifying whether any given Fiestaware set is an antique worth hundreds of dollars or something that was on sale last week at Macy”s is an inexact science which often plays into the favor of flea market vendors. But there are some important clues that will help you date Fiestaware that will give you an edge when bargain hunting at estate sales, online and even at the flea market. Learn them by heart so you”ll be ready the next time you stumble upon a potential rare find.

Fiestaware Colors A great place to start with dating Fiesta is the color. Homer Laughlin has been steadily introducing, retiring and reintroducing Fiesta colors throughout the decades so being able to spot the colors is an easy way to tell if you”re looking at a new piece of Fiesta or a discontinued Fiestaware piece. This is the definitive, official list of Fiestaware colors to date. For examples of what they look like, we recommend taking a peek at the Homer Laughlin website or checking out a Fiesta catalog from the library. But as a handy reference, see this list: • Original Red – 1936 to 1943; 1959 to 1972 • Original Blue (Cobalt) – 1936 to 1951 • Original Light Green – 1936 to 1951 • Original Yellow – 1936 to 1969 • Original (Old) Ivory – 1936 to 1951 • Original Turquoise – 1937 to 1969 • Forest Green – 1951 to 1959 • Original Rose – 1951 to 1959 • Chartreuse – 1951 to 1959 • Gray – 1951 to 1959 • Medium Green – 1959 to 1969 • Antique Gold – 1969 to 1972 • Turf Green – 1969 to 1972 • White – 1986 – current • Black – 1986 – current • Rose (Reintroduced) – 1986 to 2005 • Apricot – 1986 to 1998 • Cobalt Blue – 1986 – current • Yellow (Reintroduced) – 1987 – 2002 • Turquoise – 1998 – current • Periwinkle Blue – 1989 to 2007 • Sea Mist Green – 1991 to 2005 • Lilac – 1993 to 1995 • Persimmon – 1995 to 2008 • Sapphire (Bloomingdale”s Exclusive) – 1996 to 1997 • Chartreuse – 1997 to 1999 • Pearl Gray – 1999 to 2001 • Juniper – 1999 to 2001 • Cinnabar – 2000 to current • Sunflower – 2001 to current • Plum – 2002 to current • Shamrock – 2002 to current • Tangerine – 2003 to current • Scarlet – 2004 to current • Peacock – 2005 to current • Heather – 2006 to 2009 • Evergreen – 2007 to 2009 • Ivory (Reintroduced) – 2008 to current • Chocolate – 2008 to current • Lemongrass – 2009 to current • Paprika – 2010 to current

Fiestaware Backstamps As you can see from the color list, there are many colors that are long running or reintroduced throughout the years. If you pick up an current ivory piece of the backstamp. The Fiestaware backstamp appears on most Fiesta pieces and has evolved throughout the years. Here are a couple features to look for: • Imprinted or ink? Ink stamps are always newer (late 90s and on) and imprinted backstamps are sometimes older (some post-1986 Fiesta has imprints). • The “F” in Fiesta: The oldest Fiestas has a lowercase “F” that is connected to the rest of the letters. Post-1986 Fiesta has a distinctive loop in the F. Current Fiesta has a hard, uppercase, printed F. • “Lead Free” appeared on Fiesta after 1986. • Circular logos are newer. • Date codes: Lately, Fiesta has begun stamping their pieces with date codes. These are a series of letters that represent years and months. The years begin at 1992 with GG and the months are marked A through L, starting with January. For example, GGA would be January 1992. TTB is February 2005. There are other clues on the backstamp, such as the presence of absence of words such as “Made in USA,” “Genuine” and “HLCO.” But the above markings are the easiest clues to spot.

Recommended Reading While these pointers will help you eliminate obviously newer pieces, you may want to have some reference books handy for the truly tough-to-crack cases. Here are a few of the essential Fiestaware books that I recommend: • Homer Laughlin China: Guide to Shapes and Patterns by Jo Cunningham and Darlene Nossaman • Homer Laughlin: Decades of Dinnerware by Bob Page, Dean Frederiksen and Dean Six • Warman”s Fiesta: Identification and Price Guide by Glen Victorey These resources should be enough to get you started. Until then, happy hunting!

  • Maria Johnson says:

    Did they ever make a pitcher that was round all the way instead of concave under the handle? There is also no mark on the bottom of the pitcher. I can send a picture if needed. I am desperate! Maria 213-448-2091

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