Identifiers / Alternate Names: Terra is one of the more interesting patterns which was introduced in the 60s. It's characterized by a very dark chocolate brown finish that has lighter orange-brown lines seemingly "scratched" into it. The lines almost appear to be randomly distributed and of random width. The main dark brown finish is very matte in feel - it feels like a handcrafted unfinished glaze. This pattern came in the normal mixing bowls and casseroles but also featured several dinnerware items including handle-less mugs, 9/12" plates and salad bowls. Also known as: Brown Lines, Terra Cotta, Brown Terra, Earth.
Item Type: 400 (300) Series Mixing Bowls Set
Years Manufactured: 1964 - ?
Values: Check below on Ebay for approximate prices
Sizes and ID#s: #401 (1.5 pint) #403 (2.5 quart) #404 (4 quart)
Original Box#s: 11-T, 13-T, 14-T
OK, before talking about these mixing bowls, I need to get an awful pun out of the way. Whenever I hear someone talk about Pyrex Terra Bowls I can’t help but think “Terribles”… which is a terrible pun because these are such wonderful bowls!
The Terra pattern is an interesting departure from the normal mixing bowls. Introduced in 1964 (no idea for how many years after that it was available), these bowls had a matte finish unlike the smooth fired on glaze of nearly every other bowl set. An interesting added touch is that there are orange brown lines on the matte surface (their surface is LOWER than the matte finish as opposed to higher). I don’t know what the process of doing this was, whether the orange brown finish was added first underneath the entire matte surface or if it was really scratched and printed into the grooves.
I’m also not clear on whether or not these bowls were sold as a 300 set with the 404 largest bowl separate. Actually, it seems like they were often sold singly which is a departure from the usual mixing bowl sets. It is also not clear whether all of the sizes of the mixing bowls did exist: Rogove’s book shows all 4, but as has been pointed out, the pattern of the #402 1.5 quart looks “different” than the others. It has been suggested that perhaps this was a prototype, and that the 402 was not regularly sold as were the others.
Update: 3/07 - I recently saw an auction that had a 404 Terra 4 quart bowl with its original box. The box included ONLY the 404 bowl - so it does appear that they were sold separately. Still, not sure if that was always the case. I’ve also seen some of the other size mixing bowls sold separately which is interesting. My thought is that the boxes went 11-T, 13-T, 14-T for each of the 401, 403, 404 bowls when sold separately.
We currently have both the largest and smallest sizes of these bowls. The dark matte finish of the bowls made them particularly susceptible to scratching and silverware marks, and it is very difficult to find these bowls in mint condition. Apparently, when they were first introduced there wasn’t a huge demand, and nowadays they also aren’t among the most expensive Pyrex items.
Update 1/08: Thank you to Golly-G for the 404 Terra Bowl w/ Box picture below:
Many thanks to HotforPyrex on Flickr, who was kind enough to share these photos with us - she found these rare colorations on eBay. The red and blue stripes on black are glossy, in size 401. The yellow stripes on the yellow background is a 402, also glossy. So interesting to know Terra were produced in these colors! And as we have not seen entire sets, we can only guess these were possibly made as prototypes or promotionals.
Selected Pyrex items: