Corning Ware Profile: Petite Pans (1962) 

Petite Pans date to late 1962, and initially only the small size was available.  At the time, they were sold in sets of two or four with no lids at all.  Early advertisements suggest inverting one Petite Pan over the other to create a covered dish.  This explains the purpose of the bump-up on the handle, and the pans fit together perfectly when one is placed at a right angle to the other.  Clear plastic lids were introduced in 1965, and large Petite Pans made their first appearance in 1966.

 

P-41 Petite Pans, Blue Cornflower
P-41 Petite Pans, Blue Cornflower.  Petite Pans were originally designed to be their own lid.  Ads from 1962 to 1965 state: "Two together make covered dish."

Small Petite Pans (P-41), are marked either 1½ cups, 1¾ cups, or 12 oz, and large ones (P-43) are marked 2¾ cups or 22 oz.  Backstamps vary widely and some do not state the model number or capacity at all.  Metric capacities are stated as 400 ml and 700 ml.

The P-41 disappeared from the market in the early 1980s, while the P-43 remained until at least the late 1990s, possibly longer.  The P-43 has returned and is presently available.  Genuine glass-ceramic Corning Ware is currently produced in France.

 

P-43 Petite Pan Spice O' Life
P-43 (2¾ cup) Petite Pan Spice O' Life, with lettering.

Both sizes use the same lids which are marked P-41, then suffixed with "PC" for plastic cover or "GC" for glass cover.  Generally, Petite Pans were sold with plastic lids that are meant for food storage only, not for oven, stovetop or microwave use.  Lids made of clear plastic Box for Petite Pan Glass Lidsespecially should be kept away from all heat sources, even washing them in hot water can cause permanent warping.

(Photo: Box for Petite Pan glass lids, P-41-GC.)

Pairs of Petite Pans with one glass lid and one plastic lid were included in certain large sets of Corning Ware.  Otherwise, glass lids were sold as a separate accessory in packages of two.  
                  
Newer flat handle (top); older handle (bottom)During the early 1990s, tab handles on P-43s became flat on top, presumably to fit newer plastic lids that cover the handles entirely.  Older plastic lids were designed with a notch that fits alongside the bump on the tab handle instead.

(Photo: newer flat handle, top; original handle with bump, bottom) 

A specially-sized detachable handle (P-41-HG) was available for use with both Petite Pan sizes.  It is not clear whether it also fits newer P-43s with flat tab handles.Detachable Handle for Petite Pan, P-41-HG; image from 1979 catalogue.

(Photo: P-41-HG detachable handle.  Image from 1979 catalogue.)

Date ranges on this page pertain to the Corning Ware shapes & sizes in general; the dates of each individual pattern vary.  Patterns listed here are confirmed, and there might be others too.

P-41 Blue Medallion; P-43 Green MedallionTotals so far: P-41 = 10
                        P-43 = 25
              
1¾ cup Petite Pans (P-41): 

Blue Cornflower
Blue Medallion
Country Festival
Floral Bouquet
Green Medallion
Spice O' Life (no lettering)
stars design (blue)*
Wheat **
wheat/floral design (avocado)‡
P-43:  Autumn Meadow, Wildflower.Wildflower

                    

2¾ cup Petite Pans (P-43):

Autumn Meadow
Blue Cornflower
Blue Dusk
Blue Medallion
Country Cornflower
Country Festival
Floral Bouquet
Fresh Cut
Fruit Basket
Green Medallion
JC Penney exclusive (avocado)‡‡
P-43: Shadow Iris, Peach FloralLyrics
morning glory design (avocado)‡
Pastel Bouquet
Peach Floral
Shadow Iris
Silk & Roses
Soft Beige
Spice O' Life (no lettering)
Spice O' Life (with lettering)
stars design (blue)*
Strawberry Sunday
Wheat **
White / Just White
Wildflower
P-43: Spice O' Life (no lettering); image from 1981 catalogue.             
(Photos from top:  Blue Medallion P-41 & Green Medallion P-43; Autumn Meadow & Wildflower P-43s; Shadow Iris & Peach Floral P-43s; Spice O' Life P-43s without lettering, with plastic lids.)

For Spice O' Life, the difference between the two versions is more than the presence or absence of the French phrase.  They are two distinct designs with different arrangements of vegetables.

Pattern sample, eight blue stars, official name unknown* - This design consists of eight five-pointed stars of different sizes, the three largest stars within solid blue circles.  If it has an official name, it is not known.  Corning Ware in this pattern was distributed as a gift premium by the American Oil Company around 1971.

Pattern sample, Wheat** - Items with a golden brown Wheat pattern typically are prefixed with "W", so these Petite Pans are marked W-41 & W-43.  This pattern was available at Bon Marche.  It is not clear whether Wheat was exclusive to that retailer, but it is possible, as it seems that other stores did not advertise it.  Wheat was available in 1969 & 1970, but exact starting and ending dates are not known.

‡ - Official pattern names not known, both decorations are avocado green.  The wheat/floral design consists of five wheat stalks and two daisies.  The morning glory design is nine star-shaped blossoms on a vine.

‡‡ - Marked on bottom: "Made exclusively for J.C. Penney by Corning", also with JCP-43B instead of P-43-B.  It is a dark avocado green design.  This pattern was available in 1971, but exact starting and ending dates are not known.

 

P-43 Petite Pans, Silk & Roses, Fresh Cut
P-43 Petite Pans: Silk & Roses, Fresh Cut.  Being a newer pattern, the latter has flat handles.


Related Articles:

What about the French phrases on Spice O' Life?
Corning Ware Profile: Autumn Meadow 
Corelle Profile: Wildflower 
Corelle Profile: Strawberry Sunday 
Corelle Profile: Spice O' Life 
Corelle Profile: Pastel Bouquet, Shadow Iris 
Corelle Profile: Peach Floral, Country Cornflower 
Corelle Profile: Blue Cornflower 
Which patterns are also Corning Ware patterns?
Compare Floral Bouquet Variations
1963 Advertisement: Corning Ware 
1967 Brochures: Saucemaker, Menu-ette, Bake/Store
1968 Advertisement: Corning Ware 
1970, 1971, 1972 S&H Catalogues: Corning Ware
1975 Brochure: Country Festival 
1979 Catalogue: Percolator Incentive Program
1983 Catalogue: Corning Ware Lids
Extra Photos: Corning Ware 
Corning Ware Grab-Its, Sidekicks, etc. 
Isn't that date incorrect?