LuRay Pastels

by Shirley Moore
Volume 17 No. 8 - March 1991

LuRay ad LuRay Pastels (commonly known as just LuRay) was manufactured by Taylor, Smith and Taylor from 1938 to 1954. It was probably the most popular dinnerware line ever produced by the company in the 83 years they were in business (from 1899 to 1981).

LuRay was developed by Taylor, Smith and Taylor as an alternative to the bright colors of dinnerware such as Fiesta. It was made in five pastel colors: Windsor Blue, Persian Cream (yellow), Surf Green (aqua), Sharon Pink, and Chatham Gray. It was originally sold both as sets in just one color and sets mixed with two to five colors. We have seen one starter set in the original box in all blue and another one in blue, yellow, aqua, and pink, which was called "Rainbow."

LuRay ad It has been our observation that the availability and value of an item is usually equal for all colors, with the exception of gray. Gray is harder to find and is usually valued 50% to 75% higher. The manufacture of items in gray did not begin until post-WW II and probably not until 1949.

Most pieces of LuRay are marked on the bottom with a backstamp showing numbers below the name. The first two numbers refer to the month and year the item was produced. The third number, if one appears, refers to the inspector. Occasionally, factory workers would fail to backstamp an item. Small items, such as shakers, egg cups, juice tumblers, and often tea cups, were usually only marked "U.S.A." or not marked at all.

Art and I have collected LuRay for almost eight years. We were attracted to the soft pastel colors and were also intrigued by the fact that most pieces are dated.

Author's Note: Production dates for various pieces are based on our observations and also of our friend Jim Jackson, a long-time LuRay collector who lives in Wichita, Kansas.

Tea pots Mixing bowls
Pitchers Chocolate set
Covered items After Dinner set