In Appreciation of Pink Dogwood

by Cheryl Kevish
Volume 20 No. 8 - April 1994

Most older sisters would probably tend to agree that younger sisters seem to get away with more and enjoy a bit more freedom to experiment. Dogwood pitcher Parents seems to get more relaxed with the arrival of additional children. This was not the case with the MacBeth-Evans Glass Company and its Depression Glass progeny Dogwood and American Sweetheart. As discussed in my last article, production of American Sweetheart, a graceful pattern with a touch of Victorian nostalgia in its design, began in 1930. Dogwood, the "older sister" began production in 1929 (some sources say 1928). Yet it is Dogwood that displays the more modern design elements characteristic of the time period.

The beauty of Dogwood comes from the simplicity and boldness of its flower motif. It represents a departure from the smaller, more detailed patterns that were prevalent and makes a statement that is impossible to ignore. The design decision to keep the size of the blossom fixed in many instances, rather than scaling it to the size of the piece it was placed on, was innovative and daring, Combined with the simple round shape of the plates, it gives Dogwood a contemporary flavor that no doubt accounts for some of its popularity today.

I tried to select an eight-piece place setting of pink Dogwood to match the American Sweetheart from my last article. Aside from some variation in dimensions, I succeeded. As the chart below shows, Dogwood prices have only risen about 160% over the past fifteen years. A reader pointed out to me that economic prudence. which I tried to exercise last time, has no place in a true collector's fantasies, so from now on, I'm spending my imaginary money!

Pink Dogwood
PIECE 1979 PRICE 1994 PRICE
Cereal Bowl, 5½" 7.50 25.00
Cup, Thick 6.00 16.00
Saucer 3.00 7.00
Bread & Butter Plate, 6" 2.50 8.00
Luncheon Plate, 8" 3.00 7.00
Dinner Plate, 9¼" 9.50 30.00
Sherbet, Low Ftd. 12.50 30.00
Tumbler, 5", 12 oz. Decorated 22.50 50.00
PLACE SETTING TOTAL 66.50 173.00

MacBeth-Evans did not make Dogwood salt and pepper shakers, so I could not match all the accessory pieces with American Sweetheart. Mr. Florence notes that both the 11" cake plate and the 12" platter are rare, and their price appreciation reflects this. Overall, the price of the accessory pieces has gone up almost 250%.

Pink Dogwood
PIECE 1979 PRICE 1994 PRICE
Creamer, 3¼" Thick, Ftd. 7.00 19.00
Sugar 3¼" Thick, Ftd. 6.00 16.00
Cake Plate, 11" Heavy Solid Foot 67.50 500.00
Fruit Bowl, 10¼" 85.00 300.00
Platter, 12" oval 157.50 395.00
Pitcher, 8" 80 oz, Decorated 72.50 160.00
Salver Plate, 12" 9.50 25.00
ACCESSORY PIECES TOTAL 405.00 1,415.00

Mrs. Weatherman reports that Dogwood, in contrast to most DG patterns, was given a hand-decorated finish on some pieces. Japanese workers used silk screening techniques to apply blossoms to Dogwood pitchers and tumblers. Due to the extra expense of this method, MacBeth-Evans only made a small number of decorated pitchers and tumblers, to the sorrow of today's collectors. There are a lot of plain pitchers and tumblers available with the Dogwood shape, but as Mr. Florence notes, they cannot be called Dogwood and do not command the same prices. There is also a tumbler with a small band of etched blossoms around the rim, but it cannot satisfy the purists.

There are a number of complementary items, made by other glass companies and identified by Mr. Florence which make lovely enhancements to a Dogwood collection. I am especially tempted by the champagne glass and center-handled mint tray (shown in the Collector's Encyclopedia of Depression Glass, Eleventh Edition). There is also an ash tray, but MacBeth-Evans did not put the Dogwood design on it.

It is unfortunate that Dogwood was not in production for as long as other DG patterns, since it has such a fresh and enduring appeal. There is sufficient availability to provide good hunting, however, and enough pieces to provide luncheon and dinner services. MacBeth-Evans did not produce candlesticks, butter dishes, candy jars or cookie jars for its patterns, which is a source of frustration for collectors. There have been no reproductions to date. Dogwood the "older sister", has aged well.

My next article will feature Madrid, one of the most popular and most troublesome of DG patterns.


Bibliography
Florence, Gene, Collector's Encyclopedia of Depression Glass, Eleventh Edition, Paducah, KY, Collector Books, 1994
Weatherman, Hazel Marie, Colored Glassware of the Depression Era, Ozark, MO, Weatherman GLASSBOOKS, 1970.