Hocking made Block Optic for 4 years and it must have been popular because they produced a plethora of pieces. Gene Florence lists 56 different pieces in his Collector's Encyclopedia of Depression Glass - and that does not include variations as we see with cups, creamers and sugars. If you include the 4 styles of cups and 5 styles of creamers and sugars we have at least 60 pieces to enjoy! Hocking didn't produce every piece in pink although they made a complete dinner set including stemware and tumblers plus many accessory pieces.The glass show photo above shows several Block Optic plates on the left. The design is on the wide rim and the center is usually plain For plates look for the 9 inch dinner, 8 inch luncheon and 6 inch sherbet or bread and butter, enough for a complete table setting for dinner or lunch. There is no pink grill plate but if you prefer a larger dinner plate then choose the 10 1/2 inch sandwich plate. Back in the 1930s people used smaller plates and the 10 1/2 inch size was considered a serving piece. Today our contemporary plates are often 10 1/4 to 11 inches. There are two sizes of sauce dishes (also called small berry bowls), one is 4 1/4 inches across and a little more flared shape while the other is slightly larger, 4 1/2 inches across. The smaller apparently is more common as it is less costly. There are cereal bowls and salad bowls too, although these are harder to find and more expensive. (We will cover availability and pricing in later posts.) One thing that makes Block Optic so enjoyable is the array of stemware and tumblers. Naturally these are among the most popular pieces! These have a wonderful, vintage Deco look. Choose among tumbler sizes, from whiskey to juice to water to iced tea, ranging from 3 to 10 ounces then choose whether you prefer flat or footed styles. Personally I love the footed shape, so typical of depression glass. The stemware is appealing with at least two styles of sherbets, water and wine goblets. The stemware feet may vary, some with rays and others with the block design. Here are two of the sherbets. This one is cone shaped. This next sherbet is the more traditional shape we think of for sundaes. I think the cone style would be easier to use for drinking. Notice both have rays on the feet. Besides the dinnerware and drink ware Hocking made a few serving pieces in pink, notably creamers and sugars, pitchers, two styles of center handled sandwich servers. My books don't mention oval serving platters or vegetable bowls. Last summer I saw a rolled rim console bowl in pink at an antique fair, unfortunately with too much wear to purchase. It is part of the console set with low, single light candle holders. There is a butter tub also used as an ice tub, but no covered butter dish. My reference book mentions both the butter/ice tub, which is short, and a taller ice bucket. This is the butter/ice tub. Hocking also made two styles of candy jars, both similar in shape to the Cameo or Spiral ones. These pieces exist and you can find them with some trouble and money but are far less common in pink than in green. (That is why I had only a photograph of one pink piece to share!) We will look at availability and pricing next two posts.
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