Patrician (aka Spoke): The “everyday” Depression Glass Pattern

As with Federal’s “Petal” bowl, just about everyone owns an item in the Patrician or “Spoke” pattern, or knows someone who does.

Gene Florence says it’s so common, in fact, that people tell him they use their pieces every day. The larger diameter of the dinner plate (101/2”) could be one reason why.

Just four years – and a lot of pieces!

Federal Glass Company produced Patrician for only four years, from 1933-1937. Yet they made so many items that, in Florence’s words, they “saturated the market.” Plates were given away in sacks of flour, but Florence isn’t clear how the other pieces were sold.

Patrician is known for its distinctive central “spoke” surrounded by a lacy pattern and a triple design on the rim. The shape is pentagonal, with five sides that at first glance appear to be six!

Amber is the most common color, followed by green, then pink and crystal. According to Florence, green dinner plates are scarce, and it would be “impossible” to collect an entire set in crystal. Pink, he says, is possible.

If you decide to collect Patrician/Spoke, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The applied-handled pitcher in amber is difficult to find.
  • Check sugar lids for signs of repair – Florence says mint condition sugar lids are very difficult to come by
  • Saucers are harder to find than cups.
  • If you find a cookie jar – even without a lid – consider yourself fortunate!
  • Unlike with many other patterns, cookie jar and butter lids aren’t impossible to find.

Patrician/Spoke is a terrific pattern you can confidently use today (although it definitely does not belong in the dishwasher, and you should be careful of sudden temperature changes, since older glass was probably not tempered.) Replacements are readily available and relatively inexpensive, should one of yours come to misfortune. It’s a quaint style that would go exceptionally well in a shabby chic setting, or even with more formal “Americana” décor.

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About sarathurston

I'm a marketing communications writer who also loves antiques and collectibles. You can find my shop on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/JanvierRoad
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