I think one of the reasons I have such a passion for vintage or antique dishes is the enjoyment I get from finding out all I can about them. Recently I’ve been searching for information about this very colorful vintage dinnerware set. Each piece is marked with the distinctive Hazel Atlas “H over A” trademark, so that was a good place to begin. I soon discovered that this dinnerware is made of a type of glass called Platonite… a semi-opaque white glass that has a somewhat fragile appearance and is more translucent than milk glass.
It is often described as having an “almost see-through” quality. The bright colors are fired on to the surfaces of the dishes but the undersides remain an intense white. (And that white does not photograph well… the trademark would not show until I photographed it at an angle and in shadow.)
Apparently the colors in this set are called the Sierra colors… aqua, gold, gray, and rust. Some collectors and sellers call the gold butterscotch or mustard, the rust pumpkin and the aqua turquoise or teal. I found many sellers confusing the Platonite with ordinary milk glass. Other sellers categorized these dishes as Moderntone, but further research has convinced me that my dishes are actually from Hazel Atlas’s Ovide line.
Moderntone and Ovide do look very similar, but the Moderntone cups have a squared off handle and the Moderntone plates have concentric ridges running around the plate. The Ovide cups have a rounded handle and the plain Ovide plates lack the concentric ridges.
Ovide is said to be the most commonly found pattern of Hazel Atlas Platonite dinnerware, and it was available in many colors during the 1940’s and 1950’s.
7 1/4″ diameter, 2 1/4″ deep
9 1/2″ by 12″
6 7/8″ diameter
3 3/4″ diameter,
2 1/8″ deep
5 5/8″ diameter
8″ diameter, 1 1/2″ deep
Obviously this set was sold as a service for twelve. There would have been four each of the rust and aqua dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls and cups and saucers… and two each of these in gray and gold. I have two serving platters in gold and one serving bowl in aqua. Was there perhaps a second serving bowl in the set?
There are now fifty-three pieces of this dinnerware remaining (including an extra cup with no saucer). I remember my mother using it a lot, but all of the remaining pieces are still in perfect condition. Almost all of the dishes missing (and I presume broken) from this set were gray or gold… I wonder if the lighter colors were more fragile for some reason.