It's hard to find an antique shop or a flea market that doesn'toffer ruby red glassware issued by Avon. This dinnerware hasattracted many collectors and is one of the most beautiful of theirproduct pattern pieces.
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The design is based on an old, sandwich glass pattern andinspired by the lacy delicacy of the classic Roman rosette pattern,introduced in 1975 by Wheaton Glass for Avon. They werecommissioned to do the pieces, since they were already makingdecorative decanters for them.
Avon chose to call their new dinnerware the 1876 Cape CodCollection because it recalled the beauty of this quality glass andthe spirit of the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial, which celebratedthe 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and thearea where sandwich glass originated.
This was Avon's first venture into a dinnerware line and,because it was well received, Avon continued to make more itemsuntil the pattern was discontinued in 1993. In all, 37 differentpieces were produced.
In July of 1976, Marlene Werden of Goodview became an Avonrepresentative and immediately fell in love with the Cape Cod setand started her own personal collection.
"The first pieces were cruets filled with Skin-So-Soft bath oiland candlesticks that contained Charisma, Patchwork or Bird ofParadise cologne. They sold for around $8 a piece," Werden says."Wine goblets that included a votive candle were introduced in1976. I continued to collect the pieces as they came out."
In 1978, dessert bowls filled with guest soap were introduced,along with salt shakers that were introduced in 1984. After manycampaigns, more pieces were added and became good sellers from thequantity on today’s market.
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Barb Dalton, an area antique dealer, says, "I don’t have apersonal collection of it, but I did have a large selection forsale prior to Christmas, and only a few pieces remain. During theholidays, it provides a perfect mix with other reds and greens, andcan carry through into the Valentine's decor."
Nice pieces can also be found at garage sales. Dalton states,"These pieces are not difficult to find, however, it will beunusual to find numerous pieces at any one time. The people thatpurchase these have a variety of reasons: Some are adding to theircollections, but I believe most are drawn in by the beauty of theglassware and the affordability of it."
The current market value of these glassware pieces is in the $5to $25 range. The products you find should have the word "Avon" onthe bottom.