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What is Depression Glass?


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Depression Glass

Depression Glass


Depression Glassware is one of the best-researched collecting areas available to the U.S. marketplace.  This is due in part to the careful research of several people, including Hazel Marie Weatherman, Gene Florence and Carl F. Luckey.  Their volumes are held in high regard by researchers and collectors today.  Many Depression Glass collectors find their libraries grow as fast as their collections, as they search to find what was manufactured in a particular pattern, by carefully researching company records and archives, these authors have allowed us to view what forms were popular, what colors delighted housewives of the era and what sizes and shapes the patterns include.       


        American PitcherBlock Optic PlateMoroccan Tidbit

American by Fostoria

Block Optic by Hocking

Moroccan by Hazel Ware

Crystal Pitcher

Green Plate

Amethyst Tidbit


What is Depression glass?


Depression glassware is defined by patterns produced between 1920 and the late 1970s.  Such an expansive time-span allows patterns to be included from many manufacturers.  The patterns reflect dinnerware patterns as opposed to elegant patterns or stemware only patterns.   


To be considered a Depression glass pattern, a pattern must meet several criteria:

1.      Be readily available on the marketplace

2.      Include a basic place setting, such as a cup and saucer and plates

3.      Been manufactured during the time frame established

4.      Been manufactured in America


        Doric CreamerRosemary PlatterTearoom Vase

Doric by Jeanette

Rosemary by Federal

Tearoom by Indiana

Pink Creamer

Amber Oval Platter

Crystal Ruffled Edge Vase


Several patterns such as Fostorias American and Tiffins Flower Garden with Butterflies are included as Depression glass even though they are hand-made and considered elegant glass.  Because these patterns are currently very popular they are usually found along with the machine-made glass patterns in most reference books. 

Pricing of Depression glass


As in most other areas of the antiques and collectibles marketplace, rare does not always equate to a high dollar amount.  And some more readily found items command lofty prices because of the high demand or other factors, not because they are necessarily rare.  As collectors tastes range from simple patterns to the more elaborate patterns, so does the ability of their budget to invest in inexpensive patterns to more complex patterns that contain dozens of individual pieces.  


        Iris Butter DishIris PitcherMoonstone Goblet

Iris & Herringbone by Jeanette

Iris & Herringbone by Jeanette

Moonstone by Anchor Hocking

Iridescent Butter Dish

Crystal Pitcher

Crystal Goblet


Todays Collector


Collectors of Depression glassware tend to use their treasures.  Whether for everyday use or for just special occasions most enjoy their collections and use them.  Some collectors mix and match patterns, although most seem devoted to one color in a particular pattern.  Sometimes colors will be mixed and matched as a collection is created for use purposes.  Often, the collectors later sell off those pieces that no longer match or go with their patterns they decide to keep.    


Windsor TumblerMiss America CompoteFlorentine#2 Divided Relish

Windsor by Jeanette

Miss America by Hocking

Florentine #2 by Hazel-Atlas

Crystal Goblet

Crystal Footed Compote

Green Divided Relish Dish




Reproductions of Depression glassware have greatly impacted the market.  Whole patterns have fallen in value because collectors are wary of continuing to invest in patterns beset by reproductions.  Some patterns like Miss America are now experiencing reproductions of reproductions!  The well-known clues to identifying the Miss America butter dish are now being compounded by having to recognize the second-generation reproduction and its identification clues.  There are in addition, fantasy pieces and items not originally produced in the original colors.  These are another phase of reproductions. Collectors are urged to purchase good reference books like Warmans Depression glass or find a reputable dealer who knows Depression glass. (As an example, Knottywood Treasures.)


This information was abridged from Warmans Depression Glass, A Value & Identification Guide By Ellen T. Schroy.

I highly recommend that this book be purchased as a reference and price guide for Depression glass.


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