Going Green !

I was thinking of “things green” today trying to come up with something fun to post on my blog in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Then I thought of my beautiful collection of green depression glass and thought it was time for a rerun of a former post. Hope you enjoy it!

Reprinted from a post filed on June 29th, 2008.

One Saturday, over 48 years ago, I went to a yard sale and there sitting, nestled on a card table, were the prettiest little oval green dishes. They were so small, about the size of your thumb to the first knuckle. I had no idea what they were, but they were so cute and I loved the look and feel of them. There was a set of six for $.50 so I bought them. Little did I know at the time that this purchase would lead to a life long love of green depression glass.

Butter Pats &/or Salt Cellars
My First Purchase!

Most of this glassware was made in the central and mid-west United States, where access to raw materials and power made manufacturing inexpensive in the first half of the twentieth century. More than twenty manufacturers made more than 100 patterns, and entire dinner sets were made in some patterns. Generally the pieces were free or low cost ‘give-aways’ at the gas station, movie theater and the grocery store. Even some food companies put pieces in their boxes to encourage people to buy their product.

Common colors are clear, or crystal; pink, pale blue, green, and amber. Less common colors include yellow, jadeite (opaque pale green), delphite (opaque pale blue), cobalt blue, red, black, and white (milk glass). I have even seen a couple of lavender colored pieces. Green and pink are the most popular colors to collect. Martha Stewart collects, and featured, green depression glass on one of her very earliest TV shows.

I found this little film on YouTube from a glass show that started back in the 1960’s and is still going strong. This was long before people caught on to its value. Since the glass was so cheaply made, it broke easily and therefore not a whole lot was preserved. Once the collector’s bug bit, it became extremely collectible, hence the continued popularity of this glassware show.

Throughout my lifetime I have bought and sold many pieces of depression glass. I found a beautiful and rare two-piece cheese server in Ireland in 1984, made by Bagley Glass. It is in mint condition, but then that one’s a keeper.

I have also used parts of my collection as accent pieces or for serving dishes on my dining room table, coordinating nicely with my china. The old timey look and the beautiful clear sparkle of the glass just takes my breath away.

My darling niece (and namesake) Lorelei also collects depression glass and she loves the pink pieces. Some collectors limit their collection to one specific pattern, but, as for me, I pick up whatever thrills my heart when I see it.

All legitmate depression glassware is becoming more scarce on the open market. Rare pieces may sell for several hundred dollars. Some manufacturers continued to make popular patterns after World War II, or introduced similar patterns, which are also collectible. Popular and expensive patterns and pieces have been reproduced, and reproductions are still being made. It is important to know the difference between the authentic and the reproduction pieces. I’ve checked out all the reference books from the library and studied them to know which is which.

A second category of Depression glass, of much better quality, and sometimes referred to as “Elegant” glass, was distributed through jewelry and department stores. From the 1920’s through the 1950’s, it was an alternative to fine china. Most of the Elegant glassware manufacturers had closed by the end of the 1950’s, so finding any piece in nice shape is a worthwhile investment.

One of three displays of my
beautiful green depression glass.


One response to this post.

  1. WOW, you do have quite a collection. Interesting to read about. I’m not a collector, but my mother was. I wish I had taken more of an inteest in the beautiful things she collected. She was like you, knowing the story, the history. You really are a trend setter; you’ve been going green for lots of years before it became fashionable!


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