Collecting glassware from the Depression era has become the craze, and for a good reason. This glassware is not only incredibly well-made and beautiful, but it is also a piece of American history. Because of its intricacy and unique patterns, this glassware is nowadays sold for a rather high price. The value of only one piece of such glassware can go up to 800 USD. The price is generally determined by the scarcity of the piece, but also by the color of the glass and the pattern style. Check your grandma’s kitchen and maybe you’ll find an example of such glassware.
Colored glassware wasn’t always considered to be the best or most beautiful addition to one’s home, and for a long time, no one really cared about it. However, recently, colored glassware is making a huge comeback, but not just any type of colored glassware; we’re talking about the so-called depression glass. This is the type of colored glassware people used in the Depression era, a timeframe between the 1920s and the 1940s.
As those were rather harsh testing times, such glassware was often cheap and available to everybody, but nowadays it is highly valuable. Why? People are seeking out unique colors and patterns of such glassware and collecting them. If you’re embarking on this interesting journey yourself, or you simply want to see if your grandma’s glassware is worth anything, you’re in the right place! In the following paragraphs, we’ll talk about the most valuable and rare depression glass patterns and colors, so keep on reading!
Depression Glassware – Unique and Rare Colors and Patterns
Before we get into the details, we just want to share with you a few interesting facts about depression glassware, so you have a clear image of the origin, purpose, and use of such glass;
- Almost all of the depression glass and glassware was produced in Ohio River Valley, or rather in the companies operating in this area. Some of the most popular ones included Hazel Atlas Glass Company, Federal Glass Company, Indiana Glass Company, Hocking Glass Company, and many more.
- Depression glassware was cheap and accessible; at the height of its popularity, there were around 100 different types of patterns, and each manufacturer had its specific mold type and signature glass color.
- Depression glass wasn’t always colored the best; the color schemes were sometimes even described as ugly, and people avoided some colors (mostly those that are short-lived). Nowadays, those are considered rare and pretty valuable.
- There are different types of depression glassware, including teacups, pitchers, bowls, plates, cake stands, utensils, etc.
The Most Valuable Patterns
|No.||Depression Glass Pattern||Year||Value (Mint Condition)|
|1.||American Sweetheart||The 1930s||$300 to $800|
|2.||Mayfair or Open Rose||The 1930s||$50 to $165|
|3.||Princess||The 1930s||$20 to $50|
|4.||Royal Lace||Between 1934 and 1941||$40 to $90|
|5.||Cherry Blossom||Between 1930 and 1939||$50 to $300|
This is one of the most sought-after, and rarest, depression glassware patterns/colors. The glass pattern was mostly in cobalt blue color, but there were also pink and crystal variations. The patterns feature shapes of roses, intricate linework as well as floral designs.
Royal Lace pattern was featured on bowls, glass water pitchers, biscuit/cookie jars, as well as the lidded sugar bowl and candlesticks. In their perfect, or mint condition, Royal Lace glassware can be sold for up to 40 USD. When sold in its original cobalt blue version, the Royal Lace glassware can reach even the price of 90 USD for mint condition.
Mayfair, (also known as Open Rose or Pink Mayfair)
Known under both names, this pattern is considered to belong to the rather rare, highly valuable vintage glassware. It is highly sought-after and generally sells out pretty fast. The glass is often pink colored, but there is an ice blue version as well. The square shape of the pattern is softened out by the scalloped, rounded edges and intricate linework.
This pattern was mostly used for tea cups, saucers, shot glasses, and cookie jars, and because it was supposed to be displayed, it was made pretty elegant and delicate. In its mint condition, Mayfair glass can be sold for up to 165 USD, while the average price is somewhere between 50 USD and 100 USD, depending on the type of product and its condition.
The Princess glassware pattern was coined by the Anchor Hocking glassware company. It is nowadays considered rare and is therefore highly sought-after. The pattern is often square but softened out by the curved or scalloped edges and cut-off corners. The wide rims make this pattern stand out, but what truly makes it unique is its green color. The pattern/glass can also come in other colors, like pink, light blue, and rarely yellow.
The pattern was used on different types of dishes and kitchenware, but mostly lidded jars, like cookie jars or creamers, but there are also dinner plates or even glass slat/pepper sets available for purchase. In its mint condition, a Princess patterned glass can cost up to 40 USD. A more average price of the pattern would be around 20 USD.
The American Sweetheart pattern was coined by the Macbeth-Evans Glass company, and the name suits it so well. The pattern/glass is rather thin, intricate, and delicate. It features wonderful paisleys and curlicue patterns, alongside intricate linework and floral design. The glass is almost clear, but there is a pink hue in there that makes it look very otherwordly and mesmerizing. This pattern is highly sought-after, mostly because of its intricacy and elegance.
The pattern was mostly featured on water pitchers, tumblers, cake plates, and soup bowls. Nowadays, these are highly desirable pieces, and of course, incredibly expensive. For a mint-condition American Sweetheart pitcher you can expect to pay up to 800 USD. A more average price for such patterned glassware would be around 300 USD, which is still at the higher-end price point.
The Cherry Blossom glass pattern is one of the most popular from the Depression era. It was first coined by Jeannette Glass Company and has been reproduced on the market until the early 1970s. In the 1990s, the pattern was again featured on wholesale glass. It is rather popular and sought-after, mostly because of its intricate floral design and beautiful color options, including pink, opaque blue, green, and clear glass. More rare color combinations included yellow, red, and opaque/translucent green.
The pattern was mostly used on items such as butter dishes, cake plates, tea cups and saucers, bowls, trays, and tumblers. If you’re looking to buy a Cherry Blossom glass set, you can expect to pay up to 300 USD. However, if you’re after individual pieces, then the price lowers significantly to an average of 50 USD to 80 USD.
Things To Know When Buying/Selling Depression Glass
Where To Purchase Depression Glass?
If you’re looking to purchase this incredibly beautiful, rare, and valuable Depression glassware, make sure to check out the following marketplaces;
- Mavin.io – an online marketplace that draws the items you’re looking for from other antique/vintage websites and online flea shops and creates a compelling list you can easily go through and compare prices. It is also pretty useful because you can also take a look at the sold items and note the differences in past prices, versus the current ones. It allows you to choose the items that are within your budget and presents you with a full description of the item’s origin and condition.
- Etsy – Etsy is of the best one vintage marketplaces out there, especially if you’re seeking to buy vintage glassware. The price range shows that there is something for everyone, but even the most demanding collectors will be able to find what they’re looking for.
- Ruby Lane – this is an excellent online marketplace for everything antique, including vintage and rare Depression glassware. From individual pieces to full sets, there is something for everyone. The prices for genuine, old, Depression glassware are definitely on the higher end, but with different offers, discount codes, and sales, you can get unique pieces for a pretty good price.
- Replacements, Ltd. – if you’re looking for collectors’ pieces and limited editions of Depression glassware, this is the place you should check out. Here, you can find all sorts of limited editions, scarce patterns, and rare glass color items. We do have to point out that the price tags are on the higher end, but considering the mint condition and limited edition of the items sold on the website, we say they’re surely justified.
How To Spot Fake Depression Glassware?
Now that we’ve learned about the rare and unique Depression glassware patterns, let’s go quickly go through our final lesson; spotting spake Depression glassware. Here are some of the main things you should pay attention to or keep in mind when buying vintage Depression glassware;
- Slight damage or imperfections – since Depression glassware is currently almost a hundred years old, it is completely normal and expected for it to have some slight damage or imperfections. Genuine Depression glassware will have some cracks, inclusions, color variations, molding variations of flaws, water rings, and general marks of use. There will also be bubbles within the glass, which is not common in fake glassware.
- Color – the common colors of the Depression glassware include pale shades of pink, green, blue, and rarely yellow and red. You might come across some opaque-colored glassware as well. If the color is saturated, or even black, you’re dealing with a dupe. The rarest colors in Depression glassware are lavender and tangerine, as well as opaque blue and green.
- Uranium glassware – some Depression glassware, usually of green color, contained small amounts of uranium, which created a unique green shade and made the glassware glow in the dark. Now, this kind of Depression glassware is hard to find in its genuine form, but you will come across many dupes. For genuine Uranium glassware, you should only do your shopping on authentic antique-selling websites.
- Lines on the base – when Depression glassware was made, it was dried by resting on a straw. Thin lines on the base of the glassware indicated that it was dried on straw, meaning it is genuine, real Depression glassware.
Depression glassware is truly unique and beautiful. The fact that it simply stopped being popular is unfortunate, but it became popular and sought-after again is pretty exciting. People are buying these pieces of American history and learning about these past times in the best possible way. Hopefully, we’ve helped you out in your journey to find your perfect Depression glassware. We wish you all the luck and may you enjoy your new glassware as much as we’ve enjoyed writing about it!