I love the look and feel of vintage and antique items. My collections contain quite a few beautiful items that I enjoy sharing.
Vintage Glass From the Depression Era
Even if you are not a collector of depression glass, you probably have seen it. Maybe you were even served cake on a plate or coffee in a cup made of depression glass.
Many of the pieces came in beautiful soft shades of green or a peach pink. Your mother or grandmother probably had at least one piece.
The Depression Era started in 1929 in the United States and spread around the world. It lasted until the late 1930s and early 1940s. During this period, glass was produced inexpensively and was sometimes given away for free with the purchase of another product.
This article will cover the following topics:
- How to find depression glass pieces
- Cameo Pattern
- Sandwich Glass
- Jubilee Pattern
- Diamond Quilted Pattern
How to Find Depression Glass Pieces
Depression glass is often available at yard or tag sales. Usually, it is very reasonably priced. In a consignment shop or antique shop, these same pieces will most likely be somewhat more expensive.
If you are looking for a particular pattern, familiarize yourself with the approximate price for each piece. Some patterns were made in several colors; where one color might be either more desirable or scarcer and therefore more expensive. Sometimes a particular piece, such as a platter, is scarce; thus the price is higher.
There are reproduction pieces, which should not be as expensive as the authentic pieces. For some patterns, glass molds were sold, and the pieces are being made today. Learn to recognize what patterns have reproductions, in some cases you can tell the reproduction piece from the original.
Invest in a good identification book. Some libraries even have copies you can check out and take with you to yard sales. Do check them out before purchasing anything over the internet.
The Cameo pattern, seen in the photo above, was manufactured from 1930 to 1934. It was made in crystal, green, pink, and yellow. Any pieces in colors other than these are reproductions.
The picture above shows a closeup of the "cameo" design. In the middle of the cameo is a ballerina, which is why the pattern has also come to be known as ballerina or dancing girl.
The example shown in the photo above is the Sandwich pattern, manufactured by Duncan & Miller from 1924 to 1955. The color is "crystal, "which is clear. I photographed it up against a black background so it would show up. It is the 11-1/2 inch Service Plate.
Several other companies have marketed patterns called "Sandwich:" Anchor Hocking, Indiana Glass, and Tiara Exclusives. The "Sandwich" pattern should not be confused with glass manufactured by manufacturers of that name or those located in Sandwich, Massachusetts.
The Boston & Sandwich Glass Company was founded in 1825 in the town of Sandwich, Massachusetts (Cape Cod). The company closed in 1888. There were several other glass companies that opened in the town of Sandwich. By the 1920s there were no glass manufacturers on Cape Cod. This means they closed before the period of depression glass.
There is a museum on Cape Code dedicated to the glass that was produced there: Sandwich Glass Museum in Cape Cod
Duncan & Miller made their "Sandwich" pattern in mostly crystal. There were some amber, cobalt blue, green, pink and red pieces.
Remember Hocking Glass Company (later Anchor Hocking) and Indiana Glass also made patterns called "Sandwich."
You really need to check a reference book when bidding on these since there are so many authentic variations as well as reproductions.
This Jubilee cup and saucer are part of a set of six cups and saucers and salad plates. This particular set was a free giveaway with the purchase of a commercial refrigerator for my grandparents' bakery. The Jubilee pattern was made in pink and yellow. Prices for the same piece may vary widely, depending on if it is pink or yellow.
Diamond Quilted Pattern
Both these vases are in the Diamond Quilted pattern, which is the design you see on the body of the vase. The edges are "opalescent lace-edged." Opalescent refers to the cloudy whitish-blue color and lace-edged on the open work around the rim of the vase.
The green-colored vase on the left is referred to as "seafoam" for the color and is 5 inches tall. The vase on the right is "katy blue" and 4-1/2 inches tall.
Interesting note: No matter how I photograph these; no matter where I put them or whether I photograph them together or separately; they look crooked. It is the vases themselves. They were not manufactured to a perfect standard.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Where is the best place to sell cameo glass?
Answer: You could try eBay. In general, glass and china aren't selling well now. A lot of baby boomers are getting rid of things and the newer generation doesn't want it. They want easy care, microwavable and dishwashable.
Question: Was a juicer made in pink depression glass? I see stuff being sold on eBay but afraid it is just reproductions.
Answer: If the company made other pieces in that pattern in pink than it is more than probable it's authentic. If they never made pink pieces than that would be very doubtful. The first step would be to identify the pattern and company. Warman's makes tons of books with pictures for identifying patterns and a lot of libraries have copies. I found a pink juicer on RubyLane's website it was made by Hazel Atlas in the Criss Cross pattern. You could also go to Replacements website and do a search on "pink depression glass" more than 1,000 pictures will come up and if you have time and patience you might be able to locate the pattern you are looking at on eBay.
© 2012 Ellen Gregory
Please leave your comments. You don't have to be a member of Hubpages to comment.
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on June 02, 2019:
Todd, just saw your comment and I need to check it out. I did my research on this article a long time ago and don't remember where I found the information on the Duncan and Miller Sandwich glass. This will take some doing.
Todd on September 03, 2018:
I'm pretty sure the piece you have photographed and identified as Duncan and Miller Sandwich is actually a reproduction. Don't Duncan's sandwich pieces usually have a sawtooth edge, and don't ever have a Fleur de lis in the design?
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on February 12, 2018:
Go to the library and take out books on Depression glass by Warman's. They have a price guide. Another source is the yearly price guides put out by Kovel's. If you library doesn't have it, most libraries have inter library loans and they can obtain it for you.
Neil jenkins on February 08, 2018:
Can any one help me with my glass item I've got a bowl that is old and is meant to be older than 100 years but I have no idea what it is or worth ect
carol mckinney on October 22, 2017:
Beautiful collection! I just purchased a Katy Blue vase yesterday. It is my first piece of Katy Blue. Mostly I collect pink cherry blossom.
Ellen Gregory (author) from Connecticut, USA on June 26, 2017:
Yes. I love how delicate they are.
Jean Bakula from New Jersey on June 24, 2017:
I love the pink, and my son is saving a whole place setting of blue, he remembers using it as a toddler at his Grandmother's. I never saw the pretty yellow you show here! Aren't the patterns lovely?
Joanie Ruppel from Keller, Texas on June 27, 2015:
Great job on a primer for depression glass. I have the same Sandwich platter and as you said, found it at a garage sale of all places! I only collect the clear sandwich pattern made by the different manufacturers. Am planning on visiting the museum in Sandwich next month.
Blackspaniel1 on November 28, 2014:
I like looking, but as a collectible that can be bought and resold I am not the right person for breakables.
Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on October 19, 2013:
I have seen these but I never knew what they were called. Very good to know and what a collection!
sybil watson on September 16, 2013:
I have a good friend who does estate sales and she has quite an assortment of depression glass. Her favorite is a cranberry color because during the Depression her mom used the extra nickels left over from her paycheck each week to pay for a set on layaway.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on August 23, 2013:
I have 8 plates that are quite similar to the Sandwich plate you have a the top of your page. They belonged to my mother and were handed down to me many years after she died. I cherish them. My mother in law is a huge collector of depression glass.
LynetteBell from Christchurch, New Zealand on July 25, 2013:
I'd never heard of it before!
Rhonda Lytle from Deep in the heart of Dixie on June 07, 2013:
My mom has collected this stuff for years. I have to send her here. You have a great display going on.
lionmom100 on February 19, 2013:
These are beautiful glass pieces. I don't know the dates, but I have several pieces of Blue Fenton Glass that got passed down from various family members. My guess is that they are from this era. Truly beautiful
MarcellaCarlton on February 09, 2013:
I really like this lens. So many resources to choose from. It certainly seems inexpensive to collect.
HuxleyPerceptions on November 30, 2012:
My mother in law has a great collection of this. I never knew what they were, thanks for sharing the information.
Aunt-Mollie on November 18, 2012:
These are lovely images. I only have a few pieces - in pink and one in a very special light blue that is my favorite. The glass is so delicate and I find that it is at its best near a sunny window where it catches the light. Liked!
rubyandmahoney on October 25, 2012:
I love depression glass! I have about a dozen pieces of the pink. My favorite pieces are a pair of candlesticks that I received as a wedding gift. I had to stop collecting though, because I just don't have the room to store it.
shewins on October 20, 2012:
Nice collection, beautiful lens
KarenCookieJar on October 08, 2012:
I have a few pieces of depression glass around the house as decorative items.
adragast24 on September 03, 2012:
Thanks for this informative article. I was actually attracted by the word depression as I just wrote about how to fight sadness but I can see now that this had nothing to do with it. Well, at least I learned something new :-)
Thankfultw on August 31, 2012:
I collect Homespun in pink. I also have quite a few pieces of Florentine II, and various other pieces, stored in the shed, boohoo...., from a little shop we had in the 1980s.
GrinningFool on August 22, 2012:
A good friend of mine is a collector. Started when he was a teenager!
Annbulance2000 on August 20, 2012:
I often see glassware at carboot sales here in the U.K. I bought two american icecream parlour glasses last weekend. There are a lot of the green type around in all the charity shops. Good informative lense thanks.
antoniow on July 16, 2012:
Awesome lens, great job!
Coolboots on July 11, 2012:
This is a great lens! I just inherited a very large collection of depression glass myself. It's so fun to look through them all!
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 04, 2012:
I have a few and I love them.
veggievegans on July 04, 2012:
Beautiful glass and fantastic lens
OliviaDaughter LM on June 24, 2012:
My mother collected depression glass. I have a few of her pieces. It is very lovely.
Little Linda Pinda from Florida on June 15, 2012:
I love your vintage depression glass.
sarasentor lm on June 14, 2012:
Lovely lens, i am glad that i found it.
psiloveyou1 on May 27, 2012:
The colbalt glass is beautiful. I've never seen it before.
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on May 26, 2012:
I love depression glass! Isn't funny though how glassware made during the depression years is a lot prettier than most of what is made current day :)
jolou on May 19, 2012:
I have some depression glass, but not a lot. I certainly like it though.
AJ from Australia on May 01, 2012:
I love the history you give to your lenses. I was familiar with depression glass, but didn't know the background to it, so appreciate your information. Blessings.
ChiWizard on April 23, 2012:
how insightful into human nature it is that something so evocative, fragile, and delightful should emerge out of the depression era. I have a green glass fruit dish handed down by my grandmother which sparkles on the windowsill in sunlight and engages my inner magical child with its mandala pattern and unique resonance
GreenMind Guides from USA on March 25, 2012:
great lens -- you have a passion for these beautiful pieces, and I can see why!
anonymous on March 24, 2012:
I just loved this lens, I have a friend who is nearly 80 and she has a wonderful display of the green depression glassware. Great information and well put together. Blessed
Tjoedhilde on March 05, 2012:
Very beautiful. I I had room I might start collecting as well. For now though I will just have to enjoy the view on this lens. :)
WriterJanis2 on February 22, 2012:
Very beautiful pieces and I can see why people would want to collect them.