Monday, August 4, 2008

Not at all depressing...

I have been on these buying sprees at auction and at the flea I was able to unwrap some of the depression glass that I have bought. I could not possibly give you the history of this glass in a brief overview...but I can do a simple summary. Most people think of the pink and green glass when Depression glass is mentioned, but it did come in other varieties...cobalt being the most expensive and amber probably the least. Clear is also available, but it is not in great demand despite its versatility.

Depression glass was manufactured from the late 1920s through the 1940s. It was produced by machine in great quantities for that era, and it was not designed to be the high end collectible that it has become.

It was packaged in boxes of cereal and flour sacks...this sunflower plate which is seen in numerous collections and is valued at $15 originally came in 50 lb flour sacks!

Local theaters, gas stations, and grocery stores handed it out. Magazine subscribers and sellers could collect coupons to redeem for pieces. Even the farmers' wives could use coupons from seed packets to trade for the glassware, and coupons could also be found in butter and soap!

Depression glass is not perfect...sizes of plates may vary minutely, and it is flawed in that it was cheap glass!!! However, as you can see from the pictures below, it is not flawed by today's dollar store standards.

There is "elegant" depression sold at department stores...which has a finer look and is often etched as this console bowl above illustrates.

Also some companies such as Heisey became know for very fine glassware...the lavender creamer and sugar *sans lid* show the difference in quality. That color was called Hawthorne and was produced for only a year because they could not perfect the shade. You can see how it compares to the regular depression pink. The regular depression glass manufacturers such as Hazel Atlas, Jeannette, Federal Glass, Paden City, and Hocking were not as concerned about quality control so you will see variances in shades. Of course, there is new reproductions, but they are so poor that even a novice as a clue about the Chinese made glass.

I am always fascinated by the odd pieces in the older glassware...the pink is a celery dish...and I love the canoe shapes for olives, the jar, doesn't it?

These pretties always make me smile...they sparkle...they brighten a table...they remind us that maybe they did not have it so bad way back when!


Janet L Christian said...

I love pink depression glass. I really love though, how you have displayed the depression glass mixed with china on the last picture.

Anonymous said...


I love depression glass. It's so beautiful and your right, it will light up a table. Thanks for sharing your wonderful treasures.


Carolee Crafts said...

Hi Susan

Love the glass, I went to a market on Saturday and there seemed a lot of glass and crystal about, unfortuntely a bit out of my price range but it is good to admire.

kath@retromantic antiques said...

Nothing like depression glass is there? I collect some and sell some in my shop. Your display is lovely. thanks for sharing. k

Inka Smith said...

I love depression glass and thanks for the history. I have a few pieces from my Grandmother. She got them from a soap box. Really pretty.

Marie said...

Hi Susan,
I love your displays. I had no idea depression glass came in cobalt or lavender.

Miniature Patisserie Chef said...

Hi Susan,

I love depression glass...I learnt about them through miniatures. There are a few great lookalike ones! Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos!

Pei Li

Cottage Flair said...

I have a small collection of pink depression glass pieces. As usual, I learned alot from your post. Thanks for the great info.

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

Hey Susan! Love depression glass! I have an entire service for 8 of the clear with some pretty etching on it. It was my great grammy's. I also have some serving pieces to match it. I just treasure it!


Patricia said...

Loved todays history. I love glass, always have. Depression or otherwise. Just like the sparkles!


Lilli Blue said...

That was really delicious fun! I love the green. I have a bunch that my Aunt gave me and some great bowls my sister rescued from under a house. I love your displays! Great WOW factor. Lilli

sita said...

HOw yummy my fav is pink! I like all of them but I am hoping to add to my pink collection. Thanks again for the history!

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

Susan, I am ooing and ahhing at each picture. I love depression glass. My sister has a huge collection of blue dep. glass and I just love to look at it all. My favorite is green. I am always on the lookout for that special piece. Thanks for sharing, and what a visually stunning post.

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

How timely Susan...I am using bits of depression glass to put my just faux fun food on and in.

...and your hint to pack things in pretty boxes cracked me up ! They would all still be sitting around looking pretty in my house too.


Carolyn Kocman said...

i won't be as cynical with you as you are with! i will just say that i absolutely love pink depression glass, though i do not have ONE thing! sooooo...i think i may have to start a collection soon.

Silena said...

Hi Susan,
Your photos are phenomenal...true eye candy. And, of course, I love all of the informational tidbits about depression glass...I remember my Mom getting them at the theatre as give-aways...can you imagine that?! If only they knew then that we would treasure these items and collect them shamelessly!!

cathy said...

How interesting to learn about the history about Depression Glass.I have always oved it. My mom has a ton of it in her house.

Unknown said...

Hi Susan!

What fantastic depression glass! My mother has many beautiful glass sets that I love. You always have so many lovely products to share with us. I really look forward to visiting you every week.

Hope you have tons of sales!
Janet's Creative Pillows

SoCal Helene said...

Hi Susan, I had no idea that depression glass came in that many different colors. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us, always enjoy reading you S & T. Hope you have a great week!