Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Why, what’s the matter,

That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?"

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
I am sure many of us around the country have some serious February faces! It does seem as though February is not only short on days but also on sun! So, I decided to bring in some sunshine colors for the spring. I have new shipments of paper florals in. They look like dried flowers...far more dimensional than the silks. I also collected the amber depression glass in the shop, and I am working on a French expose` for spring...thinking springtime in Paris.
Amber/yellow glass is the lost soul of the depression glass in today's collecting market. Crystal is often overlooked in the market also. Pink, cobalt, and green are better sellers. Many unique colors were also made during this time period. The demand for "carnival" glass had disappeared although some companies still produced a small amount of that type of treatment. There was a short time when several of the companies, Heisey being one, competed with an "alexandrite" type of color (lavender, changes color in different light), but the color did not prove popular in those times. Heisey also produced a bright orange color which was definitely a slow seller and was discontinued after a short run. Those short-run colors now command hefty prices in the collector market due to the limited production runs.

Amber was the decorator color for the depression era so it exists in greater quantities than other colors. Many of the patterns of what we call "Depression Glass" were distributed as promotional items during the lean years. The glassware would appear in soap or cereal boxes, or might be given away at a local movie theater or gas station to encourage patrons. I read that one glass manufacturer was saved from bankruptcy during the Depression when it received an order from Quaker Oats for five Railroad Cars of glass. I have not been able to track down who that was...maybe Federal Glass.

Despite the fact that this glass was not finished elegantly, there were pieces in the collection that appealed to finer tastes like the cream soup below.
The cream soup bowl looks like a wide, shallow cup with two handles. Soup can be messy and the handles made it easier to hold as well as decorative. The wise hostess would put a 7 inch plate under the cream soup bowl to provide a place to put the soup spoon after use. Cream soup bowls were certainly not must-have pieces and not everyone who owned a pattern had a full set. Because of this, today they tend to be among the pricier place setting pieces in many patterns.
Another item is the "biscuit" or cookie jar. Most of the time we think of pottery cookie jars, but the glass ones came to the market at the same time...again a Depression era item. The first ones were clear jars with screw on lids. You can imagine how many of the Depression glass containers saw their lids slip through the hands of a youngster in the household!

So, maybe a touch of amber...yellow...to get us through the month...because as the proverb goes...no matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

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