Rare Depression Glass PiecesWritten by Murray Hughes
Depression Glass - The Rare Pieces
Did you know that if you happen to have a crystal (clear) and pink Depression Glass refrigerator bowl in Crisscross pattern in good condition and with its original cover, that it’s valued at between $300 and $335? Or that Shirley Temple cream pitcher your grandmother keeps in back of her upper cabinet could bring up to $1,250 at auction? If you didn’t, then you’ve been in dark about rare Depression Glass pieces and their values! Here are a few pieces for which knowledgeable Depression Glass collectors stay on constant lookout:
The Ruby Red Aladdin Beehive Lamp
Made for only six months during 1937, this lamp currently brings anywhere from $700 to $950 – if it can be found! Most collectors owning this piece understandably do not have any interest in letting go of it, which makes it even rarer. The color of glass in Aladdin series of ruby lamps varies from a light red with an amber tint to dark, rich red, with deeper reds fetching more interest with today’s collectors. So if you have this lamp with trademarked “Aladdin” on it wick-raising knob, you’ve truly got yourself a prize!
Cambridge Glass Company’s Blue Cleo Etched and Footed Sugar Sifter
Although Cleo pattern, introduced by Cambridge in 1930, was produced in a variety of colors such as amber, green, crystal (clear), peach, and gold, it was and still is blue that attracts buyers. Along with oil bottle with its original stopper, footed sugar sifter proves to be hardest to find and, subsequently, most costly when it is unearthed. These sugar sifters, usually seen only in books or magazines or, if you’re lucky, in a Depression Glass club member’s private collection, can be had, reluctantly, for anywhere from $900 to more than $1,000. So if you encounter one in person, just look -- don’t touch it!
Depression Glass CompaniesWritten by Murray Hughes
Depression Glass Companies
Just before advent of Great Depression, more than a hundred companies manufactured glassware in United States. At end of Depression, fewer than fifty percent of these companies remained in business. Of these companies, seven became major players in production of Depression glass, and these seven companies utilized a little more than 90 patterns to decorate their wares. Indiana Glass, Hocking, Federal, U.S. Glass, Jeanette Glass, MacBeth-Evans, and Hazel-Atlas manufactured hundreds of thousands of pieces of this popular and inexpensive glass, creating a bright spot in lives of everyday, working-class people during a grim epoch of American history.
Before Depression glass came along, colored and patterned glass existed, but only for wealthy. Because beautifully hued and intricately designed glassware of times was hand-blown, and cost of manufacturing such pieces proved prohibitive for most people, this type of glass was simply out of reach for many households. However, with invention of mass-produced, machine-pressed glassware that produced colors and patterns – albeit ridden with flaws such as air bubbles and mold marks – a new versatility in glassware could be made available to households all over America. Because of this, even poorest families could now have cheerful pieces from which to serve their meals, hold sugar, salt, pepper, and other condiments, contain candy, and more – even to shake their martinis, if they could scrape up money for bathtub-made gin!
Adam, Cherry Blossom, Iris and Herringbone, Sierra (Pinwheel), and Windsor make up some of most popular and now-sought-after patterns produced by Jeanette Glass Company from 1928 through 1970s. From 1932 to 1942, Federal created such designs as Sharon (Cabbage Rose), Rosemary (Dutch Rose), Madrid, and Columbia that fetch top-market prices today.