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Depression Glass Specialties

Another Way to Enjoy Depression Glass


Cubist Depression Glass Butter Dish

Cubist Depression glass butter dish produced by Jeannette Glass Company between 1929 and 1933.

-Pamela Wiggins
I first started thinking about Depression glass specialties as distinct collections when my mother began hunting down butter dishes that go with well-known Depression glass patterns. While all her butter dishes had the same basic round shape, which provided continuity to the collection, the patterns and colors were all different. Some of them even varied in size. It was truly a striking collection.

Choices in Depression Glass Specialties

Over the years since mom started her collection, I’ve met people who specialized in other Depression glass pieces. When I worked at a local antique mall one of our customers collected cream and sugar sets. Once she had accumulated sets from well-known patterns, she branched out to sets not as easily identified. These were made by smaller factories and those that went out of business after a short production time making pattern research for inclusion in books on Depression era glassware difficult.

Other collecting options along this line are pitchers, candy dishes, cookie jars and salt and pepper shakers. Most of the popular Depression glass patterns, including Cameo, Mayfair, Royal Lace, Sharon and Patrician included at least a few of these pieces in their lines. Other patterns offer decanters, candlesticks, and even vases to collect.

Some people prefer to focus on a single common dinnerware piece like plates, tumblers, serving bowls or cups and saucers. These varied items can make up a really pretty display, just like my mother’s butter dishes.

Learning More About Depression Glass Specialties

One of the best books to check out when learning what Depression glass collecting has to offer is the Collector’s Encyclopedia of Depression Glass by Gene Florence (Collector Books). A new edition with updated prices general comes out every couple of years and the photos are updated every so often as well.

I like this book because of the color photography, good descriptions of patterns and reliable information on manufacturers, which includes dates of production. It makes a really good point of departure for the beginning collector.

The prices in these books used to be pretty accurate, but have become skewed since the dawning of Internet antiquing. Most Depression glass pieces can be found for less online nowadays than in shops and at shows, with the exception of hard to find and rare pieces.

Where to Shop for DG Specialties

A good aspect of Depression glass specialty collecting is that you’ll most always find something you like anywhere you shop. Most antique malls and shows have a set of Depression era shakers or a cup and saucer set somewhere in the mix of items they’re displaying for sale.

Online collecting is also a great option with these types of items. Any day of the week you can log on to an online auction site or Internet antique mall and pull up dozens, if not hundreds, of authentic Depression glass pieces offered for sale including rare specialties.

Of course, you do have to be careful about reproductions, so doing your homework before you start buying fervently would definitely be a good idea. Florence’s book provides a basic repro guide in the back and there are several good reproduction references online as well.

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