The market for Depression-era glass is hot again. Let’s take a peek at the most in-demand patterns among today’s collectors.
“Use it! When collecting Depression glass, it’s not just a display, but also about enjoying the glass in daily life.”
FOR PATTERNS AND COLORS THAT WILL MAKE TABLE SETTINGS SING, vintage-lovers are turning to Depression glassware. In the latest edition of Warman’s Depression Glass Handbook: Identification, Values, Pattern Guide by Ellen Schroy, you’ll find all you need to know about these colorful collector’s dishes—including 170 Depression glass patterns, with color pictures, detailed pattern drawings, a shape guide for easy identification and values. As a Depression glass admirer from her youth, Ellen has the passion to share her knowledge and research with avid collectors. “I have always been interested in antique glassware; even as a child it fascinated me,” she says. “My friends and I had many tea parties with my Moderntone tea service, which I still have today—missing only one lid.”
Though there are myriad styles, the new handbook singles out a few patterns as trending, both for their shapes and bold hues. “Today’s Depression-era glass collectors tend to follow decorating trends,” writes Ellen. This leads to selecting Depression glassware patterns that complement the currently trendy china patterns.” Patterns such as Charm, Forest Green and Royal Ruby feature some squareshaped pieces that pair well with square china that’s popular today. “Setting a pretty table is key, and mixing colors by using multiple patterns is what makes it so lovely,” says Ellen.
“This Azurite was produced under the Fire King trademark.” “Pieces were made in Azurite from 1950 to 1954,” writes Ellen.
“These tumblers were made by the Anchor Hocking Glass Co. in Lancaster, Ohio, and Long Island City, New York, between 1950 and 1957,” writes Ellen.
“Lucky shoppers find some Royal Ruby pieces with original foil labels intact.”
Keepers of the Collectibles To keep up with the latest information on pricing and rare assets, the National Depression Glass Association (NDGA) is a valuable source. “The association was originally a bunch of folks who really liked Depression glass and would share information with one another,” says Pam Meyer, president of the NDGA. “It eventually became our goal to educate all generations about Depression glass and preserve it.” Five years ago, they added a National Glass Museum in Wellington, Kansas, to keep the enthusiasm alive. Pam highly recommends coming to a show to see the varying designs in person, as you’ll get a better sense of your preferences. “Dealers and exhibitors come from all over the country to sell or display their treasured glass.” Not only is the NDGA good for seeing Depression glass up close, it’s also a way to sell your own collections. “Collectors can buy or sell Depression glass through our website and get all kinds of information. We also put out a newsletter every month that goes to our members with updated information,” says Pam. To ensure that Depression glass never goes out of style, Ellen and Pam encourage collectors to get younger generations excited and educated about the glass. “When you get the bug, you’ve got it forever,” says Pam. And most importantly, remember to not only collect these beautiful pieces but also use them as well. “It’s when we use our antiques, whether glassware, china or textiles, that our families— our children and grandchildren—will see the sparkle, remember it and want to use it themselves in later life,” says Ellen.