Collecting Depression glass stemware is a great starter hobby for persons interested in collecting depression era items. Generally, Depression era glassware is inexpensive and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns to match anyone's décor.
What Is Depression Glass?
Depression glass was first made during the 1920's. It was actually being manufactured before the Great Depression occurred. The characteristics of Depression glass are machine-molded designs with intricate patterns, geometric shapes or optic motifs.
The colors of Depression glass vary greatly, but they are commonly found in the following colors:
- Clear or crystal
The glassware was made cheaply and was commonly used as giveaways for advertising or as promotional premiums. Many items found in the secondary market today have advertising logos on them, such as the green glass log houses that advertised cough drops.
Depression Era Stemware
Since Depression glass stemware was made of glass that could potentially be broken easily, finding it can be slightly more difficult than locating plates, saucers and cups. However, finding a beautiful piece of stemware is well worth the hunt.
Specific patterns of Depression glass stemware that you may be able to locate in antique stores and auctions include:
- American Pioneer - 1931-1934 by Liberty Works
- Anniversary- 1947-1949 by Jeannette Glass Company
- Circle - manufactured by Hocking Glass Company
- Colonial -1934-1938 manufactured by Hocking Glass Company
- Diamond Quilted - 1930 manufactured by Imperial Glass Company
- English Hobnail - 1925-1970's manufactured by Westmoreland Glass Company
- Hobnail - 1934-1936 manufactured by Hocking Glass Company
- Iris - 1928-1932 manufactured by Jeannette Glass Company
- Jubilee - 1920-1930's manufactured by Lancaster Glass Company
- Lincoln Inn - 1930 manufactured by Fenton Art Glass Company
- Manhattan - 1938-1941 manufactured by Anchor-Hocking Glass Corporation
- Mayfair (Open Rose) - 1931-1937 manufactured by Hocking Glass Company
- Miss America - 1933-1937 manufactured by Hocking Glass Company
- Moonstone - 1941-1946 manufactured by Anchor-Hocking Glass Corporation
- New Century - 1930 manufactured by Hazel Atlas Glass Company
- Sandwich - 1920's to present manufactured by Indiana Glass Company
- Tea Room - 1926-1931 manufactured by Indiana Glass Company
- Waterford - 1938-1944 and 1950's manufactured by Hocking Glass Company
All of these companies commonly made stemware such as wine glasses and goblets. There are also many more patterns and manufacturers that included footed glassware and tumblers, such as sherbet cups and glass tumblers. It is rare to find a complete set of wine glasses or goblets and many of these items have chips or cracks.
Where to Find Antique Stemware
Finding Depression glass is usually pretty easy if you already make the rounds antique shopping in your region. Other places to find great pieces of stemware include:
- Estate auctions
- Flea markets
- Church bazaars
- Large group garage sales
If you are new to shopping for antique glassware it would be a good idea to shop with a knowledgeable friend or with a current price guide. When choosing a price guide, look for plenty of pictures, drawings, and a range of prices next to the individual glassware pieces. This will help you determine if an item is priced appropriately, and if the item is rare enough to garner a high price.
Depression Glass Stemware Books
Collecting Depression era glassware is still a very popular hobby so finding books on the subject is easy. Popular books on the subject include the following:
- Depression Era Glassware by Carl F. Luckey
- Collector's Encyclopedia of Depression Glass by Gene and Cathy Florence
- Warman's Field Guide to Depression Glass: Values and Identification by Ellen T. Schroy and Tracy Schmidt
- Warman's Field Guide to Depression Glass: Identification and Price Guide by Ellen T. Schroy
- Mauzy's Depression Glass: A Photographic Reference Guide with Prices by Barbara and Jim Mauzy
- Pocket Guide to Depression Glass and More by Gene and Cathy Florence
Collecting any type of Depression glassware can be a fun as well as inexpensive hobby. Pieces can easily be found in the secondary market in a variety of places, from eBay to your local antique store. Be sure to shop with a knowledgeable friend or a well illustrated price guide before you hit the ground running. Finally, choose pieces that you really love and ones that compliment your décor. The pieces that you collect today may become extremely valuable in the future!