Explore the Beauty of Green Depression Glass
Whether you love green depression glass for its beautiful color or charming patterns, you aren't alone. In fact, the National Depression Glass Association reports that in today's antiques market, green depression glass is nearly as popular as pink depression glass. Learn about the stunning array of patterns, forms, and shades you can find in antique shops and online.
Green for Wealth or Simply for Loveliness
Depression glass came in many shades of green, from a pale yellow green that resembled Vaseline glass to a deep emerald green that was very striking. Some modern collectors feel that this array of green shades represented wealth and hope for the growth of the economy during the Great Depression. However, collectors in the 1930s may simply have enjoyed the lovely green hue as much as their modern counterparts do today.
Green Depression Glass Cup
As you peruse antiques shops and online auctions, you'll find green depression glass in many different forms, including vases, stemware or wine glasses, plates, serving pieces, and more. Cups, like this sweet example, are common. They make a pretty addition to a modern table, adding a pop of color to holiday meals or tea parties.
This light green sandwich tray is a bit rarer to find, but you'll still encounter such items in shops. Although people no longer serve sandwiches on dedicated trays, there are plenty of contemporary uses for a piece like this. Its simple style makes it perfect to hold jewelry and other small objects on a dressing table.
Dark Green Bowl
Perhaps a bit rarer than lighter tones, this dark emerald green bowl would look beautiful on a holiday table. The value of darker colors can sometimes be higher, although many factors can affect what a piece is worth.
Clean-Lined Small Depression Glass Pitcher
Some pieces, like this clean-lined little pitcher, have a modern feeling. That's because the 1930s were part of the Art Deco movement in design, in which artists and designers shook off the fanciness and fussiness of Victorian style for simpler, more geometric lines. Art Deco green depression glass works well in many of today's homes, offering a pop of color without the distraction of ornate details.
Other patterns of the era were a little more ornate. The poinsettia pattern was a popular pattern that came in a couple of different colors. It's still subtle, but the floral design makes a lovely statement during the holidays.
Diamond Pattern Sugar Bowl
This sugar bowl has a diamond pattern that shows off the deep green nicely. This is another example of a simple, geometric pattern reflecting the Art Deco era. The facets catch the light and create subtle sparkle on a table without drawing too much attention.
Daisy Pattern Platter
Another popular pattern is "daisy." This light green depression glass platter has a pattern of tiny daisies, but you have to look closely to see it. The delicate floral doesn't overwhelm the little platter, letting the viewer also appreciate the beautiful green color.
Detail of Daisy Platter
Here is a close up of the platter in the previous image. You can see the way the light plays in the pattern. You can also see one of the clear signs of genuine depression glass - a little patina and fogging from regular use. Many people used these inexpensive glass pieces in their homes instead of saving them for special occasions.
Recognizing Genuine Green Depression Glass
Because of the demand for certain colors of depression glass, including green, there are a number of reproductions on the market. In addition to patina, you can spot real depression glass by its tiny internal flaws and bubbles. If you look closely at this piece, you can see little air bubbles trapped in the glass. Since these are a feature of the original item and not a sign of wear, they rarely detract from value.
Green Depression Glass vs. Carnival Glass
A precursor to depression glass, carnival glass was popular from around 1900 through the 1920s. It came in many colors, including green, and it's easy to confuse it with depression glass. However, carnival glass featured a hand-applied iridescent glaze, whereas iridescent depression glass offers a more uniform, machine-applied glaze. Because it came from an earlier, more ornate era, carnival glass also tends to have more elaborate design features. Both types of glass are very collectible.
How to Assess Condition of Green Depression Glass
Some green depression glasses pieces can fetch hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but many are worth far less. There are many factors that can affect value, but condition is one of the most important. Learning how to assess the condition of the glass piece can help you make wise choices. Look for the following:
- Minimal scratches, hazing, chips, and fine cracks
- A uniform, vivid color
- No signs of repair
Getting Deals on Green Depression Glass
It's not uncommon to spot a gorgeous piece of green depression glass mixed in with other glassware at an antique shop. If you're looking for a specific pattern or color, antique shops are a great resource. However, if you want to start your collection and want some good deals, there are a few other places to search. Try these:
- Resale shops and thrift stores
- Flea markets
- Garage sales
- Antique auctions with lots of glassware