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Collecting Depression Glass - An Elegant and Colorful Hobby

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It’s not hard to see the attraction of a carefully assembled collection of depression glass. One cannot help but notice a display of this colorful glass artfully arranged to highlight its vibrant colors and patterns. If you are considering assembling your own collection of depression glass it is important to educate yourself in order to avoid costly mistakes and to get the most out of your collection.

Depression glass is the name given to many pieces of common, household glass items available from the 1920s through the 1940s. This dishware was inexpensive and was intended to be used everyday. People could purchase these items from dime stores and, during the great depression, businesses such as gas stations and movie theatres gave out pieces of this colorful glassware to lure customers in to their establishments.

These dishes were made by a wide variety of manufacturers and came in many different colors and patterns. Some of the more common (and therefore less expensive) colors include clear, pink, light blue, amber, and green. Other colors that aren’t found as often include red, yellow, cobalt blue, and black. Some of the companies which manufactured this glass include the Anchor Hocking Glass Company, the Jeanette Glass Company, the Dell Glass Company, the Indiana Glass Company, as well as many others.

When assembling your collection, it is helpful to educate yourself and focus on a realistic goal for your collection. Since there is such a wide variety of glass available, your collection will have more of an impact if you focus on one or two areas that appeal to you personally. Your goal could be to assemble a complete dinner service of one particular pattern and color. Another option would be to obtain individual pieces of the many different patterns. Still another idea would be to assemble a collection of small pieces of a wide variety of colors to be displayed in a sunny window. Due to the wide variety of pieces which were manufactured, the ideas for assembling and displaying a collection will only be limited by your imagination.

Depression glass was made to be used on a daily basis. Therefore, many of the pieces found today are not in perfect condition.  It is not uncommon to find pieces with chips, cracks, scratches, or discoloration. These factors will all have a negative impact on the price of the dish and, unless the piece is particularly rare, many collectors avoid pieces with these problems.

Depression glass was manufactured in large quantities and was very cheaply made.  As a result, many pieces will have manufacturing flaws in them.  This should not affect the cost of the piece unless the flaw is extreme.  These flaws include mold marks, flash around the edges of the piece, slight variations in color, and bubbles in the glass.

As is the case with many popular collectibles, some patterns of depression glass have been reproduced.  In detecting reproductions, education goes a long way. If you are serious about collecting these beautiful dishes, purchase one or two good books on the subject to learn which patterns have been reproduced. Many of the newer pieces won’t have the air bubbles in them. Also the colors may be darker than original pieces and the sizes may be slightly different. Watch eBay auctions to get an idea what pieces that interest you are selling for. Remember, while some antique dealers know a great deal about depression glass, many do not and may unknowingly sell a reproduction as an original. It is up to you to do your homework in order to avoid disappointment.

There are many collectors clubs that specialize in depression glass. These clubs are easily found on the Internet and give depression glass collectors educational opportunities, the chance to meet other collectors, and a place to buy new pieces for their collections.

Assembling a collection of these colorful glass pieces can be a fun and rewarding hobby. These dishes are still widely available and many are reasonably priced. It is a hobby with the potential of many years of enjoyment.





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