by yo-toters Pat
Most of us love to collect something. Be it coins, stamps, toys, clocks, radios, Depression Glass, or whatever, it is a passion we have. The thrill of the hunt and finally finding that elusive piece which has been evading our collection for years is a feeling we love to experience. I enjoy collecting Depression Glass, however, my collecting obsession takes on an extra level of detail: glassware with the original manufacturer’s paper/foil tags still attached. To think that these pieces look just the same as they did 60, 70, or even 80 years ago is something special. Arguably, condition is the most important criteria collectors apply when determining the value and desirability of an item, and the terms MIB (mint in box), or NWT (new with tag) will always excite a collector. So, with all that said, let me share with you some of the “NWT” treasures I have unearthed in the last five or so years. Click on any photo in this article to see a full size photo.
Anchor Hocking Pitcher Beverage Sets – As the Mauzys remind us in their outstanding book, Royal Ruby and Forest Green are colors, not patterns. However, it seems everybody uses these terms for all red or green items from Hocking. Items in Royal Ruby were made from 1938 until the 1960s, and Forest Green from 1950 until 1967. Hocking used very handsome foil tags on these products, and many items can be found without too much effort.
McBeth Evans American Sweetheart (1930 – 1936) – This may be the “Holy Grail” of my collection in that this is the only McBeth sticker I have ever seen. Undoubtedly more are out there somewhere, I am hoping.
Anchor Hocking Hobnail Water Set – In addition to original foil tags, this one comes in its original box! Obviously, anything in its original box is quite desirable, and collectible, this set, although in the not so popular milk white color, is no exception.
Cambridge Glass Bird Flower Frog – For a company that went out of business in the late 1950s, you would be surprised to know that items with the original Cambridge Tag can still be found with some regularity on eBay.
Cameo – Anchor Hocking made Cameo from 1930 until 1934 and these four pieces are among my favorites. Of special note is that the machine-made Cameo pattern was adapted or derived from Monongah Glass’ handmade and etched Springtime pattern, after Hocking purchased Monongah Glass in the late 1920s. These tags are very rare.
Corn Flower – Tagged items can be found with some regularity, and they are almost always from Canadian sellers, small surprise, as the Corn Flower creator William Hughes was a Canadian and ran his operation in Canada from 1916 until his death in 1951 (the company, under his daughter, continued operations until 1988).
Corning Glass Works – This beauty comes with foil tag and packed in its original box, what could be better! Corning tags with the glassblower silhouette are not seen very often. We are not sure of the year this set was made, however, it does pre-date 1964, as there is no zip code in the address.
Dunbar Glass – (See above group picture, right side) Dunbar produced glass starting in 1927 and ceased operations in 1953. Dunbar foil tags are rare, however, they do come along every once in a while. I would grab them up when they do.
Duncan & Miller – These beauties are Duncan’s Hobnail, pattern #118, and in a beautiful opalescent finish. They were wedding gifts to my mother-in-law from 1953, and are the cause for my collecting obsession with tags. You will find Duncan tags periodically, usually on clear crystal items.
Fire King – Fire King foil tags are, in my opinion, the most distinguished looking tags, and are among the more readily available items. Pictured we have items in the Charm (azurite) and Laurel (gray & peach luster) pattern.
Hazel Atlas – Hazel Atlas was one of the largest glass manufacturers of all time, and yet items with a HA tag are seldom seen, and if you do they are from the later years of operation (1950s). Perhaps, HA never applied tags in the earlier years, or maybe the fact that HA mass produced so many items for use and quick disposal they just did not survive. The small milk glass vase is adorned with a tag “Opaque Early American Style”.
Indiana Glass – Pictured with the Hazel Atlas piece is a milk glass hat made mid 60s into the early 1970s. According to the Schenning book, Indiana used a variety of applied labels to identify their glass. However, like Hazel Atlas, you just do not see many pieces with labels. Here we have a Lorain piece (1929-1932) which is the only Indiana pattern from the depression era that I have ever seen with a tag.
Miss America – This is by far my most favorite Depression Glass patterns, having been made by Hocking from 1933 until 1936. While labeled items are certainly rare, they can be found, as exemplified by the four pieces in my collection.
Moonstone – Moonstone is one of those patterns that does not qualify as Depression Glass in the purest sense (having been made from 1942 until 1946), however, is usually listed in most Depression Glass publications. Hocking produced huge quantities of this pattern which makes it possible, with some patience and determination, to acquire a nice variety of tagged items as demonstrated by the ten different items I have been fortunate to acquire.
Princess – Princess was made by Hocking from 1931 until 1934, and, as you can imagine, seldom seen with the tags still affixed. Grab them when you can.
Sapphire Blue (Fire King) – Made from 1942 and until the 1950s. It has become very common to refer to this in Ebay listings as Philbe. Sapphire Blue is ovenware, and is not the same as Hocking’s Philbe line of dinnerware. If you want to start up a collection of tagged items, this could be a good starting point, as they can be found. That large roaster is one of the jewels of my collection. It comes with its original mint condition box!
Tulip Dell Glass Works – Dell Glass Company is one of the most obscure Depression Glass companies, and most references list the tulip pattern as being made in the late 1930s. In the Mauzy book you will see several items with tags; however, this is the only one I have encountered.
Fire King Bubble – (See above picture) Hocking introduced Bubble in Sapphire Blue in 1941 and made it until 1968. Although it is seldom (if ever) listed under Fire King, it was, in fact, issued as Fire King as can be seen in the foil label. It is not well known that this tableware can be used in the oven, on the table, or in the refrigerator.
U.S. Glass – This is U.S. Glass’ Black Satin #9723 10” high crimped vase. According to the Tiffin Glass Collectors’ book, this gold label was used on company products prior to 1927, and beginning in September, 1927, the Tiffin label was used on U.S. Glass products. This would make this tag the oldest in my collection, over 80 years old!
There are many more companies to strive to acquire tags, which I have not presented in this article. I believe Fostoria, Heisey, Imperial, and Westmoreland items are among the most frequently seen items with tags for sale on Ebay, certainly much easier to find than the machine and mass produced products from Hazel Atlas, Hocking, Indiana, Federal, or Jeannette. Why? Perhaps, the fact that the former companies made a higher (and more expensive) product, people tended to store them away, as opposed to the machine made items which were made to be used and discarded. Thanks for tagging along with me.
- Anchor Hocking’s Fire-King & More, Florence 2nd edition, c. 2000, (2005 ed.) Collector Books
- Mauzy's Depression Glass, 5th edition, Mauzy, c. 2007, Schiffer Books
- West Virginia Glass Between The War Years, 1st edition, Dean Six, c. 2003, Schiffer Books
- Elegant Glass With Cornflower, 1st edition, Walter T. Lemiski, c. 2005, Schiffer Books
- Depression Era Glass by Duncan, 1st edition, Pina, c. 1999, Schiffer Books
- A Century Of Indiana Glass, Schenning, 1st edition, c.2005, Schiffer Books
- U.S. Glass Company, Tiffin Glass Collectors Club, c.2004, Schiffer Book
Click on any photo in this article to see a full size photo.
PLEASE NOTE: These photos can be printed for your own collection files, but are not to be used for any Internet auction listings, websites, or any other commercial purposes. The photos provided for this article are from the personal collection of the author or with permission from the owner.
Recently featured GPSA sellers are: October: 4evervintage, paddyandmax, roxannesebastian, shellysthings1, and white_city_treasures and in November: tiques_n_ties, lan5, gailcat1, and lls231. We encourage you to click on their seller IDs and visit their eBay auctions.
by blue.bird.collections Melanie
Libbey Glass History
This website has been created to assist collectors of Libbey Glass, those who have an interest in Libbey Glass, as well as preserve the phenomenal history of the Company. Click the photo to go to the website.
by wgpaul Bill
Selling Price: $3,971; Venue: eBay
Lenci was initially established as a doll company in 1919 in Turin, Italy and added ceramics to its line in the 1920s. Sandro Vacchetti was the company’s artistic director from 1922 to 1934. Lenci figurines are noted for their graceful lines, lovely coloring and fine details. All signed Lenci pieces are highly sought by collectors, especially early dolls and figurines such as this lovely Madonna and Child.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller Vienna Antiques.
It happens every day! You anticipate receiving an item you won at auction. It arrives, and you open the box to see...pottery shards or slivers of glass!
Have you noticed how some auction photos just seem to scream “BUY ME!” while others are so fuzzy and far away you’re not sure what is being offered?
We share a few practical tips on the entire auction experience, from writing the auction, taking the photos, to packing the item to help you get that item safely to your buyer! Our GPSA website offers a more in-depth look at valuable packing and photo tips. Please visit and have a look around!
How to Check Glass for Damage, Cracks, part one
by catladykate Kathy
As a glass seller I could tell you my secret fantasy: Glass pretends to be mint when I buy it and then it slinks off the storage boxes where it quietly develops all sorts of secret chips, cracks and assorted wear just to embarrass me. Unfortunately, this is not usually the problem. It is all too easy to miss small - and even big - problems without careful and repeated inspection.
This article we'll look at common damage, cracks, and how to check for them. Next articles we'll cover chips, wear and manufacturing flaws; how to spot them and how to disclose them when listing for sale.
Start with clean glass. You will have a much better chance of finding damage if you have good lighting and can see the glass and not the dirt!
Let's look at cracks first. This sort of crack that goes all the way through the piece is pretty obvious when it's big like the one in this cruet but small ones can be hard to spot. Hold the piece to the light and turn it a little. Check the body and the rim. Sometimes I've found cracks only when photographing something when the light is positioned just right.
Glass with big cracks like the handle in this Candlewick creamer are just waiting to break and usually end up in the junk pile but it really depends on the particular piece. We had a badly cracked hard-to-find Heisey Twist Moongleam cruet sell for for much more than expected but this is unusual. Items that are rare and meant for display may find buyers even with noticeable damage but generally it's not worth trying to sell.
This pretty bowl was sold to me as having a defect but it's definitely a crack. It's debatable whether this started as small damage that became worse in transit (as the seller thought) or was this bad from the get go. This was easy to spot in any sort of light.
The thin crack in this Manhattan pitcher is what we usually think of as a hairline. It goes through both sides of the glass and it's quite easy to see just by holding the pitcher to the light and looking carefully for lines or discontinuities. This seems to be a common problem with the tilt depression glass pitchers.
This Patrician depression glass platter also has a small crack in the rim but it is different. The crack doesn't go all the way through and the piece is unlikely to break. You might see this listed as a pressure mark or a pressure crack or even a hairline. It is up to you whether you will still purchase glass like this. This crack did not show unless you tilted the glass just right, and then a flash of light would catch your eye.
The mark in this bowl is virtually harmless and probably is a manufacturing flaw instead of damage. It is a pressure crack that is completely internal to the glass. This one was hard to spot. I held the bowl to the light and tilted it several times and looked for a flash of light and did not see this mark; it took careful inspection inch by inch. (This is a Cleo etched covered green vegetable bowl that is valuable enough to warrant very careful, detailed and picky checking and even more careful and accurate copy writing.)
So check for cracks by:
- Wash the glass so you can see it
- Hold the glass in good light
- Tilt or moving and looking for lines or for flashes of light
- Inspect closely by eye
If you sell glass online you need to describe any damage so a prospective buyer knows what to expect. Some ideas to describe the cracks:
- Where it is
- How long it is
- Whether it goes through both sides of the glass, just one side or is totally internal
- How you can see it, do you need to tilt the glass just so
- And accompany with photos whenever possible
One word of caution: Be careful when checking glass or china by feel. You can cut yourself.
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