Depression Era Memories, Part II
By Reyne Haines
Knowledge is Power
You can’t be taken by reproductions or overpriced merchandise if you know your glass. One of the best Depression glass reference guides on the market is “Mauzy’s Comprehensive Handbook of Depression Glass Prices”, by Barbara & Jim Mauzy. This book offers great color photos to help ID patterns, information regarding the manufacturers, time lines of patterns designed, listings of pieces produced and the colors were there produced in, and a price guide to help you on your buying adventures. You can pick up a copy of this book at your local bookstore, or online at http://www.tptt.com.
Destination – Glass Show
Now that you’ve picked a pattern, where can you find it? There are several national glass shows around the country each year. February 9-10th is a great time to get away to sunny Texas. Kent Washburn’s San Antonio Depression Glass Show & Sale features over 50 of the countries leading Depression and Elegant Depression glass dealers. Neila & Tom Bredehoft, Heisey authors will be the guest speakers this year. For more information on the show, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Handle with Care
Depression glass is meant to be used. Whether you use it for special occasions, or every day dishes, it will continue to last if you keep these things in mind. 1) The microwave is for Tupperware, not glass. Glass should never see the inside of a microwave, or a freezer. 2) Depression glass is not dishwasher friendly. It is best to hand wash and towel dry your glassware. You will avoid cloudy glass and possible chips this way. 3) Do not place glass in a sunny spot. Glass looks great in a window, however the heat from the sun can cause glass to crack.
Reproductions have been a sore spot with collectors for quite some time now. Most of the references guides offer updated information on reproduced patterns and pieces. You can also find information online at repro.html
In the back of every collectors mind is the dream of finding a unique piece in their pattern. Something not shown in the books. Perhaps an experimental color, or trial shape.
If you took a poll by seasoned dealers and collectors and asked them “What do you consider the most sought after piece in all of the patterns?” the majority of them would answer, Cherry Blossom salt and pepper shakers. We’ve heard about them, read about them and see one show up from time to time, only to discover, it’s a reproduction. Hazel Marie Weatherman explains the mystery in her 1976 Price Trends Book. The salt and pepper shakers were cast into a two-part mold. A plunger type device hollowed out the center of the shakers and helped give the shakers their shape. The glass company found however once cooled and the molds removed, the shakers broke apart. The workers realized the plunger was putting too much pressure and so they tried to re-adjust the machinery. No matter how many times adjusted, the shakers continued to break. Finally, they decided the mold to be the problem and requested the design to be rethought. Needless to say, it never happened. None of the original catalogs would show the shaker as part of the Cherry Blossom line.
Perhaps by now you think this all to be a tall tale? Well, you might be right except a few of the shakers did survive the cooling process. Known are 12 green pair and 2 pink pair. So the hunt for more continues. Unfortunately, reproductions have been made and create quite the stirr when a new collector finds one. His hopes are raised, the excitement mounts, but unfortunately at the end of the day he is disappointed to find out they are not authentic. The first reproductions made were in 1977. They were easy to spot as they carried a ’77 on the bottom of the shaker. Since then, the number has been removed, but the quality has lessened making them easy to distinguish.
Sources & Resources
Here are a few great places to shop for glass 24 hours a day
The Glass Cupboard -- www.tias.com/stores/cupboard
Milbra’s Crystal -- www.trocadero.com/milbra
Just Glass -- www.justglass.com
Sparkle Plenty -- www.spglass.com