A Bit of Depression (Glass)

I’ve had a mild case of Antique Pox since I was around 15 years old. Most of the time, it’s in remission, but occasionally, a trip to a thrift store will cause a mild flare-up. Fortunately, it’s a painless disease (my wallet might disagree here), and between flares, I enjoy long periods of just enjoying all the pretties in my home.

It all started with Depression Glass. I would say that the vast majority of collectors lean toward either pink or green glass, but those colors (along with the less common colors like teal, cobalt blue, red, white, light blue, amethyst and others) were never in my budget, so I started out with amber. Since I love roses, I gravitated toward patterns with roses in them, and quickly settled on the Federal Glass Co. patterns “Mayfair” and “Rosemary”. Mayfair was the original pattern, but as a result of a legal dispute over that name, the pattern was altered and renamed “Rosemary”. These patterns have the advantage of not having been reproduced in later decades, so when you find pieces, you know they’re authentic.

Two berry bowls. Mayfair on the left, Rosemary on the right.

These patterns are not so plentiful as to make them easy to collect, nor are they so rare as to make them impossible. None of the pieces in amber are valued at over $45, and most go for under $20. My most recent purchase was 6 Rosemary dinner plates for $1 apiece, which is well below the going price. Somebody at the thrift store didn’t know what they had.

If you are interested in learning more about Depression Glass, I highly recommend the book “The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Depression Glass” by Gene Florence. The 19th Edition was the last written, and the prices were current as of 2010. If you can get your hands on an older edition, it is still worth owning for the photos and information. I have a copy of the 15th edition, and I love to just sit and read the information about the different patterns and the American companies that produced them. The color photos make for some great eye candy too.

In case you were wondering: Yes, I do own an iron, and yes, I do know how to use it. It’s for adhering patches and transfers onto clothing 😉

What do you collect?

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