Noname Antiques » 19 Most Valuable Depression Glass Worth Money

19 Most Valuable Depression Glass Worth Money

Humans have been making glass since 3500BC. And in the 1500s, milk glass became a popular alternative to porcelain. More recently, there was a milk glass boom from the 1830s to around 1914.

But by the Great Depression, even milk glass was too pricey and most people switched to depression glass. So let’s sniff around to find the most valuable depression glass.

Most Valuable Depression Glass Worth Money

1. Antique Cobalt Blue Depression Glass Set

Antique Cobalt Blue Depression Glass Set
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

Because it was intended to be affordable, depression glass often had flaws like air bubbles, maker’s marks, sharp edges, or flashovers (sharp edges on handles). Today, these defects identify the glassware as authentic period pieces, making them more valuable as collectibles.

  • Brand: Unknown (but possibly Mosser, Czechoslovakia)
  • Year: 1890s
  • Value: $198

This is a true vintage set from the 19th century. It has an art deco design with 22k gold trim. The set contains a covered butter or cheese dish, a creamer jug, and a sugar dish. Covered dishes are among the most valuable depression glass pieces, especially dome-shaped lids.

 

2. Golden Gilt Depression Glass Amber Bowl

Golden Gilt Depression Glass Amber Bowl
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

Depression glass was cheap by default, so manufacturers jazzed it up with prettily embossed patterns and bright colors. Amber pieces were sometimes described as golden glow glass, and this is a prime example. The bowl measures 11” at the rim, 5” at the base, and is 3” deep.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1920s
  • Value: $89.40

The bowl has curved sides and a hollowed-out middle, so if you were to flip the bowl, it would make a premium-looking king-sized one-foot ashtray! But it’s more realistically used as a fruit bowl – you can stack then round the rim. It has gold gilt detail in pretty floral patterns.

 

3. Pink Depression Glass Set

Pink Depression Glass Set
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

Pink glass was the most valuable form of depression glass, though you could also find green, blue, or amber. Green and blue glass are still fairly popular, so if you’re selling depression glass, have lots of these in your selection. They turn your passing customers into regulars.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $60

The color that passed for pink in the 1920s is what we know call rose, or sometimes rose gold. So while this set isn’t that pricy, it’s valuable because it contains a matching pair of cocktail glasses, a dessert platter, a pineapple patterned platter, and a moderntone bowl.

 

4. Artsy Depression Glass French Perfume Bottle

Artsy Depression Glass French Perfume Bottle
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

The low-cost glass that came out in the 1930s wasn’t necessarily functional. Most of the pieces were ashtrays, punch bowls, cups, etc. They were sold to entertainment centers like cinemas to psychologically warm up the space to cheer people up.

  • Brand: Lalique-Style
  • Year: 1940s
  • Value: $208.79

But this pocket-friendly glass could also be used as product packaging. This perfume bottle looks expensive because of the delicate design of its depression glass bottle. The frosted glass bottle has molded lily of the valley designs embossed onto it. And … you can still refill it!

 

5. Vintage Fire King Oatmeal Sherbet Glass

Vintage Fire King Oatmeal Sherbet Glass
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

During the depression, so many people were jobless that many families couldn’t afford glass, even the cheapest kind. So this glass was given away as a free gift at gas stations if you spent a certain amount. Or offered with oatmeal purchases. Hence the nickname ‘oatmeal glass’.

  • Brand: Fire King (Anchor Hocking)
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $13.95
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The dollar value of this set of sherbet glasses doesn’t seem like much. But it’s rare to find a set of three in such good condition. The footed glasses are decorated with a boxy pre-cut pattern full of lines, edges, and angles. It’s clear glass, sometimes defined as crystal-colored.

 

6. Shirley Temple Depression Glass Milk Pitcher

Shirley Temple Depression Glass Milk Pitcher
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

As you scout the most valuable depression glass pieces, it helps to remember why they were made. The two main reasons were to offer hope during dark financial times and to broaden the market share for glass companies by allowing common folk to purchase glass pieces.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1930s
  • Value: $40

Affordability created demand, and just like today’s celebrity endorsements, this Shirley Temple milk jug would have been a hit. It’s probably going on the cheap because today’s generation doesn’t recognize her greatness, but this is definitely a piece worth keeping.

 

7. Green Satin Depression Glass Clown Jar Powder Box

Green Satin Depression Glass Clown Jar Powder Box
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

While pink depression glass was – and still is – the priciest, some rarer colors include yellow, tangerine (bright orange), amethyst (purple), red, black, and uranium (yellowish-green-glow-in-the-dark neon), jadeite (milky opaque green), or delphite (milky opaque blue).

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $199.99

This uranium clown jar is described as satin green, but you can tell it’s ultramarine because they’ve included a photo that shows it glowing under black light. This was a heavily-used piece so it does have some nicks and a little surface wear and tear. But it’s still a treasure.

 

8. Authentic French Uranium Depression Glass Bistro Gift Set

Authentic French Uranium Depression Glass Bistro Gift Set
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

When manufacturers started making depression glass, amber (an orange-ish brown) was the most popular color, so it flooded the market. As a result, it’s the most common collectible, which means it’s not that valuable. Neon is the rarest, people will pay a lot for those pieces.

  • Brand: Pernod Fils
  • Year: 1930s
  • Value: $184

Sometimes described as ultramarine or uranium, these neon pieces weren’t popular so very few were made. And that makes them all the more valuable as collectibles. Especially as it’s a French set – most depression glass was made in North America, so this is quite the rarity.

 

9. Cobalt Blue Depression Glass Cookie Jar + Lid

Cobalt Blue Depression Glass Cookie Jar + Lid
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

For variety, manufacturers came up with more than 100 patterns that they engraved on depression glass. (Anchor) Hocking Glass was a popular supplier with patterns that included cameo, mayfair, and princess etchings. And dishes with lids are quite valuable.

  • Brand: Anchor Hocking
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $35

Because these pieces would sometimes lose their lids (and saucers would survive while cups would break), finding a cookie jar with its cover intact is a valuable buy. This one is 7” tall with a 3” lid. The cobalt blue ribbed glass is decorated with mayfair patterns aka open rose.

 

10. Hazel Atlas Royal Lace Cobalt Blue Depression Glass Nut Bowl

Hazel Atlas Royal Lace Cobalt Blue Depression Glass Nut Bowl
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

Two other popular patterns for depression glass are American sweetheart by MacBeth-Evans, and royal lace by Hazel Atlas. Seasoned collectors consider it the most valuable depression glass pattern. Visually though, most casual buyers prefer pretty princess patterns.

  • Brand: Hazel Atlas
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $2,100

That said, if you can authenticate a piece, you’ll get an amazing price for it. This nut bowl was originally listed for around $100 but ended up selling for over $2000. The tri-foot bowl has a pretty star-shaped pattern on the inside, formed by the configuration of the three outer feet.

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11. Vintage Crisscross Art Deco Depression Glass Vase

Vintage Crisscross Art Deco Depression Glass Vase
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

If you want a piece of depression glass that’s particularly rare or valuable, look for limited edition colors like red, black, or tangerine. You can also ask about infrequent pattern-and-color combos like yellow cameo. Or you could buy a piece specifically made as a collectible.

  • Brand: Westmount
  • Year: 1960s
  • Value: $246.99

Technically, depression glass was manufactured from the 1920s to the 1950s, meaning this 1960s piece isn’t necessarily original. But it was molded from amethyst (purple, lavender) depression glass as a collector’s item. It’s tapered and has linear art deco patterns on it.

 

12. Mixed Green Depression Glass Collection (133 pieces)

Mixed Green Depression Glass Collection (133 pieces)
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

While the Great Depression was a universal thing, depression glass was mostly made in the US and Canada to boost morale. It was cheaper because it was molded in machines, as opposed to earlier glass that was cut and blown by hand. New collectors often rush for the pink ones.

  • Brand: Mixed
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $925

But if you want a true treasure haul, you can buy a collection like this then sift out the best ones to keep and/or resell. This set is mostly green glass in various styles, patterns, and sizes. They range from swirling plates to goblets and even a hobnail glass shoe. There’s china too.

 

13. Vintage Topaz Yellow Depression Glass Bowl & Tray

Vintage Topaz Yellow Depression Glass Bowl & Tray
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

Apart from air bubbles, you can verify depression glass by turning it upside-down. The pieces were dried on beds of straw, which left lines and faint grooves under the glass. This set is valuable both because of its color and its design – two-piecers generally fetch better prices.

  • Brand: Lancaster Cable
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $250

Whether the original owner bought this or got it as a prize, they’re likely to have lost either the bowl or the tray. Getting them as a pair raises their joint value. The ruffled topaz yellow bowl sits on a flat tray of the same color. And the outer base has those tell-tale straw marks.

 

14. Cherry Blossom Depression Glass Collection

Cherry Blossom Depression Glass Collection
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

The most valuable depression glass comes in sets. This one – for example – has x pieces. But remember that depression glass was deliberately low in quality and price, but was still meant for daily use. So you might get water-stained pieces that can be buffed back to perfection.

  • Brand: Jeanette Glass Co.
  • Year: 1930 to 1939
  • Value: $1,200

However, if the glassware is sick – meaning it has scuff marks and cloudy etch – it can’t be restored or repaired. These marks come from abrasive automatic dishwashers. If you can, hold the glass piece to the light so you can spot the flaws and know what’s worth buying.

 

15. Rare Pink Depression Glass Adam Vase

Rare Pink Depression Glass Adam Vase
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

If you’re an inexperienced collector, take a veteran friend along to help you spot the true gems. This vase, for example, looks basic, but it’s one of the most valuable depression glass pieces we’ve looked at. It’s an Adam vase with vertical Queen Mary stripes and ruffled rim.

  • Brand: Jeanette Glass Co.
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $479.99

This vase has a square rim, though the curvy corners make it more of an asymmetrical octagon. The rim has dense floral patterns, and the outer bottom of the vase is decorated in the same style. The glass may be cheap, but it’s quite thick and sturdy, hence the high price.

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16. Pink Depression Glass Candy Bowls

Pink Depression Glass Candy Bowls
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

The thing with depression glass is you can raise the value by selling pairs. Even if it’s the flimsiest oatmeal glass, if you can get a matching set, you can double or even triple the price. As an example, these two candy bowls are cute, but they’re not worth much separately.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1920s
  • Value: $75

The candy bowls are small enough to fit in your palm and they have a swan-neck handle. They’re shallow, with straight tapered sides and a rich rose hue. The outer sides of the bowl are textured with swan feathers, giving the rim a gorgeous but unexpectedly curvy rim.

 

17. Clear Depression Glass Flower Frog

Clear Depression Glass Flower Frog
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

One piece of depression glass you may be unsure what to do with is the flower frog. It looks like a bulky piece of swiss cheese glass, so you might not know what it’s for. Well, it’s a vase, and those holes are where you stick your flowers. You can make fancy flower arrangements.

  • Brand:
  • Year: 1930s
  • Value: $125.96

This English piece is larger than what you’d usually find – it’s 7 ½ inches by 5 inches and has 19 holes, which make up the ‘frog’. These art deco flower holders are denser and heavier than crockery, but they were still cheaply made, so check for air bubbles to be sure it’s authentic.

 

18. Floragold Louisa Depression Glass Butter Dish

Floragold Louisa Depression Glass Butter Dish
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

While amber glass was popular and yellow glass was rare, these Floragold Louisa pieces were in between. The name refers both to the color of the glass and the vines of floral patterns molded onto the sides. This particular two-piece is a butter dish with that prized dome lid.

  • Brand: Jeanette Glass Co.
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $45

The dish catches your eye with its vivid color and its mix of shapes. The plate and the knob are rounded squares while the lid has a circular silhouette holding up its dome. And the platter is a little over 6″ square. Rather than being flat, the tray has a circular central dip.

 

19. Uranium Depression Glass Art Nouveau Antique Vase

Uranium Depression Glass Art Nouveau Antique Vase
Image Credit: Valuable Depression Glass

In the daylight, uranium depression glass can appear vivid green, pale yellowish-green, or even iridescent. That yellow tinge is how it got the nickname ‘vaseline glass’. But under black light (or LEDs), it turns a gorgeous glowing neon green. Check out this art nouveau version.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $170

This piece is unique because it has a fluted rim and sits on a bronze trifoot base. It’s a certified antique, and it even has the chipped patina base to prove it. But the stand hides the damage fairly well. The outer surface has a floral swirl pattern that opens into a ruffled rim.

 

Do you have any depression glass in your collection? Share some photos in the comments!

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