Noname Antiques » 19 Valuable Rare Milk Glass Pieces (Brand, Year & Value Worth)

19 Valuable Rare Milk Glass Pieces (Brand, Year & Value Worth)

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase ‘milk glass’? You might think of those retro milk bottles from the suburbs – and cheeky tales of milkmen and housewives! But milk glass is a translucent form of colored glass that first became popular in the 1500s. It was made by adding arsenic or tin oxide to glass. So let’s check out some valuable rare milk glass pieces.

Valuable Rare Milk Glass Pieces

1. Vintage amber orange milk glass

Vintage amber orange milk glass

Colored milk glass is more opaque than white milk glass, but the pieces are harder to find. This is because lots of modern colored crockery is passed off as milk glass if it’s especially translucent. This orange vase is a good example of the vintage style though. It’s 16 inches tall.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $62.99

The vase has tapered panels that curve up into an asymmetric rim. The tips and base of the vase are a warm yellow that deepens into amber on the body of the glass. It’s a thick vase and is quite sturdy, which is probably how it survived so long. Just give it lots of mantel clearance.

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2. Antique Ribbed Milk Glass Pendant Light

Antique Ribbed Milk Glass Pendant Light

Milk glass became popular because it was a pocket-friendly imitation of porcelain. It was first made in Venice and was mostly white, but colored options are available too. Often, the older the piece is, the more valuable it is. But you can also find value in contemporary pieces.

  • Brand: Pepe & Carols Handmade
  • Year: Not Listed
  • Value: $113

This pendant light has a fluted antique design with vertical ribs. The translucent lamp shade mounts onto brass hardware that comes with the lampshade. You can order different colors. The glass is 9″ in diameter with a 5″ fitting and a 15″ pedestal. Clean it with Brasso.

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3. Vintage Hazel Atlas Tom and Jerry set

Vintage Hazel Atlas Tom and Jerry set

Collectors love original pieces from the Victorian Era or earlier because they have a translucent quality that modern milk glass doesn’t have. Newer pieces tend to be opaque. This set of crockery makes a good collectible because it seems so unexpectedly quirky.

  • Brand: Hazel Atlas
  • Year: 1950s
  • Value: $187

When you hear Tom & Jerry, you expect to see those famous cartoon characters. Instead, this Christmas set is decorated with men in top hats and scarves. The bowl and cups were used for punch or eggnog at holiday parties. This set contains the serving bowl and six cups.

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4. Westmoreland Milk Glass Paneled Grape Epergne Bowl

Westmoreland Milk Glass Paneled Grape Epergne Bowl

Epergne bowls are ornate centerpieces that are both functional and practical. The main bowl stands 3 to 5 feet high and is often flanked by 2 to 7 branches of sub-bowls. They’re used to hold candles, sweetmeats, flowers, side dishes, ornaments, and more recently, chips and dip.

  • Brand: Westmoreland
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $149.99

The original epergnes were silver, but newer ones are often made from milk glass. This two-piece version has grapes engraved on the sides. The vertical section of the bowl has textured panels that give it depth and definition. The lower part of the bowl has a thick fluted rim.

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5. RARE Westmoreland Milk Glass Sweetmeat in Roses & Bows

RARE Westmoreland Milk Glass Sweetmeat in Roses & Bows

Many modern milk glass companies (like Westmoreland and Fenton) have gone out of business, so technically, any milk glass piece is collectible. This particular piece is a sweetmeat bowl. Sweetmeats are sugary foods such as crystallized fruit and jelly candy.

  • Brand: Westmoreland
  • Year: 1930s
  • Value: $75

The dish has original stickers that claim it was made in 1776, but that refers to the styling. The bowl itself is from the 1930s. It’s in pretty good condition, with trophy-cup handles and a hexagonal pedestal. The bowl has pretty flowers and ribbons hand-painted on its sides.

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6. Multiple Milk Glass Bowl Set

Multiple Milk Glass Bowl Set

What do you call items that fit inside one another from big to small, sort of like a Russian Nesting Doll? They’re called … nesting sets. And this set is a valuable rare milk glass piece. These four bowls are milky white with teal-colored decorations painted on their sides.

  • Brand: Federal
  • Item: Nesting bowls
  • Year: 1960s
  • Value: $199.99

The bowls have flat, tapered sides and are wider at the rim. The decorations on the sides are described as Scandinavian, and they seem rather random – maracas, a lamp, kettles, a music box, salad tongs, leafy vines, and shields. They’re branded at the bottom for authenticity.

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7. Hens on Nest Milk Glass Dishes

Hens on Nest Milk Glass Dishes

What makes milk glass pieces valuable? It isn’t always about the price point. Sometimes, it’s about the rarity. And if the piece is part of a set, then finding one that’s complete is even better! And these chicken dishes are a good example because you get 11 – and one is yellow!

  • Brand: RBF Fine Arts
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $50

Fifty dollars may not seem like much, but this is an auction set, so the price could go higher. These miniature milk glass dishes have adorable chickens on their lids, complete with textured feathers and red combs, and red wattles. They’re part of Robert Ruebsamen’s estate.

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8. Rare White Milk Glass Sea Glass Pendant

Rare White Milk Glass Sea Glass Pendant

The defining feature of milk glass is that hazy, sometimes translucent appearance. And the distinguishing characteristic of sea glass is its salt-molded texture. So when you find a sea glass item that the ocean has formed from an abandoned piece of milk glass? That’s rare!

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $69

This glass sunk somewhere between the 1800s and the 1950s before washing up on Prince Edward Island where it was mounted on a sterling silver chain. It’s about 1 and ¾ inches long and its abstract shape has gorgeously textured detail. The chain is 18 inches long.

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9. White Milk Glass Punch Bowl Ivy and Grape Design

White Milk Glass Punch Bowl Ivy and Grape Design

Earlier, we looked at a punch bowl set that was commercially molded, but its sentimentality makes it valuable. Besides, it’s rare to find a complete set that has the bowl as well as the mugs! But this punch bowl is different. It’s white, so how can you be sure it isn’t porcelain?

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $14o

First, remember that rich people used china and the rest settled for milk glass. Porcelain is usually thicker and heavier while china is more delicate, with bone chine being infused with bone ash. But this milk glass bowl has thick sides and deeply engraved grapes, so it’s real.

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10. Rare Fire King Anchor Hocking GRANDPA D-handle Mug Milk Glass

Rare Fire King Anchor Hocking GRANDPA D-handle Mug Milk Glass

Newer milk glass pieces are far more fragile than collectibles. They’re often mass-market pieces with smooth, lightweight sides, high transparency levels, and minimal embellishment. That’s how you can tell contemporary crockery from antiques. But they can still be rare finds.

  • Brand: Fire King (Anchor Hocking)
  • Year: 1960s
  • Value: $23.04

This mug is the perfect example. The smooth sides could be from the 2000s, but the seller is sure it’s from the 1960s because it was a gift they gave their grandpa. Its design is basic, but the emotional value (and lack of stains or chips!) are way more valuable than its purchase price.

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11. Vintage Console Bowl

Vintage Console Bowl

This piece looks a lot like the punch bowl we saw before, so it’s a good opportunity to show the differences between brands. Console bowls are used for fruit or flower arrangements, so they’re shallower than punch bowls. This one has embossed grapes, just like the other one.

  • Brand: Westmoreland
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $139.95

But you can see that the shapes on this console bowl have more detail and definition than the prior one. They also have more variety, with some vines and leaves snuck in among the fruit. These small touches show keener craftsmanship, which makes this bowl a better collectible.

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12. Rare Milk Glass Fairmont Personal Size Creamer

Rare Milk Glass Fairmont Personal Size Creamer

Not every piece of translucent white glass is milk glass, so check the type of glassware. Milk glass pieces included lamps, vases, household trim, trinket holders, bowls, salt shakers, or goblets. Birds and animals were common too. But plates were rare, except for lacy platters.

  • Brand: Fairmont’s
  • Year: 1930s
  • Value: $27.50

Meanwhile, pink glass got popular during the Great Depression. But this translucent piece is pink milk glass, which was commonly used in cafes and eateries during the 30s and 40s. You can tell by the period-era writing. This cute little thing is only 2¼ inches tall. It’s a rare find.

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13. Vintage Fenton White Milk Glass Silvercrest Clear Ruffled Edges Bowl

Vintage Fenton White Milk Glass Silvercrest Clear Ruffled Edges Bowl

Another popular trick for verifying authentic antique milk glass is to hold it up to the light. Back then, the glass was made with special salts, so it has a rainbow-colored halo when you place it in front of a light bulb. You can also compare the logo on the glass to online archives.

  • Brand: Fenton
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $79.99

One popular design is the Silvercrest, where the rim of the item is clear glass while the rest can be opaque glass. This particular one is a 10 ½ inch bowl with ruffled edges. The Fenton Glass Factory closed in 2011 though, so some of their milk glass pieces are relatively recent.

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14. Open Lace Rare Milk Glass Dish

Open Lace Rare Milk Glass Dish

We’ve mentioned that milk glass plates are a nonentity and that lacy ones are more likely to be authentic, so check out this one. Note that when we say lace, we mean the piece has holes in the sides that resemble the patterns on lace fabrics. These were often used as cake platters.

  • Brand: Fostoria Arlington
  • Year: 1960s
  • Value: $22

This particular piece isn’t expensive, but it is rare, and that makes it valuable. It’s a rounded square, 1 ½ inch deep, with a textured pattern on the inside of the platter. These are great for fruit displays or ornaments, but all those textured grooves need extra careful cleaning.

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15. Hand Blown Handkerchief Vase

Hand Blown Handkerchief Vase

Since you’re interested in valuable rare milk glass pieces, you’re probably into retro art and DIY décor. So you may have seen this fluted shape on a vinyl record vase or fruit bowl. But this mil glass piece is colored, which is rare. It has a sky blue body sitting on a clear base.

  • Brand: Studio Art
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $49.50

The ruffled rim is white, and though the price point is on the cheaper side, that eye-grabbing blue stands out. Plus, you can entertain your guests with the history of handkerchief vases. Paolo Venini and Fulvio Bianconi invented them in 1938 to mimic a fluttering handkerchief.

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16. Milk Glass Necklace

Milk Glass Necklace

The flappers of the 1920s were stylish single girls who wore loose-fitting, highly embellished dresses over their trim figures. They loved to dance, particularly the Charleston, which was vigorous and energetic. Their shimmering dresses and long beads enhanced their moves.

  • Brand: Unknown
  • Year: 1930s
  • Value: $48.14

This flapper strand mingles white milk glass beads with amber ones to form an authentic period necklace. It was usually worn down to the waist in two or three layers to emphasize those short bobs and straight silhouettes. The strand is a typically generous 52 inches long.

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17. Octagonal Punch Bowl Set

Octagonal Punch Bowl Set

This is the priciest milk glass piece we’ve looked at so far. And because it’s a complete set, it’s as rare as it is valuable. The set is based on an octagon-shaped punch bowl decorated with hobnails. It comes with a serving ladle and a dozen cups, all embellished the same way.

  • Brand: Fenton
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $517.50

The bowl has panels both on the outside and the inside, creating a straight, tapered design. The cups have 8 panels each on the outside, but the insides are a little smoother and rounder for easier drinking, though the panels are still visible. The ladle has a convenient pour spout.

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18. Duck on Reeds Candy Dish

Duck on Reeds Candy Dish

One of the most popular vintage milk glass is Atterbury & Company. They had a habit of stamping the patent date on some of their pieces, which helps with authentication and pricing. This is a candy dish with a duck on top. It’s one of their best sellers, then and now.

  • Brand: Atterbury & Co
  • Year: 1902
  • Value: $400

This Duck on Reeds dish was first molded in the 19oos, and that yellow tinge tells you it’s one of the originals. The dish is about 5 inches at its longest spot and was marketed as part of the Opal Ware Super Decorated series. The texture and detail are impressive for the time.

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19. Yellow Milk Glass Shallow Bowl

Yellow Milk Glass Shallow Bowl

We started with colored crockery and we’re closing with it too. Except this valuable rare milk glass piece has a clearer provenance. And here’s a handy hint on recognizing retro glassware – just look at the safety instructions. Does it say oven-safe or heat-proof on it?

  • Brand: Fire King (Anchor Hocking)
  • Year: Unknown
  • Value: $24

That’s a useful clue because modern ceramics will usually say microwave-safe instead. This bowl is 10 ¾ long and about an inch deep. Its outer surface has a textured bottom, and the dull oval shape of the bowl is embellished by four folds at the ‘corners’ that catch your eye.

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Do you have a favorite milk glass piece? Show us photos and tell us where you found it!

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