Sunday, January 24, 2010

Identifying Reproduction Depression Glass

Depression Glass
(From JustGlass Online)

For many years depression glass has been reproduced by companies all over the world. Some of the patterns and things you may see from those companies are listed below. (We gratefully acknowledge the research work of the Glass Reproduction website, as well as for some of this information).

Butter dish- on the green reproduction you will see that the veins in the leaves on lid do not join or touch in center of leaf, bottom: on the old, large leaves point to center of each side (north, south, east, west) on the reproduction, they point off center (northeast, etc) very poor mold quality will show up on both top and bottom.

Avocado was originally made in pink, green and crystal: white pitcher & tumbler sets were made by Indiana Glass in the 1950’s. Yellow, red, blue, amethyst and frosted colors are all reproductions which were made by Tiara from 1974 through the 1980’s. Pink and green were also made by Tiara but are different from the original colors as follows: new pink has an orange-ish tint rather than the soft pink of the old color. The newer green is darker than the original one was.

Baltimore pear
Compote, marked with a paper label on the base, made in France.

The Shakers have been made in green, pink and cobalt. On the reproductions the patternis weak, with a little too much glass in the bottom of shaker, and additionally the cobalt was never originally made. Above the foot is filled in with about 1/4-1/2 of glass. Mosser company has made a line of children’s miniature sets (called ‘the Jennifer line’) with the cameo pattern. As children’s dishes were never made, these miniatures don’t present a problem telling reproductions from originals.

Cherry blossom
The following pieces have been reproduced in any or all of these colors: pink, green, light blue, delphite, cobalt, red and iridized colors. The only original colors that were made were the pink, green and delphite, and some of these reproductions are quite good so they may fool you. The round 2 handled tray, footed cake plate, cereal bowl, footed tumbler, butter dish and a divided platter are among those things that have been reproduced. As a general rule you’re going to find that the reproduction pieces are less carefully molded, with the pattern more crudely in place, branches and leaves on the blossom pattern will lack the original serrated texture of the leaves and the bark of the branch. The flowers will not look as detailed to you. The pieces are also somewhat heavier in glass than the originals.

Juice glasses will be marked “France”

Floral Poinsettia
These shakers can be found in colbalt blue, red and deep green, which are all reproductions as none of those colors were made. The pink however was made originally and the pink reproduction is very close to that original color.
The reproduction shakers will give you a continuous threading on the screw on top, while the older one will have a pair of threads that will end prior to the mold seams.

Additionally, you will find that the pattern is on top of the base on the new shakers and under the base on the old ones, so that you have to turn them over to see the base pattern.

Florentine 1
Shakers have been found in pink, red, and cobalt. The pattern is very badly done, red & cobalt are not original colors.

Florentine 2
Pitcher & tumbler sets in red, dark green, cobalt, and two different pinks have been made. None of these colors were originally made.

Iris & Herringbone
The reproduction iris & herringbone, 1960's, crystal, water tumblers, and the originals are both the exact same size. They both have the smooth rays on the foot. Although the repro’s ray edges may be just slightly sharper than on the originals, but it’s probably way too close for the novice collector to tell the difference. The herringbone pattern is one key. It’s not even near as clear, sharp and vivid as on the originals. But still close enough to fool even a good eye.
Now…just like on the 6 1/2? ice tea tumbler, one quick way to tell the difference is, flip your tumbler upside down. Can you see the “mold” line at all on the foot? On the originals, the “mold” line is “very” visible when you look at it from this perspective. However, with the reproduction tumbler, if you have a very good eye and or an magnifying glass, you might could see the “mold” line when looking at it from the bottom side. If you have to look that hard to see it, it’s probably an reproduction.

One other way to tell is, on the original 6? water tumbler, just like on the original 6 1/2? ice tea tumbler, there are (4) sides to each of these tumblers. Let me explain. There are (4) iris flower designs. The two opposite each other should be exactly the same identical design, matching each other perfectly. If there’s any difference at all, then it’s probably an reproduction.

You can’t tell the difference between the two by feeling the hole in the bottom of the tumbler foot. They both have the exact same type and style of hole in them both, with the exact same number of rays on the foot as well.

One sure fire way to tell if your 6? water tumbler is the “real deal” or not is, just to the right of the iris flower design, you have a very long stem, kind of thick one, coming from the bottom of the tumbler to the top edge of the flower on the right side of the flower, curving slightly to the left at the top as it ends. It has been crossed, or x ‘ed towards the top of the stem, with a partial stem. If you turn the tumbler to the exact opposite side it should match exactly. If it doesn’t and it’s only half x’ed, or not x’ed at all, it’s an reproduction. The opposing sides will not match this side, the pattern is different, but should match each other exactly perfectly as well.

In the 1950’s, the footed sherbet with an open lace edge was produced in milk glass and avocado for use as a florist bowl – colors never made during the depression. These were probably made by anchor hocking instead of indiana – who produced lorain originally – as some have been found with hocking’s paper labels.

In 1976, federal reissued this pattern for the bicentennial under the name “recollection”. Pieces were made in amber, but marked with a 76 in the design to distinguish old from new. Indiana glass bought the molds when federal closed, removed the 76 and made crystal. Since then, pieces have been made in blue, pink and a light ‘coke bottle green-blue’ color. The new blue is brighter than the original color, the new pink is too light. Many pieces have been made, some by combining two old items into a new one: the candlestick on a 10 inch plate became the pedestal cake stand; a tumbler on the candlestick base is sold as a hurricane lamp/vase, and the butter dish on the candlestick makes the footed candy dish. Reproductions of old pieces tend to be too heavy, the wrong color and sloppily molded. Study your depression glass encyclopedia so you know what’s original and what’s not.

Similar to manhattan, anchor hocking produced ‘park avenue’ from 1987-93 and then again in the late 1990’s in crystal and light ’sapphire blue.’ light blue was never made, and shapes were changed so as to maintain the integrity of the original crystal pieces. If you find something that’s not listed in the depression glass encyclopedias, it’s part of the park avenue line not manhattan.

Mayfair (open rose)
Cookie jars, shot glasses, small juice pitchers and salt/pepper shakers have been reproduced in pink (more orange than the original, green (both too dark and the wrong shade), cobalt, amethyst, red, amberina, and pink slag. The pattern is very weak on all items; pitcher and cookie bottoms lack the circular mold mark on the bottom, the shots have too much glass in the bottom.

Miss America
Reproduced in pink, green( wrong shade) red amberina, cobalt, crystal and ice blue as follows: repro flat tumblers have 2 mold seams instead of 4. Repro pitchers are missing the ice lip and the ‘hump’ in the top edge that old pitchers have by the handle to help grasp when pouring. New shakers are 3 1/4 inch tall and have too much glass on the inside – old are 3 3/8 inch tall and fill all the way to the bottom with salt. New butter dishes have a lump of glass sticking out (convex) under the knob; old are concave (curved in).

Pineapple & floral (no 618)
Indiana reissued the diamond shaped comport and the 7 inch bowl in pink, cobalt, avocado, and crystal with sprayed on colors. Only crystal was originally made so the other colors are no problem. Both items tend to be roughly molded and heavier than the originals. The new 7 inch bowls also have smooth rims instead of the wavy rim that the old bowls have.

Candy jars and shakers have shown up in cobalt, amber, light blue, pink and green. Both are poor quality, badly molded with bubbles and a greasy feel to the glass. The colors are wrong and some are marked ‘china’ with a paper label.

Pyramid (no.610)
In 1974-5, indiana produced the berry bowl, 4 part relish, and tumbler, in blue and black as part of their tiara line. These colors were never made originally.

Royal lace
The cookie jar, juice and water tumbler have been reproduced in cobalt blue. Cookie jar: the mold is very poor, with lots of bubbles in the glass and a very weak pattern. Old lids should have a mod seam running across the knob (divides the lid into 2 halves.) New ones are missing this seam. Tumblers: some are missing the design in the base. Thicker glass and shorter than the originals with too much glass in the bottom of the tumbler.

Reproduction items in pink, dark green, blue, light green, opalescent blue, red and dark amber have shown up. Butter dish, covered candy, cheese dish, sugar & creamer, salt & pepper all have been made and can be found with “made in taiwan” labels. As only amber, pink and light green are original colors, they are the only ones to pose a problem for collectors. New sharon is poorly molded, too thick with a greasy feel and lots of bubbles in the glass. The knobs on the butter, cheese and candy lids are too high – look stretched instead of the squat, hard to grasp older pieces. The pattern on the shakers does not look like roses; instead it looks like a pinwheel. The sugar & creamer are too light and of such bad quality that they are obviously new.

Butter dish, pitcher and tumbler.

Anchor hocking reissued the 8 inch and 4 1/2 inch bowls in ruby. Most are marked with the anchor trademark. Hocking has also produced the ashtray, punch cups and some vases recently – all marked with the anchor trademark.

Charm reissue: charm was originally made by anchor hocking from 1950 to 1954. Complete settings – all 11 pieces – could be purchased in jadite(opaque green), azurite(opaque blue), and forest green. A 5 piece luncheon service that included the cup, saucer, 8 3/8 inch plate, 4 3/4 inch bowl and 7 3/8 inch bowl was also produced in royal ruby during this time. Occasionally, a piece of charm will turn up in white or ivory but, as these colors were not part of the normal production, they remain oddities to highlight collections of the other colors.
Charm’s square shape is very popular with today’s collectors. So great is the demand for the original issue, that anchor hocking has brought the charm shape back for the new millennium with the name “union square contemporary glass service.” touted as “an updated version of a design from the 1950’s to bring style to your table,” hocking has brought back this popular pattern. But collectors have no need to fear being taken by repros pretending to be the real thing: union square is only available in crystal(clear glass), a color that was not produced in the 1950’s. Five items are currently being sold: three sizes of bowls(4 3/4?, 6? and 8 3/4?) a 9 inch plate and a 12 inch square platter. These new items are slightly larger than the comparable original issue pieces, and the square platter is an item that is completely new to the ‘charm’ line. In the past, hocking has maintained the integrity of their older glass when they re-introduce patterns from the past. Hopefully, they will continue this practice of ‘responsible reproduction’ with union square and stay away from the original colors if they expand the line.

Early American Presscut
A powder jars with lid in two sizes – 4 inch and 5 inch – have turned up. This item was never made by anchor hocking, and they are marked “italy” in the glass on both top and bottom

English Hobnail
The hexagonal creamer & sugar and the oval pickle dish are being made by brooke glass and marked with a circular westmoreland glass mark. They are of very poor quality when compared to the original. The small footed nut cups are also found in many colors, some marked with an “s”, and are again not the quality of westmoreland originals.

Both the large and small berry bowls have been reproduced for mccrory’s in amber, crystal, and an avocado-ish green. Marked with mc in the center, they are of very poor quality and mold and are easy to spot.

Both martha stewart and cracker barrel stores have their own lines of jadite glass – some marked, some not. Buy from someone you trust and study your books so you know what was originally made!

Laurel (Fireking)
A cup and saucer/plate (no cup ring) have turned up in a translucent green that is supposed to look like jadite. The color is too light and nothing like fire king jadite. Both pieces are marked with a diamond shape, and the numbers 402 and 4 on the bottom.

Paneled Grape
Summit art glass is producing the large canister in an orange slag – never originally made by westmoreland – and milk glass. They do have the wg mark on both top and bottom, but the mold is very poor on the milk glass and easy to spot.
Sandwich – anchor hocking
The cookie jar in crystal has been recently reproduced. These are sold in catalogs with nut/candy assortments, especially around the holidays. The repro jar is larger than the original – 10 1/4 inches tall, 5 1/2 inch opening and 22 inch diameter at the widest part of the jar. The old cookie jar is 9 1/4 inches tall, 4 7/8 inch at the opening and 19 inches in diameter at the widest part. Those extra inches make the new jars seem huge.
Sandwich – Indiana
Indiana reissued their sandwich pattern as part of the tiara line. Tiara exclusives was sold at home parties and touted as ‘tomorrow’s collectible glass – made from original molds.’ this basically means that they made new glass using old molds, not that the glass was old. Amber, crystal, smoky blue, teal, chantilly green, milk, and red were all produced. Most of the crystal and all the amber you find today will have been made since 1970.

Thank you to Just Glass Online for this wonderful guide to identifying reproduction depression glass.


  1. I have a tea set, a pitcher and 6 glasses..IT is an Avocado Repro Indiana Glass, made in 1974. Anyone know how I can find out if it is worth anything at all???

    1. Do you mean it is the Avocado pattern or color?? has always been a great place to find retail value, but it only works as long as you know the maker & pattern name. (Although if you know the maker, you can check every pattern)


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