Have you ever had a problem with a glass book where you really could not tell what the pattern looks like? Or you have a piece of glass, you narrowed it down to Old Cafe or Fortune but you’re not sure the difference? Or maybe you’re new to glass and you’d like to see the designs to decide which you want to have for your own?
Depression Era Glassware: Identification & Value Guide by Carl F. Luckey is a perfect introduction to depression glass. What makes this book unique is each pattern has large, perfectly clear line drawings of the pattern showing detail. No more peering at the photos trying to tell Rose Cameo from Cameo or Strawberry from Cherry Berry. You can use this to identify 150 patterns fast and with great confidence.
Luckey includes a photo or two of the patterns so you can see the overall shapes and gives a rudimentary piece list with prices. The piece lists are not perfect and the prices are a rough guide at best, but these are small problems.
Let me give you an example. Early on when I started with glass I thought I’d love the Doric and Pansy pattern. After all, pansies are my favorite flower and Jeannette used their luscious ultramarine teal glass. What’s not to like? When I saw Doric & Pansy line drawing in this book it looked busy. Too busy to be appealing. Doric & Pansy grew on me, but it is still not a favorite.
Another example is the difference between Twisted Optic and Spiral. Luckey shows profile shots of the plates which is a great way to spot the characteristic footed plate from Imperial.
Now the down side. There are not as many photos of pieces as we’d like. Sometimes the shape of glass is more distinctive than the pattern, especially true when you’re peering at tiny pictures for estate sales and all you can really see is the shape. That’s a small problem compared to the overall value of having good clear pictures.
If you’re confused about depression glass and want to feel confident then try this book.