Every month or so I get an email from someone who has glass they don’t want. They want to sell it, and are looking for advice on how to sell it. Or they hope I will buy it from them.
These emails make me sad. First because the person is losing out on the joy of owning vintage glass. Second because although I’d like to give old glass a home, I can’t buy every piece of unwanted glass. (Just like we can’t give every cat that wanders by a home, but that’s a different story.)
Usually I advise the person to do some homework and find out what they have. This is not too difficult for depression glass – if it really is depression glass. Most libraries have a reference book on depression glass like this one, Collector’s Encyclopedia of Depression Glass, by Gene Florence, and usually you can find the pattern.
If the glass is not in this book then either it’s not “depression glass” or it’s an obscure pattern. Maybe it is elegant glass, meaning higher quality fine crystal. Or possibly later colored glass that was mass produced.
Back to the library, and this time look for one of these:
- Elegant Glassware of the Depression Era by Gene Florence
- Collectible Glassware from the 40s, 50s & 60s also by Gene Florence
There are similar books (many) by other authors, but I’ve found most libraries can get you a copy of these.
OK, let’s see. You have found your glass in one of these books so you know the pattern. That’s step one.
Now, step 2, figure out the pieces you have and what the nominal value might be. As you browse the books you’ll see that prices and desirability vary by piece and pattern and color. If you have an idea what an author thought your glass might be worth you are in much better shape to decide how to sell it.
But what if you didn’t find your glass? Do you decide it’s junk and toss it? Or is it exquisitely rare?
Look for a couple of clues that will help you decide.
- Olive green, deep orange, shiny iridescent thick glass and heavy milk glass are likely to be later than the depression era.
- Glass vases and planters marked FTD or EO Brody are not worth trying to sell.
- Not great quality stemware with nondescript cut designs probably isn’t worth much effort
- Anything with any damage whatsoever has little value.
I have a Facebook site at www.DepressionGlassFun.com where other glass lovers and I are willing to help identify glass. Post a nice clear picture and we’ll give it our best shot.
Finally, even if you cannot identify what you have, you can still try to sell it. Beautiful glass sells, especially lovely etched crystal or pretty colors.
I’ll post again to show you the next steps in How to Sell Your Elegant and Depression Glass.