AFFORDABLE ELEGANCE OF ANTIQUE PRESSED GLASS

By: John Hogan

Pressed glass has been with us for nearly a couple hundred years and has never gone out of vogue.

IMPERIAL GLASS WINDMILL CARNIVAL BOWL

WESTMORELAND, "ENGLISH HOBNAIL" PATTERN DEPRESSION GLASS PITCHER, C. 1920-40

ENGLISH HOBNAIL DEPRESSION GLASS PITCHER

US GLASS CO., "DELAWARE" PATTERN ANTIQUE ORANGE BOWL, C. 1899-1909

US GLASS CO. DELAWARE PATTERN OVAL BOWL

Initially it was made to adorn the tables of the lower and middle classes as a replacement of the more elaborate and expensive cut crystal and cut glass which were only affordable by the wealthy of the time of their production. Besides every American and European glass factory had to have a "survival line" of affordable yet elegant glass that had mass appeal. Glass factories basically cashed in on the average buyer in addition to the more exclusive buyer in order to make certain that each glass factory survived amongst one another and to ward off harsh times such as the Great Depression of the Thirties. As we know during the Great Depression many high-end glass factories really cashed in on lower lines of glass in order to survive what was unimaginative economical disaster to come. As the depression continued many glass factories went out of business or sold out to bigger and richer factories. Consequently glass produced during the Thirties came to be known as "Depression Glass." Seeing that the Depression Era was a depressing time for the world, many glass factories really began to pump out colored glass of every shape and possible color to give a little upswing to the kitchens and dining rooms of the masses. Such glass at the time was very affordable and was often times given out as premiums at the movies or sold for literally pennies at small stores. Seemingly over the course of time such glass gained in popularity and fits into a realm of historical significance. Today some of this antique and depression glass, depending on rarity of shape, color and significance of its factory, have escalated in monetary and historical value. Consequently all through the United States there has popped up many glass museums to preserve the glass world of yesteryear.

Glass of every description has been treasured for years. It has been treasured so much so that one has to be cautious of re-issues and or reproductions especially if he or she is an ardent collector of Early American Pressed Glass which many collectors and dealers now refer to simply as "EAPG". Let's not forget that England produced a great amount of beautiful pressed glass as well. Canada did also produce some pressed glass as well but not nearly the amount that England and United States did. Whatever the case, today such glass is looked upon with a pleasing rather than a frowning eye and adorns today many a dining room table or china cabinet. Don't forget that the United States houses many pieces in their fine glass museums. Glass museums in the United States are in great abundance and carry an array of fabulous colored and clear pressed glass.

Illustrations of this carnival, depression and antique pressed glass are shown to the right of this short article. Click images to enlarge.

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