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Depression Glass Patterns
Collectors of Depression Glass find not only its beautiful colors fascinating, but its patterns, as well. With many glass producers making this type of glass, as you can imagine, many patterns resulted, creating a wide array of pretty, practical, and inexpensive glassware affordable to every American household in that lean era of history and making Depression Glass one of the most collectible items today.
Of the many glass manufacturers that produced Depression Glass, seven of them became major players in the field, creating a total of 92 designs. Below you'll find some history, some trivia, some folklore, and some interesting characteristics about several of these designs.
This Depression Glass design, sometimes referred to as Ballerina or Dancing Girl, gets its name from the tiny dancer found on all its pieces. Some claim the Hocking Glass Company that manufactured Cameo glass created the pattern to honor the legendary modern dancer of the 1920s, Isadora Duncan, who tragically died when her long trailing scarf, of which she'd made her personal trademark, choked her to death when it wrapped around the wheel of her moving Bugatti roadster.
Duncan died in 1927, and the Cameo pattern came into being in 1930, continuing to be produced until 1934, so the story could very well be true. Regardless of the inspiration for this pattern of Depression Glass, it continues as a much sought-after design. Hocking made most Cameo glass in green, but pink, yellow, and - more rarely - crystal, which can occasionally still be found.
First produced in 1923, the Avocado or "Sweet Pear" pattern claims its fame for being the very first 'true' Depression Glass design. Made by the Indiana Glass Company, Avocado pieces in the form of pitchers prove to be the most difficult to find, possibly because of this pattern's age. Indiana continued manufacturing Avocado for 10 years, until the company retired this Art Nouveau-type design in 1933.
Pattern: Royal Lace
The Hazel-Atlas Glass Company began producing Royal Lace during 1934 as a set consisting of 28 pieces. Today, Royal Lace holds the honor of being some of the costliest Depression glass that collectors covet. Hazel-Atlas manufactured Royal Lace in crystal (clear) and in five colors: green, yellow, pink, blue, and burgundy. The most desirable color consistently proves to be the blue, called Ritz Blue by the company, which actually came about as an economic accident.
When General Mills ended a deal with Hazel-Atlas' using blue-colored glass in a Shirley Temple promotional campaign in 1936, Hazel-Atlas simply poured the leftover vats of molten blue glass into its existing Royal Lace molds to avoid wasting it. An instant success resulted. Blue Royal Lace Depression Glass reigns to this day as 1 of the most sought after and is now 1 of the most expensive of all the other Depression Glass patterns.
These samplings of interesting Depression Glass trivia make collecting it all that more appealing. After all, how many other pieces of glassware can be found in people's homes that come with a ready-made story - at least those people in the median income range (We're not talking Tiffany or Lalique here!)? And these have been gleaned from a mere sampling of the plethora of Depression Glass designs that have survived over the years. Imagine what stories can be found!
The next time you gaze at that lovely piece of Depression glass resting in the window of your favorite antique dealer or - if you're lucky - sitting on a dusty shelf at a flea market just waiting for you to discover it, remember: Whatever pattern it is, a good chance exists that it, too, will have a fascinating history.
So take a chance. Buy it!
Until next time,
If you enjoyed this article by Murray Hughes, then visit Depression Glass Patterns now and enrol in the free Depression Glass course "The 5 Essential Steps To Becoming A Depression Glass Collector" For AOL users: Depression Glass Secrets
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