Depression glass is best known for its colors - green, pink, amber, blue. Fanciful mold etchings show their delicate beauty and geometric patterns jump to life in sunshine when the glass is crystal!
When most of us think about depression glass the beautiful colors - pink, green, yellow, amber, blue, amethyst - come to mind. Many patterns were made in crystal as well as the colored glass. While not as well known, crystal depression glass can be enticing and has its own unique charm.
When you think of depression glass, what comes to mind? Is it the pink glass as in Mayfair or Cherry Blossom? Or the green of Cameo and Royal Lace? Do you think of clear glass? Many (maybe even most) patterns were made in crystal glass as well as in colors. While the clear is less well known, it has its own charm. While appeal is a matter of personal taste, you may find some patterns are even prettier in crystal than in colors!
Several depression glass patterns feature bold geometric shapes that collect and refract light. Patterns with geometric shape motifs include Hocking's Waterford, Miss America (below) and Spiral, Jeannette's Windsor, and Federal's Diana and Columbia. In these patterns the stronger the design, and the more it refracts light, the more advantageous crystal glass becomes. For example, the picture by this listing is of a Miss America comport. This comport just sparkles in the light!
Miss America (shown at right) uses small diamond shapes clustered in squares and each little diamond will catch the light and send it sparkling across your table. Miss America comes in a myriad of shapes that make it so much fun to collect.
Windsor, Spiral and Columbia have more rounded shapes. Windsor has inset diamond shapes combined with intricate shapes and curlicue edges on rims and handles. These patterns are also nice in crystal. Windsor is particularly appealing. Some of these patterns can be found enhanced with silver or gold trims. Diana, which is a pattern of thin spiral ridges, is one of the patterns where you can collect sets with silver trim.
Hocking's Waterford is simply wonderful in crystal. Waterford, nicknamed Waffle, has prisms of squares on the outside of the pieces and catches light and glows. To me it is prettier in crystal than in the more expensive pink.
Other depression patterns have designs that are mold etched. These can be intricate and fanciful, involving flowers, birds, baskets and lattices. Look for patterns such as Vernon from MacBeth Evans or Mayfair from Hocking.
Royal Lace from Hazel Atlas (left) is beautiful in any color but springs to life in crystal. Royal Lace is an intricate mold-etched pattern that shows beautifully in crystal. You can really see the pattern motif, and it catches the light much like Miss America.
One last point to consider in crystal depression glass' favor is its cost. Typically depression patterns are much less expensive in crystal than in colors. And since many people do not recognize it as depression glass, you can sometimes pick up real bargains at garage sales and flea markets.
Webmaster's NOTE: The NDGA wishes to thank the author for permission to use this article. Kathy is a dealer from Midland, Michigan. Her web site is Cat Lady's Glass.