Depression glass designs either have mold-etched designs or are pressed with geometric designs like ribbing or squares. Federal made several well known mold-etched designs, such as Madrid, and only a few of the geometric patterns. Georgian is in the mold-etched tradition, with a really neat design that alternates birds and baskets around the edge, connected by swags, and with a medallion in the center. Federal made Georgian from 1931 to 1936 so it is one of their earlier depression patterns.
Federal made a lot of green and amber depression glass, with some crystal (clear), pink and blue. Georgian came almost exclusively in green although my reference books mention some crystal and amber.
Georgian is a medium priced pattern for most pieces in today's markets. Cups and sherbets, for example, are in the $10-18 range, while dinner plates are $35-60, serving bowls about $70. Since people broke tumblers more than most pieces, drinking glasses are pricey pieces, about $100-125 for a water glass.
Depression glass is known for having flaws such as rough seams, bubbles, strawmarks and such. Federal Glass patterns certainly will have bubbles and strawmarks, but they are usually fairly well made and don't have as many of the protruding seams you will see in other companies' wares. The colors tend to be pretty consistent so you won't have to hunt for pieces in the same shade of green or amber.
Georgian is a personal favorite and we have a good selection in our store Cat Lady Kate's Elegant and Depression Glass. We were able to buy some pieces locally in mid-Michigan and more via the internet.
The design is wonderful, with rounded triangle cartouches that frame pairs of birds alternating with baskets. The pairs of birds give this pattern its nickname "Lovebirds." The triangles are connected by swags of leaves and the center of each piece has an elaborate medallion design. This glass is mold-etched. That means the mold was etched with the design and the glass was then pressed. The design is recessed on the mold so the pattern is raised on the surface of the glass. Mold etching was an innovative method to mass produce large quantities of glass with intricate patterns without the expense and hand labor of individually etched pieces.
Federal made another pattern with parrots, called Parrot, but you should not have any problems distinguishing Parrots from Georgian. The Parrot pattern lacks the baskets, the birds are larger and the pieces were square while Georgian pieces are round. Indiana's Lorain pattern also has baskets with swags, but it does not have the birds and the pieces are square and often have rough seams and inner rim roughness. You won't have a problem telling Georgian apart!
When you buy Georgian there aren't any spots that you need to be especially wary of, just be sure to check carefully for wear on the surface or nicks on the rim. Georgian plates and rimmed pieces are round and don't have protruding points or sharp edges that are likely to chip. You should check the rims on the plates to be sure they don't have rough spots, but this design has more a sloped rim that is less prone to roughness than designs with a sharply defined inner rim.
Federal made Georgian in a complete dinner set, with tumblers, serving bowls, plates, platters, cups and small bowls. There are two sizes of tumblers and you will need to budget to get a full set as these range in the $50-130 each in today's market. Other choice pieces include the butter dish with lid, hot plate and a cold cuts server. The cold cuts server is a wooden lazy susan with seven hot plates sunk into round recesses. Interestingly, there is no pitcher, candleholder, salt and pepper shaker, stemware or vase in Georgian.
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.