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Get back to Green with Depression-era glass Home / What's New / Trade News

Arts and Antiques

By Dr. Lori POSTED: March 5, 2009 Save | Print | Email
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Article Photos
Salt and pepper shakers, green Depression glass, circa 1932-35. The green Depression glass salt and pepper shakers remain strong examples of the hot market for Art Deco collectibles with a value of $200 in mint condition.
Submitted photo
In honor of the season when we pick four-leaf clovers, drink minty milkshakes and celebrate St. Patrick's Day, I thought a discussion of green antiques would be in order. Some antiques and collectibles are actually more valuable depending on their color and of course, their context. For this time of year, the color of choice is green.

In the ever-popular collecting category of 1930s Depression glass, green is king. The most popular of the Depression glass colors is green, overpowering the traditional amber, yellow or pink varieties. Depression glass is a deceptive term because the American-made glassware was actually first introduced in the mid-1920s and it continued to be produced by companies like New York's Jeanette Glass Co. and others into the late 1950s. While Depression glass was produced well into the 1950s, this glassware remains a favorite collectible among Americans.

Green with

art deco envy

Although the Depression was a period where the green stuff (a.k.a., money) was only in the hands of a fortunate few Americans, inexpensive glass became the centerpiece of the American dinner table. The most popular and highly sought-after Depression glass pieces of the Art Deco style were made in green. For instance, these green salt and pepper shakers, circa 1935, are fine examples of collectible Depression glass. They demonstrate the typical attributes of the Art Deco style including an interest in the geometric and machine-inspired forms of the 1920s-30s. This Art Deco inspired Depression glass set has repeating concentric circles and cylindrical forms similar to those found on Art Deco architectural structures of the period such as the Chrysler Building, Radio City Music Hall and the Empire State Building. The green Depression glass salt and pepper shakers remain strong examples of the hot market for Art Deco collectibles with a value of $200 in mint condition.

Kitchen sill crackle

Glass continues to enjoy top-of-the-heap status with another popular mid-century collectible, crackle glass. An inexpensive product, crackle glass could be found on the windowsills and shelves of most American kitchens during the years of President John F. Kennedy's administration. Today, the interest in recreating Mom's 1960s kitchen by collecting crackle glass has some serious collectors paying as much as $75 a piece for a miniature pitcher or crackle glass bottle.

The 1970s prompted Americans to experience a full-force revival of the impact of the color green. At that time, America experienced a "green" decade focusing on environmental responsibility and ecology. Even President Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign buttons were green. As were the cardigan sweaters he wore as he urged the nation to turn down our thermostats and save energy. Political campaign memorabilia experts would give unsuspecting pack rats $105 for those vintage Carter-green campaign buttons.

Swamp Ecology

In the energy conscious 1970s, green was keen. Interior designers looked to avocado green, goldenrod and coppertone as the colors for our earthtone-inspired kitchens. Plastic dishes, appliances and even stadium seating took on the famed color in an effort to remind us of the country's need to address our ecological concerns.

Kermit the Frog was a spokes-puppet for the Green movement and the green collectibles of the 1970s are now enjoying renewed vigor. Kermit and the host of other 1970s collectibles that bear his name are among some of the most popular of the 1970s collectible greenery.

Kermit the Frog dolls with their original 1976 Henson tag are found on the secondary market with their original box for prices ranging from $150 to $275 depending on condition. Throughout much of the 20th Century, green antiques have been socially influential, highly collected, and worth some real green.

- Ph.D. antiques appraiser and award-winning TV talk show host, Dr. Lori presents antiques appraisal events nationwide. Join her on her next vacation cruise focusing on antiques this October. Watch Dr. Lori across the country on the Fine Living Network's "Worth Every Penny" and on "Daytime." For more information all (888) 431-1010.

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