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 Vintage Elegant Depression Glass

Vintage Elegant Depression Glass

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  • Reproducti​on Depression Glass
Cut or Etched?

Have you ever wondered whether your glass is cut or etched?  Sometimes it is hard to tell.  And lots of glass for sale online with flower designs is listed as etched when it is really cut.

Cut Glass

A cut glass pattern like the miter design on this stem is easy.  The lines are straight and V shaped.

Here's a design that is a little harder to tell.  This is Trellis from Fostoria, a simple cut with stylized half flowers.  

Fostoria Trellis (Old) Cut Sherbet

What lets us know these are cut is the V shape on the cuts.  The miter cut stem has deep V shapes where the center of the cut is deeper than the edges.  The flower petals on the Trellis stem are slightly scooped.


One thing that causes confusion with cut patterns like Trellis is that the cuts were left unpolished.  See how the miter cut cocktail is shiny?  The artisans fire polished the design after it was cut.  That makes the cuts smooth and shiny.  Unpolished designs like Trellis or Cynthia are called "gray cuttings".

Fostoria Holly combines gray and polished cuts.  That must have been more time consuming to make.  This candle holder is pretty neat, from Fostoria's Sonata line.

Fostoria Holly Duo Candle Holder

Fostoria Holly Duo Candle Holder


Another technique is called "cut to clear" as in this Egermann ruby cut to clear vase.  I got this at an estate sale where the people had massive collections of fine crystal and china from America and Europe.

Egermann Ruby Cut to Clear Vase

Egermann Ruby Cut to Clear Vase


Etched Designs

Although some cut patterns are elaborate, most often designs with a lot of intricate detail are etched.  This Fostoria Navarre sherbet shows how complex an etched design can be.  It would be nearly impossible to get the curves and thin lines with a cutting wheel.

Fostoria Navarre Etched Sherbet


Making etched glass is like stenciling a wall.  Glass makers coat the surface with wax, then cut through the wax with a thin stylus.  The etching solution will dissolve wherever the glass surface is not covered with wax.  The result is the design has uniform depth.

It is possible to get multiple depths by uncovering more surface and applying the etching solution again.  But even with that method the individual line will be the same depth at the edge as at the center.

The Fostoria Navarre stem is one of the more fancier designs.  Here is a Fostoria Lido goblet.  Is it cut or etched?

Fostoria Lido Etched Goblet

Fostoria Lido Etched Goblet

Lido is simple enough that it could be cut so we need to touch it to find out.  The individual lines are all the same depth, so this is etched.


Have you noticed that all the etched designs are gray, not fire polished?  That's because the etched lines are thin.  Fire polishing always softens the edges just a bit, and if the artisans polished the etch it would lose detail.  You can imagine how that would ruin a delicate design.


Tips to Tell Cut from Etched

  1. Cut designs tend to use a lot of straight lines
  2. Cuts will be V shaped, with the edges shallower than the centers.  Some cut designs rely on many thin, parallel cut lines to fill in the flower or leaf shape
  3. Etched line will be the same depth.  Different motifs within an etched pattern could be different depths.
  4. Cut patterns can be gray cut, left unpolished, or fire polished to make them shiny.  Etched designs are not fire polished
  5. Intricate patterns with a lot of detail are almost always etched.  Cut designs can be complicated but don't look like they were drawn the way etched designs do.
  6. Colored cut-to-clear is used for cut glass.  I have not seen etched to clear. 
  7. Last but not least, just because someone calls a piece "etched" or "cut" use your judgment to decide how the design was made.
Tip! Measure Goblets

Tip:  How to Measure Stemware

If you want a set of vintage stemware it's important you know how to measure stems and are aware of size changes over the past 50 years.

Originally wine goblets were small, much smaller than we use today, especially in restaurants or contemporary, trendy glass.  Wine goblets in patterns from the vintage glass companies usually held two to five ounces.  

Fostoria June Wine Goblet

Fostoria June Topaz Wine Goblet

This Fostoria June goblet, from the 1930s, is 5 1/2 inches tall and holds three ounces filled right to the brim.  That's more the size we see today for cordials or after dinner drinks.

To measure stems, put the goblet on a flat table.  Take a stiff ruler and measure vertically to the top of the rim.  That's the height.  Don't measure sideways from the foot to the rim.

The other key measurement is capacity.  Vintage stemware, pitchers, creamers and such always give capacity measured by filling it right to the point of overflowing.

I find it is easiest to take my stem t the cupboard by the sink.  I use a one ounce measuring cup and fill the measuring cup right to the brim and pour into the goblet.  Then repeat until the goblet will not hold any more.  (The hard part is keeping count and not losing track, but maybe you won't have that problem.)

Cambridge Rosalie Etched Water Goblet

Cambridge Glass Rosalie Etched Crystal Water Goblet

The reason you want to measure full to the brim is that flared pieces, like goblets, will often take a surprising volume from the point where you would fill for use and when filled to the brim.  It's too subjective to measure filled the way you would use it.


I have tried filling a stem with water and pouring into a measuring cup.  This doesn't work for me at all as half the water ends up in the sink.

If you don't have a one ounce measuring cup, then use a regular liquid measurin cup to fill it most of the way, then use a tablespoon to fill the remainder.  Remember a tablespoon is half an ounce.

Water goblets, like the Cambridge Rosalie shown above, are usually between 6 and 10 inches tall and hold somewhere around 10 ounces.

The other thing to be aware of is shape.  Wine and water goblets look like goblets.  The goblet bowl may be rounded but most often the bowl is taller than it is wide.

You might see sherbets mistakenly called wine goblets.  Sherbets look like saucer champagnes or else have V shaped bowls like this Cambridge Chantilly tall sherbet.

Cambridge Chantilly Sherbet

Cambridge Chantilly Sherbet

I hope this helps you get the stemware you want!


Reproduction Depression Glass

Have you ever bought reproduction depression glass? Or not bought something because you were concerned about authenticity?

I have. It is so disappointing.


My purpose with this page is to first, help you feel comfortable by putting the reproduction bugaboo in perspective, and to help educate you on some easy steps to protect yourself.


You can be confident that the glass we sell is authentic.  I too have purchased reproductions - but they stay in the box as references for me.  I don't sell fakes.



  • Let's Put Reproductions in Perspective
  • 3 Tips to Avoid Reproduction Depression Glass
  • What Pieces were Reproduced in Each Pattern
  • Remakes or Imitation is Sincerest Flattery
  • Recommended Books to Help
  • Conclusion and Next Steps


Let's Put Reproductions in Perspective 

First, most patterns have not been reproduced. My depression glass book has over 150 patterns and shows only 15 that have been reproduced. And most patterns have only a piece or two reproduced.

We can completely avoid reproductions by avoiding the patterns with reproductions. Or learn the few pieces that were remade in our favorite patterns, and avoid those.

Except for Cherry Blossom and Madrid, don't worry about basic pieces like plates or bowls or cups and saucers. You should pay attention to tumblers in a few patterns but most fakers concentrated on just a piece or two in a pattern.

After you've seen and handled glass, you'll find that you can tell most reproductions by look or touch. Until then, your best defense is education and awareness.


3 Tips to Avoid Reproduction Depression Glass

Any of us who enjoy vintage glass need to learn enough to protect ourselves

Why are there reproductions? 

  1. Someone made counterfeits deliberately to sell as fakes.  Your best defense is to educate yourself.
  2. Someone saw pretty glass and decided to copy it, maybe in a different color or size.  Your best defense is to be aware of the pieces most often reproduced, and be careful.
  3. The original glass maker - or the company that owned the molds - decided to reissue the design.  Your best defense is to either avoid this pattern or spend considerable time learning to tell old from new.   

Here are three tips to protect yourself.

Tip #1.  Educate Yourself 

Your best protection is to know the patterns you enjoy.  Get a depression glass guide - I recommend ones by Gene Florence and Barbara Mauzy - and look for your favorites.  Read the sections in the back about specific repros.

Most often the counterfeits have some imperfection that make them easy to spot.

For example, Cherry Blossom is one of the most heavily reproduced patterns.  Yet you can tell most pieces by tell tales.  

  • Real butter dish lids have three lines around the edge of the pattern
  • Saucers should be only about as thick as a nickel in the center.
  • Cups should have the raised bump on the top of the handle
  • I have a real and a fake Cherry Blossom dinner plate and they look similar but feel different.  The fake is heavier and has a distinct edge on the rim.
  • Once you learn about your pattern and have seen and felt the real pieces, you will fast get comfortable spotting the fakes.  I bought a Sharon creamer online once that was immediately an obvious fake.  It was the wrong color of green and was just wrong.  

If you do end up with a fake, it's a good idea to keep it so you have a comparison piece.  I bought repro Cherry Blossom out of ignorance and kept the dinner plate for reference. 

Over time you'll gain confidence and not fall for fakes.


Tip #2.  Recognize the Pieces Most Often Remade

What about those of you who don't collect individual patterns but simply seek glass that is pretty, or your favorite color or certain types of pieces?

Only a few patterns have been reproduced.  Many popular patterns have never been reproduced; in fact only about a dozen patterns have been remade.  And even in those patterns, usually it is only a few pieces.

Pieces most often reproduced are those that people would buy as giftware, including:


  • Beverage sets, tumblers and pitchers.  You may find them individually now.
  • Candy dishes
  • Butter dishes
  • Cookie jars
  • Shakers

Sharon is one of the few patterns that the creamer and sugar were remade.  They are rather easy to spot.  Many years ago I got excited late at night and bid on a "depression glass creamer with etched roses" that looked like Sharon.  When it came there was no doubt it was a fake.  The pattern was off, color was off, the seams were nasty. 

If you like children's dishes then be aware that Mosser Glass in Ohio made miniature pieces of Cameo for toys.  These cute dishes are sold as "Jennifer" or "goes with American Girl".   We specialize in Cameo depression glass and have many authentic pieces for you.

Tip #3.  Avoid Reissues

Indiana Glass reissued several patterns in the 1970s and 80s, including Avocado and Madrid.  They sold the re-issued Madrid as Recollection.

I have never seen Avocado in person but understand that the reissued glass colors are off or were never made originally.

Madrid/Recollection is more of a problem.  The pink and blue are somewhat different colors and Indiana made a light teal and some individual pieces that were never in the original pattern line.  They are easy to spot.

I can usually tell the Recollection amber when I see it in person because it feels different.  That is not much help for you if you haven't had the experience with both the original and reissue.

If your favorite pattern is Madrid then I recommend you spend time at glass shows and antique malls.  Look at the Madrid, read about it, get familiar with how it should feel.

The other method is to avoid this pattern.  Instead of collecting Madrid, consider collecting Patrician, also called Spoke.  Federal Glass made both patterns originally and Patrician has never been reproduced.  It is pretty and comes in amber, green and some pink.  We have several pieces of Patrician in our store.


What Pattern Pieces were Reproduced

Back in the 1970s and 80s depression glass was a HOT collectible.  Unscrupulous people made counterfeits deliberately to sell as fakes.   

Luckily most patterns have only a few pieces remade.  Please note:  Information in this section is from research done by others, including Gene Florence, Barbara Mauzy, and many depression glass experts.

You'll notice in this list the pieces reproduced were serving pieces, accessories.  Everyday pieces like sherbet plates were reproduced only in Cherry Blossom and Madrid.  

Adam Butter dish was reproduced.  I don't have a real butter to show you.

Avocado was reissued by Tiara in colors not from the 1930s.  My Tiara book shows quite a few pieces but the colors are way off.  Pink is peachy, while true depression pink was pink.

Cameo Salt shaker and children's toy glasses.  Hocking did not make toy Cameo; this is from Mosser Glass and is sold as "Jennifer" or "Goes with American Girl".

The Cameo shaker was remade; photos show it with too much glass in the base.  I don't have a fake shaker set to show you; instead show the real shaker set.  You can see there isn't much glass in the base.

Cameo green shakers

Real Cameo Depression Glass Shakers

Cherry Blossom Many pieces were reproduced.  I suggest you select a different pattern until you feel comfortable with buying glass. Most pieces have tell-tale signs you can watch for to discern real from fake.  


Floral Poinsettia Shaker was reproduced.  Per Florence, check where the tops screw on.  The old have two threads that wind around and the new have one thread.  I have not seen these myself.  Poinsettia is another pattern we keep in stock for you.

Florentine Poppy 1  Shaker was remade.  

Florentine Poppy 2 Pitcher was remade.  Here is the real pitcher.  

Real Florentine Poppy 2 Pitcher

Iris Tumblers, plates and coasters were remade.  

Madrid Sadly, many pieces were remade.  Some are very easy to spot but a few are tricky. I can tell when I see it in person but a photo is very hard to tell.  I recommend you collect Patrician instead as it is also pretty and comes in amber, pink and green.

Mayfair Cookie jar, pitcher and shot glass were reproduced.  I have seen the cookie jars and they are horribly made, too small, wrong colors, mediocre workmanship and weak pattern.  You are not likely to be fooled by these.  You can shop our Mayfair here and be confident it's the real thing.

Miss America Several pieces were reproduced and you should get a book to learn the differences if this is your favorite pattern. I have not seen the fakes and I don't think they are real common.  We usually have Miss America in stock.


Princess Candy jar was reproduced in cobalt blue and amber.  Apparently the new jar was poorly made.  Here is the authentic jar.

Princess Green Depression Glass Candy Jar

Royal Lace Cobalt blue and pink cookie jar, juice and water tumblers were reproduced.  Royal Lace is an expensive pattern that you'll want to get more information about before buying many pieces.  My book recommendations are below.

Sharon Butter dish, cheese dish, creamer, sugar, candy and shakers were reproduced.  One time I was up late browsing eBay and saw a "green depression glass rose creamer".  I wasn't thinking (what can I say, I turn into a pumpkin after 10:30) and ordered the blasted thing.  It was a reproduction and a terrible 

one.  Color was a deep emerald green and glass was nasty, no other way to describe it.  

You aren't likely to be fooled by Sharon repros more than once.  Florence's book has great information about these pieces which are easy to spot

Remakes - Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Others liked the pretty designs and made pieces that were similar.  The Vermont Country Store currently sells red "Depression Glass" plates from Mosser.  You can tell they are new from the catalog description and Mosser marks their glass.


You can find lots of cute butter dishes that are styled like depression glass.  You may find them at flea markets or even at antique malls. We saw a Cherry Blossom butter dish that was more a "Cherry Styled" butter dish as it looked nothing like the real one.

I did a quick search for depression glass reproductions for sale and found sites carrying kitchen glass, novelties like animal dishes, shakers.  Martha Stewart had a line of Jade-ite kitchen ware that sparked a resurgence of interest in Jade-ite.  And you'll find lots of colored kitchen ware that is called "depression glass" on eBay.  Just be aware that not all colored glass is truly depression glass.

One last point.  Even authentic depression glass has some variations.  Doric and Pansy ultramarine color varies from greenish to bluish.  Princess topaz varies from yellow to a deep apricot.  This glass was made in the 1930s, long before quality control.  So don't be too concerned if your piece is slightly different color or even slightly different size.  That does not always mean it is a repro.

Book Recommendations

Get to know the patterns you enjoy.  Get a depression glass guide - I recommend ones by Gene Florence and Barbara Mauzy - and look for your favorites.  Read the sections in the back about specific repros.

This first book is the final Depression Glass encyclopedia from Gene and Cathy Florence.  

They wrote several series on glass, this one went through 19 editions!  The book includes pictures of each pattern and individual pieces are noted.  That is real helpful when you aren't sure the difference between the butter and the candy!

The section on reproductions is in the back.  I would have liked to see both the real and the fake pictured together for reference.  Florence's descriptions are good enough that you can feel confident when you follow the tips.

Gene Florence Depression Glass Book

Collector's Encyclopedia of Depression Glass, 19th Edition

Florence's book is a pattern guide.  That means it covers glass produced in patterns, usually for dinner or lunch.  It does not cover miscellaneous decorative glass or pieces like figurines or shoes.

Barbara Mauzy also wrote several glass books including this one.  Her photos are excellent and she gives good information about each pattern.  Like Florence she includes information about reproductions and tips to spot real vs. fake.

Mauzy Depression Glass Book
Mauzy's Depression Glass: A Photographic Reference with Prices

Ms. Mauzy includes descriptions of the reproductions on the main pattern page.  You may find that more convenient.  Her tips are easy to follow.


Most often the counterfeits are easy to spot when you know what to look for.  Plus, once you see and feel authentic depression glass, you will get a sense for it.  Then fakes just don't feel or look right and  you will know that. 

If you have a fake, then mark it and keep as a comparison piece.  I bought repro Cherry Blossom out of ignorance and kept the dinner plate for reference. 

Over time you'll gain confidence and not fall for fakes.