Collecting Antique Glassware for Fun and Profit


Collecting antique glassware can be an enjoyable and profitable activity. Familiarizing yourself with the various types of glassware available for purchase can help you choose the right pieces for your collection. Antique glassware varies significantly in value and in appearance. Concentrating on one particular type of vintage or antique glassware can allow you to develop expert knowledge in that category.  This can help you find the most valuable and worthwhile pieces to enhance your interior décor or to resell for a healthy profit.

Diverse Glassware Styles Offer Great Collecting Opportunities

Some of the most popular types of glassware for collectors include the following:

• Carnival glassware was commonly given as a prize for winning games of skill or chance at traveling shows and fairs during the early 20th century. Available in a range of primary hues and pastel shades, these items included candy dishes, vases and decorative pieces. Red carnival glass is relatively rare. As a result, good pieces can command a high price in the antique marketplace.

• Depression glass, as its name suggests, dates back to the 1930s and was mass produced during the height of the Great Depression. The value of Depression glassware derives primarily from its rarity rather than from its quality; air bubbles and bright, gaudy colors are characteristic of these pieces.

• Cambridge glassware was manufactured by Cambridge Glass from 1900 until relatively recently. Floral designs, cut crystal patterns and etched stemware are characteristic pieces in the Cambridge Glass line.

• Cranberry glass can be recognized by its rich red color and the presence of gold chloride in the coloring process. Because most pieces of cranberry glass are not marked, it can be challenging to identify the date of manufacture and the value of the item without professional help.

Focusing on one or more of these categories of glassware can provide structure for your collection and can allow you to identify the most valuable pieces for purchase and resale.

How to Identify Antique Glassware

Many pieces of vintage and antique glassware bear identifying marks that indicate the manufacturer and the general time frame.

• Carnival glass usually incorporates a swirl in the glass itself due to the manufacturing techniques employed when creating these colorful works of art.

• For Depression glass, the most obvious identifying marks are the large bubbles, relatively cheap manufacturing methods and the various patterns that prevailed during the heyday of this glassware type.

• Cambridge glass typically bears a small triangle enclosing a letter C; however, some pieces may lack this brand identification.

• The characteristic dark red color is often the only way to identify cranberry glass; these pieces are usually hand-blown and may show marks where the rod was removed and the hole patched after manufacture.

Antique Glassware Collectors Often Expand Into Nationwide Markets

Collecting glassware can grow into a profitable and enjoyable hobby. Finding the right pieces can enhance the beauty of your home and can potentially provide you with added income for a relatively small initial investment. Serious collectors have developed their hobby into profitable, full-time enterprises serving the buying/selling needs of antique collectors throughout the United States.

No matter what level of passion you collect, safe handling of antique glassware during packing, crating and transportation is crucial to collectors and sellers of antiques.  Craters and Freighters Greater Milwaukee can help you safely ship glassware and antiques domestically and internationally. Our custom packing, crating, insurance and shipping specialty services ensures your glassware shipments will safely arrive on time and more importantly, intact. Contact us today to discuss your antique glassware shipping needs.

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