Okay, so you’ve been bitten by the Depression Glass bug, and those pretty patterns and pastel colors beckon you from the shelves of an antique dealer’s shop, a friend’s home, or maybe you’ve even discovered this special glassware on the Internet. How ever it’s come about that you’ve developed a yen for Depression Glass, you need to know where and how to start collecting it – unless you’re made of money, have oodles of time on your hands, and don’t care whether you get the real thing or not. But if you’re like most of us, and those things don’t apply to you, here are a few tips to get you started on the road to what may very well become a fascinating and lifelong hobby.
– Buy the latest edition of the book, The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Depression Glass by Gene Florence that boasts a recommendation from the National Depression Glass Association. Mr. Florence’s comprehensive book covers all the known patterns with photographs and current price listings, short histories of the manufacturers, information on detecting fakes and reproduction pieces, along with the production dates and colors of each design. All this, including the author’s own personal anecdotes about this addictive hobby, make this book not only one of the most useful tools from which to learn about Depression Glass, but turns learning about the subject into entertainment, as well.
– Go to glass shows and conventions, join Depression Glass clubs, and visit antique shops in your area that carry it. It’s imperative to learn about this type of glass from hands-on knowledge in order to get a true feel of how it looks “in person. ” Soon you’ll learn many, if not all, the colors and patterns, and be able to distinguish reproductions – most commonly made in Mexico and India – from the genuine article. Color, patterns, weight, mold markings – even the bubbles – of real Depression Glass hold a uniqueness all their own.
– Subscribe to magazines, newsletters, and other periodicals that focus on collecting Depression Glass. The National Depression Glass Association offers an online newsletter subscription on its site at www.ndga.net, and Collector’s News, a print magazine, frequently features articles of interest to Depression Glass fans.
– Meet and make friends with an expert! There’s nothing like having a mentor to guide you when you’re in the process of learning something new – especially about Depression Glass. Such tips as learning to use your tactile sense of feel to detect chips and cracks, holding a piece up to the light to help determine its authenticity, and other helpful information usually come from personal relationships. Attending shows, joining clubs, and visiting antique shops all provide opportunities to make friends with people who’ve been involved in collecting Depression Glass – some for as long as 40 or 50 years.
The most important thing to remember when you begin your Depression Glass hobby, however, is to have fun! Even if you do make a mistake, get occasionally “rooked” with a fake, or buy or sell something you later regret, you’ll always have the experience of appreciating an interesting and fascinating hobby. And then, when you do make the find of your life – well, that’s what it’s all about! All those “mistakes” soon become laughable, fond memories when you proudly display your wonderful Depression Glass discovery!
So get out there and make your start today or look for the next beautiful piece to add to your growing collection.
Until next time,
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