Depression Glass Background

Depression Glass was produced primarily in the 1920’s and 1930’s, hence the name depression. It was mass produced and made as affordable as possible. It wasn’t intended to be saved for generations. These pieces are known to have “factory flaws”. Collectors of today consider these flaws to be characteristics.

Straw or Mold Marks

These appear to be a deep scratch or crack in the glass, but on closer inspection you can see that it is an impression and not a scratch. Most sellers mention straw marks in their descriptions.

Flash over

These are sharp edges on plates or foot rims. These were made when the glass slipped through the mold when it was being produced. You will most likely feel it before you see it.

Bubbles

Bubbles were quite common in glass making. A bubble only becomes a flaw when it touches the surface or breaks through the surface. This flaw should be disclosed by a seller. These are still very nice items depending on the size of the bubble and its location.

Color

Glass is made using a specific formula in batches. A slightly different formula can create a slightly different hue. If you see a major difference in a hue it could be a sign of a reproduction.

Fleabites or Flea Bites

This is an overused term which is meant for tiny nick’s in the glass (typically around the rim). You can usually feel these or see them with a magnifying glass. They aren’t noticeable when displayed.

Flakes

This is a sliver shaped chip on the surface. It isn’t very deep and is found on foot rims and rims of plates. Depending on the size and location it can affect the value.

Chips

Typically found on the rims of glasses and plates. These will always affect the value of the item and should be disclosed.

Cracks

Cracks in porcelain can often be stopped or repaired, but with glass, cracks are killers. I do not recommend purchase of glass with cracks.

Stress Lines

These are very fine lines, kind of like crows feet. They are caused by the stress to the glass making process. They are typically found around handles, spouts and holes where items were bolted together.

Scratches

You cannot remove scratches without buffing and this does not always do it. Most plates will show some scratches. Scratches are frequently found on depression glass and they are not an issue.

Glass Sickness

This is often found on shakers and cruets. Salt shakers are especially prone because salt eats the inside of the shaker. As the salt scratches at the surface, it becomes cloudy and looks sick. You can’t get rid of it. Cruets and decanters have similar issues from the moisture trapped inside. If you have salt shakers that are not “sick” you should remove the salt after every use.