Frequently Asked Glass Questions:
The items on this page represent some of the most common questions asked by people new to buying or selling glass.

This page does not even scratch the surface of glass collecting, nor is it intended to do so. These are quick summaries for those who seek short answers to their glass questions. Please see the GPSA Home Page for resources if you are looking for more advanced or more detailed information.

What pattern is this?
Early American PresCut

Anchor Hocking

Found almost exclusively in clear. Most items in this pattern are common. Less common items include the iced tea, oil lamp and the large paneled bowl. This pattern is sometimes called Star of David.

Design Motif: Star and Rays
Willow, Oleander, Magnolia, Laurel

The pattern name is not known, so it is often called by one or all of these names. Also shortened to WOM or WOML.. Found almost exclusively in clear. Occasionally found with frosted leaves or colored.

Design Motif: Deeply pressed leaf pattern, except the candlesticks. The pattern is large and dramatic on the round tray and bowl. The sugar and creamer are the most easy to find and feature one spray lying nearly horizontal across the front.

Found in blue carnival, green carnival, amber carnival and milk. Many pieces including a goblet, covered compote, iced tea, and punchbowl set.

Design Motif: Grapes and leaves.

Photo courtesy of eBay member lyndemar
Diamond Point
Tiara Exclusives
1970 - 1998

Found in clear, milk, black, ruby stained. By Indiana in the 60's, Tiara Exclusives (sold at home parties) in the 80's.

Design Motif: All over diamond pattern with plain rim
Princess House
1970's through present

Sold at home parties. Pieces include stemware, hurricane lamps, and candleholders.

Design Motif: Half flower cutting with three extensions from the flower. Many companies made wheel cut stemware, particularly in the 1940's. Much of it is misidentified as Princess House. Heritage is PH's only floral wheel cut design

Anchor Hocking
Late 1960's and 1970's

Found almost exclusively in clear, though there are some colored pieces in existence.

Design Motif: Raised diamond design with a band of smaller diamonds above and a plain band at the rim or edges.

What is the definition of this glass term?
Blown Glass
Glass blown by a glass blower-may be blown freely or into a mold

Pressed Glass
Glass made in a mold

Pattern Glass
Usually used to describe pressed glass from the 1850's - 1910, especially American glass. Also abbreviated EAPG - Early American Pattern Glass

Cut Glass
Glass whose pattern is made by actually cutting the glass after it has been made into a vessel. Fancy cut glass made in the US between the 1880's through around 1917 is known as being from the American Brilliant Period, abbreviated APB.

Depression Glass
American glass made inexpensively during the Depression years, often given out as premiums at places such as movie theaters. Most common colors: pink, green with a slight yellow tone (not emerald green), amber and clear. Manufacturers include Hocking, Hazel Atlas, Federal, McKee, and Jeannette.

Elegant Glass
Glass made by higher end manufacturers during the Depression years into the 1960's. Manufacturers include Fostoria, Heisey, Tiffin and Paden City.

Early American Pressed Glass (EAPG)
Pressed glass made from around 1850 to around 1910. Most common color is clear. Manufacturers include Boston & Sandwich; U.S. Glass; Hobbs, Brockunier; Bryce and Gillinder.

Mid-Century Glass
Glass made in the 50's and 60's. American manufacturers include Kanawah, Viking, and Blenko, as well as many of the Depression glass companies that remained in business such as Jeannette, Anchor Hocking and Federal.

Art Glass
High end handcrafted glass. Art glass was made in every glass generation.

Kitchen Glassware
Utilitarian glass such as measuring cups, mixing bowls, reamers, etc...

Glass with a misty white decoration that appears colorful or fiery when held to the light.

Pressed glass with an iridescent finish made from around 1905 to about 1930. Reproductions made from earlier patterns are called "new carnival." Newer glass that are not reproductions are called iridescent.

This term is used differently in different geographic locations. Most vaseline collectors use it to mean yellow-green glass which glows bright emerald green when exposed to black light.

Pressed glass that was painted with a gold base and then either red or green on top. Given as prizes at carnivals, this glass was cheaply made. As a result, it is difficult to find goofus in excellent condition.

Etched vs. Cut
Those pretty floral decorations on stemware can be cut, usually using a wheel, or etched. The pretty ones with a simple flower and leaf decorations that look whitish are cut. If they are highly polished so they are as clear as the glass they are on, they are called rock crystal cutting. The fancy ornate designs with lots of detail are acid etched. A cutting is never referred to as etched.

Glass that is clear and then layered with another color, most commonly red or blue. Designs are then cut into the glass to show the clear base. Designs often include deer and castles.

Pontil Mark
The place where the glass left the glass maker's rod. If left unfinished it is called a rough pontil. If smoothed out, it is called a polished pontil. When people first hear this word spoken out loud, they sometimes think the speaker is saying "ponytail mark."

Tiny fairly round little nick no larger than the size of a pencil point. More accurately described as a pinpoint nick.
For more information and terms describing item condition, please refer to The GPSA Glossary.

Whose Mark is This?
  • This mark looks like an arrow through a G? It's IG, Imperial Glass

  • When did Fenton start marking their items? 1970. (?) If it's a Fenton pattern, but unmarked, it's earlier.

  • Who marked their items with an H in a Diamond? Heisey Glass

  • Whose mark is a C in a Triangle? Cambridge Glass

  • Is this mark anHA or an AH? It's HA for Hazel Atlas (not Anchor Hocking as many people think)

  • What about a cursive style L? Libbey Glass

  • An F in a shield? Federal Glass

More Glass Marks Can Be Found Here.

What is a good first glass book?

Warman's Glass 3rd Edition
Ellen T. Schroy
Krause Publications
If you want an overview to help you understand the different types of glass, start with Warman's Glass.

It's a great intro book because it breaks everything up by category and shows examples of each and a summary of prices. It's the kind of book that's great for starting out, but you will outgrow it as you begin to want more specific information.

More General Glass Books Listed Here.

How Does One Decide Which Glass Will Sell on eBay?

A Few Suggestions From GPSA's Own WGPaul

Billís 15 Rules for Happy Glass Buying

  1. Donít buy oodles of clear glass until you know something about it. Most clear glass is relatively worthless on Ebay. And thatís from a guy who collects clear glass! Thereís some great pieces in clear glass but you will waste your time if you buy every piece of clear glass you can find.

  2. Ditto for milk glass. Read the Milk Glass 101 posting from eBay's Pottery, Glass, and Porcelain Board.

  3. Learn about the most commonly found glass. While there are some rare pieces in these patterns, most of the items you will find are common. Look at the following patterns:

    • Early American PresCut
    • Wexford
    • Indiana Harvest (Carnival and Milk Glass)
    • Stars and Bars
    • Concord by Brockway

    See the pictures above for examples of this glass, and also check out this helpful page:

    Undocumented and Under Documented Glass Patterns

  4. Donít buy cube glass thinking itís Fostoria American. Learn to tell Indiana Whitehall from American first. (Besides, what did I tell you about clear glass?)

  5. Donít buy small square dishes with frilly edges that look like English Hobnail. They arenít, and thereís a gazillion of them out there.

  6. Learn about florist glass - E. O. Brody doesnít usually sell. Also that Teardrop pattern from Indiana.

  7. Not all glass with cut flowers is Princess House. The PH flower looks like a fuschia from the side. the pattern is called Heritage. Learn to recognize it. Although fairly contemporary, some of it sells very well. But be sure itís PH first. (OK, itís clear - rules were made to be broken.)

  8. Just because itís old, doesnít mean itís valuable. There are currently over 20 pages of EAPG items in the completed listings under $9.99. While some of these are misidentified, many are lovely old pre-1910 items that just donít sell. I started collecting a US Glass pattern after I kept seeing sell for so little on eBay. (Just what I needed - another pattern to collect!)

  9. Learn to recognize recent Polish cut glass. Itís pretty but not very sale-able on eBay - especially in clear. (Did I mention not to buy clear glass?)

  10. Now that the categories are back, you can do my favorite exercise. Choose a category. Sort by price. Look at whatís selling for big bucks. Pray you find one. Now sort by lowest. See whatís selling for under $10. Donít buy this stuff. Now search for items in that category between $20 and $50. These are the items you are likely to find if you know what you are looking for.

  11. Buy wisely. Do your homework. Study. Hang out at the discussion board. Go to the library. Read something about glass every night.

  12. If it canít be IDíd, dump it. Sell it cheap, give it away or donate it. Sure, it could be that $5,000 item youíve been waiting for, but itís more likely a $10 item youíve just spent 5 hours trying to ID. Thatís $2 an hour. Itís not even minimum wage. I think I had a job in 1970 that paid $2 an hour.

  13. Use the GPSA glossary for descriptions of flaws.

    Describe damage in factual terms. Donít use judgments like good condition, small chip, doesnít take away from the piece. Let the buyer decide all that. Just describe it by size and shape - a 1/4Ē flat chip on the bottom where the piece sits. The buyer can decide whether thatís ďgood conditionĒ or not.

  14. Have fun!

  15. Donít buy clear glass until you know what sells. (Oh - did I mention that already?)



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