Antiques & Collectibles: Children's Depression glass charms collectors


Question: I have owned this pink glass sugar bowl for 20 years. It is 2 1/2 inches high with a cluster of three long-stemmed cherries embossed on its bottom. Please tell me about it and its worth. - S.S., Smithville

Answer: Your sugar bowl was made by the Jeanette Glass Co. of Jeanette, Pa. Originally Jeanette Bottle Works, the firm became Jeanette Glass Co. in 1898. Jeanette's conversion to a pressed glass factory during the 1920s paved the way for its later success as a leading manufacturer of Depression-era glass kitchen items and dinnerware. The company's capital "J" enclosed in a triangle or square marks much of its glassware.

From 1928 to 1938, Jeanette produced popular patterns including the sugar bowl's Cherry Blossom motif, still a favorite of Depression glass collectors. Similar sugar bowls are part of a 14-piece Cherry Blossom-Pink child's "Dinner Set" made from 1930 to 1939, originally in pink and opaque blue.

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Consisting of four cups, saucers, desert plates, a sugar bowl and creamer, the set is part of the "Jeanette Junior" line offered in a beautifully illustrated box featuring playmates in 1930s attire.

From the 1960s through the 1990s, widespread interest in collecting Depression glass fostered rampant reproduction of favorite items and Jeanette's Cherry Blossom children's set was among the first to be copied.

Although clues such as glass with a greasy surface, vague pattern lines and larger cherry clusters enabled savvy collectors to identify bogus Cherry Blossom pieces, fakes abounded from 1973 to 1995. Colors of knock-offs include transparent blue and green, amber and rose carnival glass hues and cobalt.

Authentic 1930s, 14-piece Cherry Blossom Dinner Sets, mint in original boxes, presently sell for $140 to $155, while sets without boxes are bringing $20 to $90, based on condition and if they are complete. A pink sugar bowl recently was listed at an online auction for $50 or best offer, but there were no bids.

Question: I have coin and stamp collections I hope to sell and would like someone to examine and evaluate them. - M.M

Answer: Collected coins and stamps are unique items that require examination by accredited specialist dealers or appraisers in order to properly evaluate them. Before engaging such experts, it is advisable to prepare inventories that include descriptions, condition and quantities of items to be sold or appraised.

"The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of U.S. Coins 2013" is the latest in a series coin collectors find useful for such preparation. Additionally, you can contact the American Numismatic Association at 800-367-9723 or as well as the Garden State Numismatic Association at for information about sales and evaluations. Garden State's 2013 convention to be held May 16 to 18 at Somerset is chaired by Sussex numismatist, dealer and appraiser Tom Hyland of New Jersey Coins.Com 973-875-7926. The American Coin & Stamp Co., Inc., Clifton, 877-949-8800 buys, sells and appraises coins and stamps.

Information about stamp appraisals also can be obtained from:

• American Philatelic Society, Bellefonte, Pa. 814-933-3803

• American Stamp Dealers Association, Inc. Leesport, Pa. 800-369-8207

• National Stamp Dealers Association

• Merchantville Stamp Club, 856-667-3168.

Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Life section, The Press of Atlantic City, 11 Devins Lane, Pleasantville, N.J. 08232. Email:

Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.

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