From Knockoff to a Symbol of Wealth.


I doubt there is a person out there who hasn’t plucked a piece of candy from a dish, smelled a rose in a vase, or admired a Cameo made from a creamy white glass known as Milk Glass. As I was growing up every relative I remember had a few pieces displayed in their kitchen or living room. A favorite collectible in the 50’s and 60’s, not many homes were decorated without it.

First produced in Italy during the 1500’s it was know as Opal Glass and was considered to be a knockoff off during that era. First made as a poor man’s porcelain, the white color was produced by adding tin or bone ash to the molten glass.  Cheap, inexpensive beginnings which grew into a status symbol for the wealth by the later parts of the 19th century. The intricate designs, often hand painted or trimmed in lavish colors during these gilded years.

Yet as the Depression of 1930’s hit the quality of glass began to wain, and the delicate expensive designs gave way to a more affordable hobnail decoration, which is still popular into the present,

It was also during this period, the early years of the 20th century that this creamy white glass started to be known as Milk glass.

As the troubling years began to ease and the 40’s started, companies such as Fenton began introducing colors to milk glass.

fen1                 fen2

And once again the quality and popularity of the glass rose, becoming one of the most sought after collectibles by ladies of the mid 1900’s. Even today this centuries old design can be found decorating homes with its simple elegant charm.

Today’s collectors of this style of glass can find many Vintage Shops around Etsy with wide varieties of plates, bowls, figurines and jewelry made from Milk Glass.

fen3                milk j





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