Amitha's Blog

Glass Masterclass

One of our latest projects in the shop has got me all excited these days. It’s a beautiful new kitchen with cabinets painted in a lovely color called Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. But what I really love is how they are offset by some gorgeous Depression glass-inspired knobs, accented with polished nickel.

Our beautiful kitchen at Village Antiques

Depression-glass inspired knobs and classic subway tile backsplash with carrera marble countertop

I came to learn about this lovely type of glass when my husband and I first purchased our current house, which was originally built in 1951. All of the doors had these gorgeous antique cut glass doorknobs with a brass backplate. My husband wanted something modern and fresh and asked our contractor to pull all the door hardware off and replace it with modern polished nickel hardware. I quickly shrieked, “Nooooo!” I was adamant: we had to keep the original hardware, it was inspired by classic Depression glass!

Now you might be thinking, Depression glass… what’s that? Well, there’s an interesting story behind this style of glassware!

In the late ‘20s, right up until the early ‘40s, glass manufacturers started mass producing a low-cost, clear or translucent glassware that we now call Depression glass. In those dark and dreary days of the Great Depression,

the glass pieces were handed out free at stores and movie theatres or packaged into food boxes, as an incentive to leave home and spend money in effort to boost the economy.

Even though the glass wasn’t the best quality, the colors and designs must have cheered people up a little, and Depression glass became popular and people looked forward to collecting these little pieces. And don’t think this glass was limited to those with lower incomes. When Jackie Kennedy became First Lady, she even used a line of Depression glass as the official glassware for the White House!

I have to say, for me, one of the appeals of Depression glass has to be the fanciful colors. It comes in so many different shades, including green, pink, blue, amber and yellow – which means it can add a really uplifting pop to your décor! No wonder people still love to display their favorite pieces! You often see these in stemware and those classic glass knobs we all love so much.

Isn’t it great that a design element with so much history has made a place for itself in the modern designscape? Along with its quirky charm, Depression glass resonates with the history of difficult time and the determination of our people to survive it. What a great thing to celebrate with an antique piece!

We ended up keeping all of the gorgeous original hardware, brass and all, in our home, and now my dear hubby loves this classic glass! I love antiques that represent something – a struggle, an ideal, or a historic event. Do you have a piece that inspires you in the same way?

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