Antique Pickin’! The green depression glass vase

1937 Green depression glass vase

1937 Green depression glass vase

Finger PICKIN’ GOOD!!!

Another favorite activity, and it’s probably one of MANY people’s favorites based on all the television shows like American Pickers is of course… PICKIN’! Pickin’ is basically going through stores, homes, garage sales, etc pickin’ for treasures. It is an ART and after starting, I can solemnly swear that it is ADDICTIVE. My personal faves are garage sales and Goodwill/Salvation Army stores. Most people don’t realize what they have or merely wish to “get rid of” unwanted items. Their loss. Goodwill no doubt doesn’t have the time to research most items on their shelves, so use this opportunity to find something to resell, or keep for yourself (but beware of HOARDING, a whole other show you really don’t want to wind up on!)

This is a fabulous find.

In search of vases, bottles, etc for my glass projects (to be posted soon), I came across this green vase. Bought it at Goodwill. Found a patent number and another number on the bottom.

Look for a patent number or any type of number that can be researched.

Look for a patent number or any type of number that can be researched.

Watch for other numbers, this likely means this was the FIRST vase of a batch, or the first vase PERIOD.

Watch for other numbers, this likely means this was the FIRST vase of a batch, or the first vase PERIOD.

All it took was the magical art of Googling the phrase “green glass vase 104166” to discover this glass vase (technically fitting into the depression glass era) was patented in 1937 by A.I. Lorenzen (scroll a wayyyyyyys down!) What does that mean? I’m no expert (yet!) but I do know this, the other person with the vase has #4 and I have #1 and there’s no other but ours on Google… anywhere. Which means (MAYBE!!!):

  1. It’s unique.
  2. It’s rare.
  3. It wasn’t mass produced
  4. A.I. Lorenzen doesn’t seem to be a collectible artist because I can’t find much. 🙁

For instance, if you Google Tiffany glass appraisals or how to spot real Tiffany, you’ll find TONS of pictures, guides, etc. There are also well known artists’ names who work FOR the large glass houses. Other famous glass vase figurepottery/glass like Rookwood, Roseville, etc. are easy to find. And typically they are numbered individually. Mr. Lorenzen? Not so much. I went with the company that was mentioned by Digger on his website and found this piece was likely made from the Owens-Illinois glass company. Sometimes a fellow picker helps you out. Thanks Digger! I hope to pay it forward one day!

CONCLUSION: Looking at the glass, there is a slight visible seam, which means it appears factory made (not a bad thing, but no, not hand-blown glass). It’s likely the Owens company purchased the design and produced some, but definitely not a LOT of these vases. And by finding the other person with #4 and no others, I’d venture to say that’s a pretty good guess, otherwise, I’d be finding a ton of them. Same if it were a reproduction. If the vase was mass-reproduced, I would likely find TONS more.

Great. So What’s it WORTH?

Ask anyone in the antique business and the answer is the same: Whatever someone is willing to pay. The right buyer, the right time, the right item… it all rings true. For instance (pictures coming as soon as I make a trip home to Michigan) my father has an antique beer sign from the 1930’s. I’ve found a few that sold for $50 and some that sold for nearly $200. Of course, condition plays a role, but at least that little bit of research told me NOT to sell it for $5.00 at a garage sale! It’s Ebay or Antique-sale worthy. My price for this vase? $50.00. It’s a gorgeous artichoke design that’s rarely seen, has a perfect height/weight and is in mint condition. Green depression glass has so many different hues and it’s a fantastic 1930’s/40’s historic piece. I priced it by looking at similar items I found along my Googling adventure.

Oh, a little advice when Googling: Click on Google images – it’s much easier to look for pictures of the exact item than to keep clicking on websites. MUCH easier!

Note: whenever you find something numbered, patented, etc.. do a quick search to see what you find before painting it, etc. Usually it takes a 1 minute search to see that.

Greenvase4 Greenvase5



  1. ScrappyMags says:

    True, but some are more rare than others. Some colors/patterns are HIGHLY sought for their rarity while others are very easy to locate. This vase was pretty unique with it’s markings and the ability to find the actual maker/artist, etc. Thanks for commenting! I LOVE depression glass!

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