Determining Identification Marks on Milk Glass

Milk glass has been around since the 16th century and now has become a popular type of glass for collector’s items around the house. Although milk glass can be quite easy to identify- milk glass looks like milky glass, usually in a white, opaque or bluish color, it can often be hard to identify the when, where and value of your milk glass pieces. So get out your glasses and get ready for the rules when it comes to identifying milk glass marks.

Determining the Time

Although milk glass has been around since the 16th century, today’s collectable items usually stem from the 1840’s and newer. However, there are different degrees of value depending on the time period. For example, those made in the 19th century are considered quite valuable but those made in the early 20th century is also considered worthy.  The 20th century pieces that are most valuable are those made during World War II. It was during the 1950’s and 1960’s that milk glass became really popular and was also mass produced. Although these designs are still quite pretty, they can also considered less valuable.

Determining the Pattern

Milk glass that was made during the 1800’s had certain patterns such as the Block and Fan pattern and the Button and Arches pattern. Both of these are a clear indication of value. Other patterns to look for when it comes to 19th century milk glass include the Holly, Stars and Striped and the Ribbed Grape pattern. However, keep in mind that some milk glass contained no patterns at all. Another way to determine the milk glass value is by looking at the actual style. During the 1880’s, figurines, milk glasses, candy dishes and animals figurines were rising in popularity.

Determining the Color

In most instances, the deeper the white color of the glass, the better the quality of the milk glass. Deeper white milk glass tends to come from the 19th century and is usually considered more valuable. Milk glass that was made in the 1880’s is usually duller in color and more opaque than milky white. Do not pass these off as worthless; however, they are actually sought after pieces by collectors.  The more recent milk glass, from the 20th century has moved into the dye with milk glass being produced in pinks, blues, greens and purples as well as the traditional white milky color. To determine if your dishes, cups, etc are in fact milk glass, always look for the ‘milky’ color- that thick, creamy texture that is a great indication of true milk glass.

Valuable milk glass can be very hard to spot, and thus, the best option when it comes to identification markings, is to take your milk glass to an appraiser. They will be able to spot the time and value of your milk glass. In the meantime, make sure you take care of your milk glass collectables- keep them dust free, never put them in the dishwasher and try to keep them away from young children who could easily drop or crack or precious milk glass.