How to Identify Sandwich Glass
Sandwich glass is named after mold processed glassware made in Sandwich, Mass. It is defined by its flower, scroll, and historical-theme patterns. Patterns have slight variances and come in many shapes and colors. Generally, the earlier pieces have less decoration and simpler designs.
Things You Will Need
- Magnifying glass
- Books on Sandwich glass
- Web access
- Access to auctions and antique outlets
Decide exactly what price range, what company and kinds of pieces you want to collect. A seller should mention if a piece is a reissue and give a date of reissue. Reissues made in short runs can become valuable. Anchor Hocking forest green scarce pieces have high resale value. Ask the dealer to guarantee authenticity, or if he will accept refunds.
Watch for dealers who misname Sandwich glass pieces. Watch for fakes grouped in with genuine pieces at auctions and estate sales. If you suspect a fake, ask the seller specific questions about the piece.
It may be difficult to determine who manufactured a piece of Sandwich glass. Before collecting, talk to expert dealers and auctioneers. Join online glass collection communities. Earliest examples have applied handles and rims. Sandwich glass is unleaded. It is very hard and resists scratches.
Distinguish Originals, Reproductions, Reissues and Fakes
There are no company marks on Sandwich glass. Originals may be identified by wear marks on the bottom. Molds were crude in originals so the seams are rough-cut. Reproductions are desirable. They are made by one of the companies that made Sandwich glass.
Reissued means a company makes a new run of glass from the original mold.
A fake is an noncollectable imitation that is not manufactured by one of the companies that makes Sandwich glass.
Distinguish the four kinds. The four glass companies that manufactured Sandwich glass are Anchor Hocking, Duncan and Miller, Indiana and Westmoreland.
Indiana Glass manufactured Sandwich glass from the 1920s through the 1930s. From the 1970s to 1998, Tiara Exclusives were molded using Indiana’s pattern and some acquired Duncan Miller molds. Look for long separated scrolls beside flowers in a simple pattern. The slightly curved flower is round with plain petals. The scroll is wider at the bottom and shaped like an “M". Colors include clear, teal, white, amber, red, two blues, two greens, orange and purple.
The Early American Sandwich glass made from 1924 to 1955 by Duncan Miller is excellent quality. It can be identified by the scrolls which connect in an elongated diamond. Duncan Miller sold some of its molds to Indiana Glass, and thus can be found in Tiara colors. The flowers are detailed with relief. The centers of alternating petals have vertical lines. Original colors were clear, amber, pink, green, red and blue.
Anchor Hocking was marketed in store promotions from 1939 to 1964. Most distinguishable are the second lines inside the flower petals. The flowers are curved. The scrollwork is more confined with a center “V”. Colors include clear, amber, forest green, pink, ruby, and white or ivory.
Westmoreland glass is uncommon. It was manufactured from 1920 through 1960 in the Princess Feather pattern. The flowers are in relief with little detail. The scroll pattern is similar to Duncan Miller with an oval replacing the diamond.
Patricia Johnson is a writer/editor with 20 years experience. Johnson edited The Green Tricycle and co-administered at the Internet Writing Workshop. She is published in poetry journals, magazines, and online. Johnson has teaching and fine arts degrees from the University of Iowa.