Telling Between Real and Reproduction Cherry Blossom Depression Glass

Cherry Blossom is just one of the hundreds of Depression glass patterns produced. It happens to by my favorite so it’s the easiest to write about for me!

The reproduction Cherry Blossom butter dish is on left—the actual butter dish is on right.

The reproduction Cherry Blossom butter dish is on left—the actual butter dish is on right.

Cherry Blossom was produced by the Jeannette Glass Co., located in Jeannette, Pa., from 1930-39. It was produced in the standard pink and green, but a great set can also be put together in Delphite. Additionally, a limited number of pieces can be found in Crystal, Jadeite and an Amberina shade. Pink is most prevalent, however, as it was produced for the entire production run, where green was discontinued after 1935. Is green impossible to find these days? No, but it will be just a little more challenging to complete your set.

Cherry Blossom is also one of the Top 5 most-collected Depression Glass patterns! The beautiful pattern is not only eye catching, but has a variety of pieces making it quite useful. It also can be found just about everywhere, making it a little easier to collect than some patterns. Unfortunately, this has also made it a target of copiers, as it is one of the most reproduced of all depression patterns.

When I identify a reproduction (repro) in a person’s collection, I always hear “it can’t be, as it was my grandmother’s, and she wouldn’t have reproductions. She had this set 50 years!” Unfortunately, they were making repros in the 1970s, and in some cases, even earlier. If the collector was alive and possibly buying replacement pieces, it is quite possible many collections have reproductions among the genuine articles.

Trying to figure out if it’s real or a repro can be difficult with this pattern, as there is not really a common thread to look for in the pieces. I’ve also found there are different levels of repros with this pattern! Some of the older reproductions are very good and have slipped by the best of us, while the latter made repros coming out of China are very bad and easily caught.

My first recommendation to anyone collecting a pattern is to buy a book! Barbara & Jim Mauzy’s “Comprehensive Handbook of Depression Glass” (a Schiffer book) is a good place to start. The hardback book has great pictures and each piece is identified so you’re not guessing what you’re looking at. There is also a pocket guide that you can carry with you when you shop. The pocket version does not have as many photos, but it has a place where you can keep track of the number of pieces you have so you know what you need (as long as you keep it updated). Both books list detailed information on the pieces that are reproduced. Of course there are many other great books out there, but I find this is the most comprehensive and informative.

I recently helped a dealer identify some Cherry Blossom glass, and the set included a reproduction version of a butter dish. These are a big seller since they are a high-ticket item. She felt bad she had been taken, but was kind enough to let me photograph the piece to use in this article! So let’s study how we can tell if the butter dish is real or a repro!

The first things I try to tell people learn your pattern; learn how it feels in your hands as well as what it looks like. Study your pieces. There is a feel to Depression Glass that is different from all other glass. That’s something that cannot really be explained but you will learn over time. Just as Depression Glass has a certain feel, reproduced glass has a certain feel of its own. Many of the cheaply made repos feel oily. When you touch the glass it just has a slick feeling to it. I always say I want to wash my hands after touching it! But be careful though with this rule, as French Opalescent Glass can feel oily, too, and it’s not a reproduction! Cherry Blossom though should not feel oily!

Many times on repros the coloring is off. It can either be too light of a pink, too orange of a pink or too deep of a green. Some colors were never made in certain patterns, so that is the biggest give a way! You will also find there are exceptions to every rule, so be careful. Sick glass—glass that did not process correctly or glass that has been “reheated”—can have an orange shade to it. The color of glass is derived from how hot the furnaces were during manufacturing. In those days, they did not have a perfect measurement for temperature, and because of the nature of this glass, they didn’t really care, either. The shades may not match because of this reason alone.

I’ve also purchased a collection of Depression Glass and asked the women what had happened to her glass? All her glass, all different patterns, had an orange tint to it. Many pieces and patterns were never reproduced, so I knew this wasn’t the reason. She couldn’t believe I knew something happened, but she had suffered a very intense fire. The glass had been “reheated” and had developed an orange tint to it. I’m not a chemist and can’t explain how that happens (probably something to do with molecules). Just to show you there are exceptions to every rule, so you have to look further when identifying a reproduction. I can’t stress this enough.

Now, let’s break down how I identified this butter dish as a repro. First, the pink color was just a tad lighter than usual; almost a washed out pink. The feel of the glass was heavy, and the base had an especially rougher feel than Depression glass usually does. When I say rougher, I don’t mean rough edges; I mean the entire feel of the glass. Again, these two identification points are something that comes with time; don’t expect to run out tomorrow and say this feels like a repo as you may pass up some great glass, I did when first starting out.

Next, one of the common threads in the reproduction of this pattern is the flowering portion of this pattern. On some of the repros the flowers look as if your 7-year-old drew them! I always worried how was I ever going to be able to tell this, but when you see it for the first time, you will say, “Oh, that’s what they mean!” If you have any piece of Cherry Blossom with this type of flower, it is a repo. Take a look at the flowers on this butter dish.

Two views of reproduction Cherry Blossom butter dish lid panel. The flowers look like a child’s drawing.

Two views of reproduction Cherry Blossom butter dish lid panel. The flowers above look like a child’s drawing.

Notice the outline of flower; the pistils and stems look hand-drawn, while the center is just a circle.

Notice the outline of this flower; the pistils and stems look hand-drawn, while the center is just a circle.

Two views of an actual Cherry Blossom butter dish lid panel.

Two views (above and right) of an actual Cherry Blossom butter dish lid panel.

 Flowers look real, filled in and definitely not hand-drawn.

The flowers have a more realistic look, filled in and definitely not hand-drawn.

In this case, you can really stop at the flower identification. But let’s look at a few other hints. The pattern impression on the repro butter dish lid starts approximately ¼ inch from the edge. This impression can also be found on the footed tumblers. Also, when you look at the lines going around the dish, the genuine piece will have the impression of three lines. This feature is something that was missed on many of the reproduction butter dishes, where you will only find one line going around. Be careful with this, though, as sometimes the real butter dishes were not filled into the mold properly, or pressed hard enough and the three lines do not go solidly around the lid. Don’t discount it as real for that reason.

The reproduction Cherry Blossom butter dish on left has only one visible mold line around base of lid, as compared to the genuine Cherry Blossom butter dish lid, which shows three mold lines around the lid.

The reproduction Cherry Blossom butter dish on left has only one visible mold line around base of lid, as compared to the genuine Cherry Blossom butter dish lid, which shows three mold lines around the lid.

Now let’s look at the ways to tell if the bottom is authentic.

The oily feel we mentioned previously carries through to the bottom, as well as the “childish” flowers. Here, however, to find those flowers you need to look on the rim that goes around the edge of the butter dish, where you would hold it. There is only a small section of flower, but is easily spotted.

The flowers on rim of this reproduction butter dish base again look as if they were drawn by a child.

The flowers on rim of this reproduction base again look as if they were drawn by a child.

 The flowers on rim of this genuine CHerry Blossom butter dish base are more realistic.

The flowers on rim of this genuine Cherry Blossom butter dish base are more realistic.

The final test for authenticity would be the pattern on the inside of the bottom of the butter dish. This comes in two forms. First, the pattern of leaves, branches and cherries again has an authentic look to it on the actual butter dish, where on the repo the leaves look hand-drawn, the cherries are more like round circles on a repo. The biggest give-a-way though is on the actual butter dish base the pattern extends to where the base meets the sides of the dish, but on a repo base the pattern stops approximately a quarter-inch in from this point. This leaves a small circular border of plain glass around the bottom.

The leaves on a genuine Cherry Blossom butter dish base have an authentic look to them, with the cherries shaded for a realistic appearance. The pattern of the branches and cherries, as well as the tip of the leaves, extends to the edge of the base.

The leaves on a genuine Cherry Blossom butter dish base have an authentic look to them, with the cherries shaded for a realistic appearance. The pattern of the branches and cherries, as well as the tip of the leaves, also extend out to the edge of the base.

The leaves, cherries and stems in the reproduction Cherry Blossom butter dish base appear to have been hand-drawn. Additionally, the leaves do not extend to the edge of the dish, nor does the stem; they leave approximately a quarter-inch of empty space around the dish.

The leaves, cherries and stems in the reproduction Cherry Blossom butter dish base appear to have been hand-drawn. Additionally, the leaves do not extend to the edge of the dish, nor does the stem; they leave approximately a quarter-inch of empty space around the dish.

Now you are armed with a few ways to tell if your Cherry Blossom is real or a repo, especially if you come across a butter dish. As time goes on you will learn the feel of the glass and be able to tell maybe by that alone. If you’re not sure, however, it’s better to pass up a piece than to pay too much for a reproduction. Even when I know a piece of glass is not a reproduction, I’ve had times where it just didn’t feel right to me, so I passed it up. I’ve made some big mistakes, but on the other hand, I need to please myself first in buying glass.

Take your new-found knowledge and test it out. However, until you’re sure you have perfected it, don’t tell someone their dish is a repo. Wait until you can tell for sure. Some will take you at your word and some will never believe you no matter what you say to convince them. I refer back to the famous quote “this came from an estate where the woman was in her 90s; it must be real!” Now you know the truth!

Linda Carannante is a WorthPoint Worthologist specializing in Depression Glass. Visit Linda at www.TLCAntiques.net to find authentic Cherry Blossom Depression Glass as well as many other patterns.

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No Comments

  1. Becky S says:

    I have a 4 pc set of Pink Cherry Blossom Depression glass childs tea set with creamer and sugar. Can you please give me a idea of what this set is worth? It is very old and in excellent condition.

    Thanks

  2. Kayla F says:

    Thank you for your pointers! I just purchased a 12″ platter for my mother as a Christmas present, to replace hers that was broken several years ago. I wasn’t sure if it would be real or repro but the price was so low even a repro would have been okay, but looking at your pictures of the leaves and flowers I believe I got a genuine piece. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see mom’s face at Christmas!

  3. Bernice Johnson says:

    Could you tell me the approx. price of a true auth. Pink Cherry Blossom Salt and Pepper? I cant find this anywhere.thank you sooo much!
    Bernice Johnson

  4. ccmnova says:

    I have the elusive cherry blossom 9″ platter in perfect condition and would like to send a photo in for comment.