My Milk Glass Collection

If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.  Mark Twain (1835-1910) 


Collecting milk glass is a passion of mine.  I guess my number one reason for loving milk glass is it’s color – WHITE.  I realized I was becoming compulsive about painting everything white when my 3 year-old son brought me a toy car and asked me to paint it white for him.  White is a relaxing, soothing color and everything pops against its’ backdrop.

Milk glass is extremely easy to collect.  It’s generally cheaper than depression glass and much easier to find (especially when you can’t tell depression glass from any other colored glass).  You can find milk glass at yard sales, flea-markets, and of course, antique stores.  I’ve accumulated all of my milk glass from yard sales.  Pieces range in price from twenty-five cents to twenty dollars or more.  Price varies depending on the age of the glass and its’ scarceness.

I bought my first piece of milk glass when I was about nine years-old.  The old crotchety woman across the street was moving and had an indoor sale.  I trembled at the thought of entering her home, but my friend and neighbor was a few years older than I and of course much braver.  Hiding behind her, I entered the house of doom.  You see this woman wasn’t your typical jolly grandmotherly type of woman.  She was skinny, had a puff of white hair, and a mean glint in her eye that flamed when she saw a child.  Waving her cane in her bony hand, she’d yell at us for riding our bikes on “HER” sidewalk, messing up her pebbles, and being too noisy.  For me, daring to enter her home was a lot like David daring to face Goliath, except I didn’t dare bring 5 of her smooth stones.

As it turns out, I purchased a milk glass candy dish for my mom with my fifty cents.  I wish I had that dish now, but my sentimental mother doesn’t keep anything I give her.  Thanks mom.  I’ll always remember.  Moving on…

I always assumed all milk glass dated to the 1940’s – 1950’s; however, Milk Glass dates all the way into the 1800’s.  While most of the items found in yard sales today are from the 40’s and 50’s, older Milk Glass is highly valued and more expensive.  According to what I’ve learned, Milk Glass that has markings on the bottom is newer (circa 1940’s – 1950’s).  Here are a few pictures of my collection.


I love this little lunch collection.  Anyone want to join me for sandwiches?  I got these glasses and dishes in Maine this summer.


I use the glass on the right for our toothbrushes and toothpaste.  It sits prettily on my bathroom counter.


I have several different patterns of milk glass.  I believe this is called the quilted pattern.


This cake-stand is easily my favorite!  I love making cakes and they look so pretty (and often lopsided) sitting atop a great glass stand like this one.


These jars are the most recent addition to my collection.  Aren’t they cute?  I love the red lids.  At only twenty-five cents each, I think they were a steal.


So what do you collect?


28 thoughts on “My Milk Glass Collection

  1. Dan

    I had a neighbor about many years ago who would give me candy as a child from an old milk glass candy dish with a lid. when she passed away at the age of 93, her old husband handed me the candy dish, and told me she only ever kept it full for me. I still have it, it sits in my office empty. its a octagon shaped dish with birds and flowers on the side. it does not have a makers mark on it. I would be very interested in knowing if its worth anything.
    The New Yorker

  2. All The Pretty Dishes

    I just purchased 4 of the milk glass tumblers exactly like the ones displayed in your second photo. Do you know if they are safe to use for drinking? I can’t find anything on the web that specifically talks about those particular tumblers and food safety.

  3. Janet

    I just stumbled onto your site. I love milk glass, too. Yours are very nice. I think the cake stand is my favorite, too. I have a cake stand, I think they are neat, if you turn them over, the stand makes a vase. I have a punch bowl that I love that I got at a yard sale. I have my collection on my site, if you want to come take a look. I have a link to mine on my sidebar.

  4. Pingback: A Gift Of Heart & Hand « the domestic fringe

  5. Rebecca

    I love your milk glass collection. I have a pitcher and glasses I inherited from my grandmother. My mother bought it for her when she (mom) first got married so that would have been 1949 or 1950. She bought it in a jewelry store. It is not marked so I don’t know the maker. The pattern is similar to Old Quilt but it is not. I’ve never seen another one like it and was hoping you or your fellow bloggers might help me identify it. Is there some way I could submit a photo? Oh, and I’m going to try that sweet potato biscuit recipe in the morning! And the french toast casserole next time I have company for breakfast! I’m going to enjoy this site!

  6. Susan

    Beautiful collection. I collect milk glass, and have a passion for african violets as well. I have never found a milkglass african violet pot! I will continue to search . . . 🙂

  7. Jenn

    Neat collection. My Mom has the sugar and creamer set. I don’t collect anything; seems that once you start, collections seem to take over the house! Though an old set of China dishes and antique pieces would be nice. The only thing we seem to have collected….guitars (7 plus one bass guitar). I know it’s a little crazy (and loud around here).

  8. Steph

    I have to admit, my eyes glazed over looking at all those white glass items. Your collection is too clay-ssey for me.

    What do I collect? Um, books? Dust bunnies? Yarn? Clothes that I will never fit in again?

    Did I mention books?

    Okay seriously: I really do collect coffee cups from the places we visit. I’m running out of room to store them, but I love it. Right now I’m drinking decaf with pumpkin spice creamer in a cup from the Cotswolds. Awesome.

  9. thedomesticfringe Post author

    Cher, I’ll have to google black tiarra glassware and find a picture. I have noticed that when it comes to old junk, prices are much cheaper in the North. When I visited some antique stores near Atlanta, I couldn’t believe the prices of milk glass. My husband still teases that he’s going to sell my collection down there.

    Robin, I definitely think shoes qualify as a collectible.

    Hat Chick, I do love to use my junk.

    Cathy, can’t wait to see your glasses.

    Mom, one word – EXCUSES!

    Carin, my junk collects its’ fair share of dust.

    1. LaurenATL

      I live in Atlanta and I know what you mean by the prices of antiques. Since I live here I know where to go. Yard sales! I have these grape vine canisters but the top of mine are wood and have sugar, coffee, tea and flour written in a scipt font. Love your collection! I got mine from my mother.

  10. TCKK

    How beautiful. I especially love the jars. I really don’t collect anything right now. But I have collected tea pots in the past. I have about 8 or 10. I also used to collect Noah’s Ark stuff. I can’t even tell you how many of those I have. But right now, nothing because I just don’t have room for any more collections.

  11. Mom

    If I recall correctly, you purchased that milk glass for me to replace the candy dish certain young kids broke while horsing around in the living room. Also, if I recall correctly, the replacement dish meet with an “accident” too!

  12. Cathy

    This is really weird. I was looking in the china cabinet the other day for hidden Christmas items and I ran across a collection of glasses that I got from my mom. I don’t know if they are milk glass but they look like it and I believe she has more. I will have to check into this. On another note I don’t “collect” any one items..I do however collect a lot of junk. Thanks for sharing and maybe I will pull them out and post for you to see. Maybe you can give me some tips/hints/ or info.

  13. Hat Chick

    Wow – your collection is stunning. I love collecting old things. I think it’s a way of honoring those who have come before us….the craftsmanship, the creativity, the materials, the processes used back then. I love even more that you use your collection (the toothbrush holder is a great idea!)

  14. Debbie York

    My mother collected milk glass so it holds a special place in my heart. I have her punchbowl set I bought for her from a local jewelry store with my first paycheck back in the 60’s and a few other pieces. My sister took half and I got half. I say I don’t collect anything until I look around and oh, there’s a collection of mercury glass and oh, over there is my shell art and oh yeah, I forgot about the church plates. Well, you know how it is. Debbie

  15. Janna Qualman

    Beautiful collection! When it comes to antiques (I’m an avid fan), I’m drawn to crocks. Can’t have enough of ’em. Well… I can, because often they’re too expensive. But I lurve them!

  16. robinaltman

    So pretty!!! The milk glass is really nice, and I love the story about the mean old lady. I wonder why she had the pretty milk glass in the first place? It certainly didn’t fit her personality.

    I don’t really collect anything, but I buy a lot of shoes. I’m not sure that counts.

  17. Cher

    If I had been wearing socks this morning, you would have knocked them off me with your collection. It is beautiful! Like you, I especially love the cake stand! Prices down here are much higher than the steal you got on your jars.

    A friend just gave me a small collection of black tiarra glassware, which seems to point out the vast difference between you and me. You, in your purity, paint everything white and love milk glass. I paint everything black and like black tiarra glass. Need I say more?

    The Texas Woman


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