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Pottery & Glass Buying Guide

Tags:  pottery |  glass | murano | blenko | mccoy Write a guide!

Shop for beautiful pottery & glass in every shade and shape, from every era and corner of the globe. Whether you're trying to put together a top-notch collection or are just looking to complete your retro dinnerware set, you'll find a world of hidden treasures on eBay.

Discover Pottery & Glass Styles


Discover Pottery & Glass Styles

From famous-name glassmakers such as Murano, Blenko, and Spode, to treasured pottery and ceramics from Arabia, Blue Ridge, Lenox, Wedgwood, Rosenthal, and Roseville, popular pottery & glass collectibles include:

  • Milk glass: Milk glass pieces are often an opaque, milky white, but may also be found in blue and green. Antique pieces may show translucence at the edges. Animal shapes (e.g., bunnies, hens) are especially popular. Historians believe that glassmakers in 18th century Europe created milk glass to serve as a substitute for the very expensive Chinese porcelain that was fashionable at the time.

  • Murano: Toward the end of the 13th century, the island of Murano became a glass-making powerhouse, in part because its glassmakers were the only ones who knew how to make mirrors and other forms of specialty glassware. Murano glass is still synonymous with the finest Italian art glass. Murano currently exports traditional products like mirrors and glassware, as well as art glass such as paperweights, glass beads, necklaces, and knickknacks.

  • Early American pattern glass: Pattern glass was extremely popular from 1850 to 1890. The patterns originally helped to hide any defects in the machine-pressed glass. As many as 1,200 patterns may have been made. Many clear glass pieces exist, and some patterns were also made in colors such as blue, green, and amethyst.

  • Carnival glass: Carnival glass was also made in a wide array of patterns. Manufactured from 1895 to 1924, the glass was coated with a metallic salt solution that created a multicolored iridescence. When the style lost its popularity, the glassware was often used as a prize for carnival games, and the name stuck.

  • Fiestaware: Fiestaware is still manufactured today, but the vintage form is most popular as a collectible. First produced in 1936, the original colors were red, cobalt blue, ivory, yellow, and green. Modern Fiestaware (made since 1986) has been produced in 17 colors.

  • Red Wing Pottery: Formed in 1878 as Red Wing Stoneware Inc., Red Wing Pottery is still in production in Red Wing, Minnesota today. The pottery comes in a variety of forms, including coolers, crocks, and jugs. Although not all Red Wing pottery has identification marks (cups, for example), you’ll usually find marks on the bottom or sides of an authentic piece. Marks include the full name of one of the original Red Wing companies, abbreviations of the company names, and impressed or raised stars.

  • McCoy Pottery: In 1910, Nelson McCoy and his father, J.W. McCoy, joined forces to create the Nelson McCoy Sanitary Stoneware Company. In addition to plates, bowls, and mugs, McCoy pottery includes whimsical planters, vases, and cookie jars.


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Check Pottery & Glass Condition


Check Pottery & Glass Condition

While pottery and glass doesn’t have to be in perfect condition to be perfectly gorgeous, the condition of an item can affect its value. Here are a few things to consider before buying:

  • Chips: These may be shallow (close to the surface and not immediately visible) or deep (visible at first glance and easily felt). Flakes are commonly defined as shallow chips that are less than ¼ inch, while nicks are thought to be deep chips of less than ¼ inch. Also, pinpoint nicks are tiny, round nicks.

  • Cracks: A crack may go entirely through a piece, affecting its structural integrity or external appearance. Small, narrow hairline cracks don’t affect structural integrity, and aren’t easily visible. And crazing is a series of hairline, web-like cracks in the surface of weathered materials.

  • Scratches: These can be light (like the marks made by using utensils) or deep (penetrating into the surface of an item and able to be felt).

  • Stains: Can be left permanently by water or food in contact with a vessel for a long time.


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Find Pottery & Glass on eBay


Find Pottery & Glass on eBay

Once you know what type of pottery and glass you want, go to the Pottery & Glass portal, click Glass or Pottery & China, and start searching for item listings on eBay.

  • Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for Art Glass, Glassware, Art Pottery, China, Dinnerware, and more. Keep clicking, and you’ll be able to display items by brand.

  • Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find a hard-to-find green Lalique frog, type "Lalique frog green rare" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores, tell sellers what you want by creating a posting on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and get notified by email when a match becomes available.


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Buy Pottery & Glass With Confidence


Buy Pottery & Glass With Confidence

Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your purchase

Carefully read the details in item listings.

  • Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.

  • If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.

  • Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.

  • Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.

  • What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have?

  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?

  • Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the unlikely event that you don't receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection will cover your purchase price plus original shipping. Learn more.


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