You don’t have to like Depression glass to love Anchor Hocking’s Art Deco “Manhattan.” Its distinctive concentric circle pattern goes well with just about any decor, vintage or modern. It’s also one of the few Depression glass patterns in which the clear glass, not pink, is preferred by collectors.
Manhattan was produced between 1938 and 1943, and original colors were clear (crystal), pink, ruby and iridized. Items included ashtrays, tumblers, pitchers, plates, relish dishes and accessories such as salt and pepper shakers.
In 1987, Anchor Hocking produced its Park Avenue pattern as a tribute to Manhattan.
You can often find both Manhattan and Park Avenue at flea markets and in antique stores, or in online shops such as Etsy. If you don’t mind including complementary reproductions in your collection, you’re not alone. Many collectors, for example, prefer the Hazel Atlas salt and pepper shakers, since their round shape seems to fit better than Hocking’s square version. And a lot of people combine both Manhattan and Park Avenue, since they’re so similar.
But if you’re a purist or simply want to get what you’re paying for, there are things you can look for in your search:
– The Manhattan vase, sherbet dish and tumblers have a “bubble” foot. The Park Avenue version is plain.
– Measure the dishes and bowls, and demand accuracy when ordering online. A Park Avenue cereal bowl is exactly 6″ in diameter. Manhattan is 5-1/4.” In fact, all Manhattan bowls are 1-15/16″ in height. Anything higher is a reproduction. And none of the original cereal bowls had handles.
– For some strange reason, Manhattan saucers will not have a cup ring.
– Relish trays should have inserts in pink, clear and Royal Ruby. However, the center insert should always be clear.
– Check the color. Tumblers in original Manhattan were available only in clear or green. Blue is the 1980s Park Avenue version.
The following items are extremely difficult to find these days, and should command higher prices:
– Pink cups, saucers
– Pink dinner plates (10-1/4″ diameter) are the rarest of all!
– Royal Ruby juice pitchers
– Iridized tumblers may also be difficult to find
If you’re in doubt, check an encyclopedia of Depression glass (Gene Florence has written several), or ask an expert.
The good news is that both of the Manhattan and Park Avenue patterns are still relatively inexpensive – so it’s easy to start a collection. Just keep in mind that older glass may not have been tempered, so watch any sudden temperature changes!