Most Valuable Carnival Glass Antiques
Exactly what is carnival glass? You’ve likely seen it (or maybe even collected it) and not realized it. Carnival glass is a specific type of pressed glass that has an oil-like sheen to its surface. Popular in the 1920s, it’s still collected today.
Carnival glass started as a low-end imitation of more expensive glass-blowing techniques. Then it became a collectible itself. Most antique carnival glass is worth a few hundred dollars. But the rarest pieces are worth thousands.
25. Northwood Electric Blue Carnival Bowl
Sold: April 22, 2012
Bottom Line: Northwood Electric Blue Carnival Bowl
A brilliant bowl with a scalloped edge and matte glaze, this bowl is designed to be reminiscent of a wicker basket filled with flowers.
This is an excellent example of Northwood's aesthetic and the "electric blue" color, just slightly brighter than dark cobalt.
24. Imperial Electric Purple Carnival Glass Plate
Sold: July 30, 2005
Bottom Line: Imperial Electric Purple Carnival Glass Plate
Not all carnival glass was made by Millersburg, Northwood, or Fenton. Imperial made this electric purple plate.
It has an extraordinarily unique design: a pastoral setting with a classically influenced border.
23. Millersburg Elk's Bowl
Sold: May 21, 2020
Bottom Line: Millersburg Elk's Bowl
Oranges and yellows were a little more difficult to create back when carnival glass was first made, so this fiery plate is already quite rare.
Inset into the transparent plate is a noble elk (hence "Elk's Bowl") surrounded by leaves and branches.
22. Gerurtz Brother's Furniture
Sold: May 21, 2020
Bottom Line: Gerurtz Brother's Furniture
This is a piece of collectible ephemera. The carnival glass plate reads "Gerurtz Brother's Furniture & Clothing. Union Ave & East Burnside."
The piece is a treasured collectible for those who love carnival glass and advertising alike.
21. Dugan Carnival Glass Christmas Compote
Sold: Oct. 2, 2015
Bottom Line: Dugan Carnival Glass Christmas Compote
An incredibly ornate and deeply colored amethyst glass, this rare pattern is difficult to find.
Little berries, leaves and stems are strewn all along the chalice, which stands at around 10 inches high.
20. Northwood Tree Trunk Funeral Vase
Sold: Oct. 02, 2015
Bottom Line: Northwood Tree Trunk Funeral Vase
This complex "elephant foot" vase was designed by Northwood. This particular one has a small factory flaw, or it might command more.
The entire vase is designed to be reminiscent of "bark." Though the iridescence of carnival glass is firmly artificial, a significant portion of the designs invokes nature.
19. Dugan Butterfly and Tulip Glass Bowl
Sold: April 13, 2013
Bottom Line: Dugan Butterfly and Tulip Glass Bowl
A beautiful flowing design and dark, almost chocolatey purple glass set this Dugan glass bowl off.
The bowl features a scalloped rim, four ball feet, and a feathered scroll pattern, which includes a beautiful butterfly, flower, and leaves.
18. Northwood Poppy Show Plate
Sold: Oct. 8, 2010
Bottom Line: Northwood Poppy Show Plate
Rare due to its color and its quality, this Northwood plate is the perfect example of the "Poppy Show" mold.
The Poppy Show design was an extremely popular one that can be found in a multitude of colors. In this plate, it's on an opal, iridescent backing, which is a particularly rare color.
17. Millersburg Blue Peacock Bowl
Bottom Line: Millersburg Blue Peacock Bowl
You'll find quite a few bowls and plates in this design, with a brilliant glass finish and a picture of an animal in the center. These collectible bowls were produced by Millersburg in a variety of colors, patterns and values.
This particular bowl is in good condition with a particularly rare edging.
16. Northwood Blue Carnival Glass Corn Vase
Bottom Line: Northwood Blue Carnival Glass Corn Vase
Here's a very rare, blue corn vase by Northwood. In better condition, it could fetch up to $10,000.
That's because this vase is designed with some tremendous care. Even the bottom of the vase has a flowery design.
The vase is particularly desirable because of its bright blue, cobalt color and the heaviness of its iridescence.
15. Farmyard Square Bowl
Sold: March 12, 2022
Bottom Line: Farmyard Square Bowl
A purple iridescent square bowl, this Farmyard classic features roosters and a carefully pearled/scalloped edge.
In excellent condition, it is a rare example of the "orange, yellow, red" colors that are frequently sought-after in Carnival glass.
14. Early Blue Carnival Glass Dish
Sold: Aug. 18, 2006
Bottom Line: Early Blue Carnival Glass Dish
A gorgeous blue Carnival glass dish with very little wear, this is an excellent example of what a good Carnival glass piece can fetch on the open market.
Color matters when it comes to Carnival glass. The rarest colors are red, yellow, purple and green. A blue plate like this would fetch much more in one of these more desirable colors.
13. Millersburg Green Peacock Bowl
Sold: June 28, 2010
Bottom Line: Millersburg Green Peacock Bowl
Here's an excellent example of the stamping of these plates. Compare the Millersburg Blue Peacock Bowl to the Millersburg Green Peacock Bowl. The stamping is the same, but the appearance is dramatically different.
This shallow plate is particularly unique because of its color.
12. Kiwi Antique Amethyst Carnival Glass
Sold: Feb. 19, 2022
Bottom Line: Kiwi Antique Amethyst Carnival Glass
A rare, early carnival glass bowl with some minor imperfections, this bowl is unique in that it displays the Australian Kiwi rather than another, more common bird.
Like other bowls, it has a decorated rim and iridescent design.
11. Dugan Marigold Tumbler
Bottom Line: Dugan Marigold Tumbler
A century old, this is believed to be the only Dugan Marigold Tumbler discovered. Not only is it in great condition, but it's the only one known of this color and this style.
It is believed to have been manufactured somewhere between 1905 and 1929 and likely came in a set.
10. Millersburg Morning Glory Pitcher
Sold: March 25, 2017
Bottom Line: Millersburg Morning Glory Pitcher
A functional pitcher designed in incredibly high, dark chrome, this Millersburg Morning Glory Pitcher is extremely desirable.
Not only is the color rare, but it’s just a very exceptional and notable piece, in part because of the strength of its colors.
9. Northwood Poppy Show Plate
Sold: Aug. 13, 2011
Bottom Line: Northwood Poppy Show Plate
Beautiful and unique pastel colors set this show plate off from the rest. A blue, lightly sparkling background gives way to intricate, chromed flowers at the center.
This show plate is sure to be a showstopper in person, in part because most people would be terrified of accidentally breaking it.
8. Millersburg Hobstar and Feather Vase
Sold: Oct. 6, 2012
Bottom Line: Millersburg Hobstar and Feather Vase
Gorgeous, iridescent colors wrap this vase, which emerges as a brilliant green at the very top. If you’ve ever met a peacock, you know that these colors appear in nature.
You also probably know that peacocks are jerks. But this vase perfectly blends beauty and functionality.
There is only one known in green.
7. Millersburg Flowering Vine
Sold: June 6, 2021
Bottom Line: Millersburg Flowering Vine
The price, $50,000, isn’t bad for a glass flower, is it? This amethyst flowering vine is designed with a sleek, symmetrical handle and a delicate flower that’s decorated with other flowers (flower-ception) at the top.
The whole thing has the beautiful chrome spectrum of carnival glass running through it.
6. Fenton Goddess of Harvest Bowl
Sold: June 13, 2014
Bottom Line: Fenton Goddess of Harvest Bowl
A person, in profile, looks to the left while surrounded by intricate patterns, designs and the iridescent glow of the glass.
This Harvest Bowl likely sold for quite a bit, not just because of its history but also because of its condition.
The brilliant colors of the carnival glass show just as brightly as when they were first created.
5. Cleveland Memorial Souvenir Ashtray
Sold: June 13, 2020
Bottom Line: Cleveland Memorial Souvenir Ashtray
Why is a souvenir ashtray so valuable, you might ask? Actually, if you were born after 1990, you’re probably more confused as to whether a souvenir ashtray existed at all.
But when carnival glass was trendy, everyone smoked. This ashtray is particularly valuable because it’s in a rare color.
4. Northwood Tornado Vase
Sold: June 17, 2017
Bottom Line: Northwood Tornado Vase
A dramatically curved vase intended to evoke the feeling of a tornado, the Northwood Tornado vase is made of a brilliant, bright cobalt blue color.
This particular vase was once part of the record-breaking Engel collection and has changed hands multiple times.
3. Northwood Peacock Vaseline Bowl
Sold: Aug. 24, 2019
Bottom Line: Northwood Peacock Vaseline Bowl
A luminous yellow that glows in the dark, this collectible bowl comes with an incredibly intricate design and the constant feeling that you’re forgetting something (such as getting screened for cancer).
There are very few pieces like this one still out there.
2. Northwood Wisteria Vase in Emerald Green
Sold: Oct. 27, 2018
Bottom Line: Northwood Wisteria Vase in Emerald Green
This vase is nearly more lime green than emerald green — but it still commands emerald prices.
The pitcher mold is made out of bright, green transparent glass with a reddish-brown wash over it.
It is one of the most valuable Northwoods Whimsy items available today.
1. Millersburg People’s Vase in Blue
Sold: June 16, 2018
Bottom Line: Millersburg People’s Vase in Blue
This vase is considered the quintessential carnival glass antique, with a glowing cobalt blue backdrop and a multicolored coating. The People’s Vase is presently in the Millersburg Glass Museum, purchased by its director.
Millersburg Glass was commissioned to make a total of 10 People’s Vases in 1910 for the Netherlands’ royal family. Only eight of these vases are known to have survived. The other two are believed to have been destroyed.
What Makes Carnival Glass Valuable?
Carnival glass is a beautiful and unique type of glassware that was popular in the early 1900s. Today, it is highly sought-after by collectors and can be quite valuable. But there's a lot of Carnival glass out there. Tons and tons of it. Most of it is only worth around $20 to $200.
One of the most important factors is the condition of the piece. Carnival glass that is in excellent condition with no chips or cracks will be worth more. This is rare. They are, after all, glass pieces that could be 100 years old. The color of the glass also plays a role in value. Pieces that are a deep, rich color will be worth more.
The type of carnival glass also affects value. Some of the most valuable pieces are those that were made by well-known manufacturers such as Fenton or Northwood. Pieces that are rare or one-of-a-kind will also be worth more. And generally the older the piece is, the more it's worth. Collectors want to see "early" carnival glass pieces.
Of course, appearance also does matter. A particularly beautiful piece is likely to fetch more, although we can see with the Cleveland Memorial Souvenir Ashtray that isn't always true.
What Is the Rarest Color of Carnival Glass?
While there are many beautiful colors of carnival glass, some are rarer than others. One of the rarest and most valuable colors is purple. Other rare colors include red, orange and yellow.
These colors are less common because they were difficult to produce during the time period when carnival glass was made. Ironically, many collectibles in "less favored" colors become more sought-after and valuable over time.
How Can You Identify Real Carnival Glass?
There are a few ways that you can tell if a piece of carnival glass is real or fake. One way is to look for the mark of the manufacturer. Many manufacturers of carnival glass put their mark on the bottom of the piece. Fenton and Northwood are two of the most prized manufacturers, but there were many more.
"Real" carnival glass is still being made. Generally, you want to know whether it's vintage. Vintage carnival glass comes with a few indicators. Notably, the sheen is actually a little worse in older pieces. Older pieces will usually not have a shine on the bottom but in the visible areas.
If your piece is vibrant throughout, it's an indicator that it's newer rather than older.
Is Depression Glass the Same as Carnival Glass?
Carnival glass and depression glass are often confused because they are both types of glassware that were popular during the early 1900s. However, they are actually quite different.
Depression glass is mass-produced and can be found for relatively low prices. Carnival glass, on the other hand, is more rare and valuable and was occasionally produced for one-off events.
Compared to carnival glass, depression glass remains cheap. Even the most expensive sets are only around $200.