I must say I am not an expert in the art of collecting these precious items however I have recently started collecting them myself as a hobby but also because it is part of my job. I go out hunting for these items so I can bring them to you.
Murano Glass: Dates back to the 12th century, where all the great Italian masters in the Island of Murano, Venice made the art of glass-blowing a tradition that has survived to these days, the art of glass-blowing hasn't declined on the contrary it is now very much sought after, beware if it's not made in Murano, Italy then it is not murano.
Unfortunately most of the so called murano glass in the internet is not Murano, in most cases it is usually 'murano style' made in Asia or Brazil. Don't despair as there are still out there true Murano pieces that you will learn to identify in time and with a bit more experience and exposure to real Murano (read reference books, research in the internet, go to museums) soon you will be able to tell the real ones from the repros.
Murano glass comes in many shapes and styles, you can find vases, paperweight, jewellery, sculptures, figurines. The following are different styles of Murano glass: Reticello, Zanfirico, Murrina, Golden leaves, these are very helpful to learn and understand about the different styles when collecting Italian Murano Glass.
Depression Glass: I recently sold a beautiful piece of original depression glass and as I said in my description it is not about depression, but rather 'the depression', of the mid 20's. Most households could not afford the expensive glass, so they'd buy or find depression glass pieces as "prizes" inside boxes of oatmeal and flour.
You will find that all depression glassware is anything but depressing. On the contrary, they're bright, beautiful greens, blues, reds, yellows and pinks (maybe they did it on purpose, to brighten up people's lives in those depressing years).
In short, depression glass is less than perfect, it is characterized by its bright colours with flaws and air bubbles to help constitute its authenticity, so don't make the mistake of discounting the value of these highly collectable pieces because of that! Althought some reproductions can make copies with air bubbles, flaws and everything else to make it look real.
Art Glass: There is modern contemporary art glass and antique art deco, art noveau art glass I favour the latter it is such a great challenge to be able to come across one of these beauties they're so rare but nevertheless it is a thrill to collect! At the moment I can see a lot of art glass produced in Asia some of them are worth collecting and some are not. I have found a nice piece of green and yellow modern art glass which I believe is a collectors item, hold onto it for another 5 or 10 years and the price will go up and it will become a sought after piece of collection.
Art deco is my thing I love this era, I love the furniture, the architecture, the fashion, the jewellery, the art glass you cannot talk about art deco art glass without mentioning the names of Rene Lalique, Nancy Daum (her work is one of my favourites), Emile Galle, Schneider and other french and european art glass artists.
Well, I hope that this guide will enlighten a few of your questions and also introduce you to the amazing world of glass collecting art deco art glass, depression glass and vintage glass collecting. Until next time take care and don't forget to visit my store. Maya my Online store