The Madrid Mystery

Tens of cats claimed a porch with a bullet-holed door in a semi-gutted out house in a vacant/occupied neighborhood.   The kitties were pretty fat and happy lazing about all by themselves. A few houses down from the Bullet Kitten house there was a backyard concert that sounded interesting—and probably was even better if you were invited to hear the electric guitar solo up close. And…around the block from where the Music Fest was broadcasting and the Bullet Kittens were lounging there was a great thrift store that is currently my favorite place to go.  My boyfriend took me to this thrift since it is nearby.  More importantly, we went because we had a beautiful piece of paper emblazoned with the words: COUPON FOR 50% OFF.

This trip was the beginning of my plunge into glass obsession in the month of August. The store was really neatly kept and had great stuff on that first day.* I decided not to buy everything in sight and ended up with some pink bowls and a red canister as a starter identification project—the pink bowls will be the focus of this story. I was sure that these bowls were in the Depression glass style, but unsure if they were authentic pieces. At $0.90 for the set of three—I took the risk!

The search for the pattern begins

The search for the pattern begins

The first thing I noticed was that there were two different patterns and sizes to my bowls. I wondered whether one pattern was original and one was reproduction or if both were either original/reproduction and were actually two distinct pieces in a set.

I started to research the pattern. This was harder than I expected. Depression glass is difficult to photograph and most sites I looked at seemed to expect some knowledge of companies and patterns for identification purposes. I turned to Ebay—my best move. Pink Mystery glass seemed to be Madrid Depression glass…or was it?

Originally, the Madrid pattern was made by Federal Glass. However, Federal Glass reissued the Madrid pattern in its “Recollection” glass series during the 1970s. These items are marked with a “76” on the bottom and are therefore easy to identify. Later, Indiana Glass bought the molds for Madrid and made additional reproductions without the “76” stamp.

I was able to find out this much from a great variety of sources. BUT—it was still difficult to find out whether my pieces were old or new.

I found a great Facebook page by CatLadyKate and sent her a few pictures of my Madrid Mystery.  She thought it was a good enough question to warrant a blog post. You can find her very useful and detailed response here:

I was pretty sure that my pink Madrid glass was reproduction, then CatLadyKate posted a great link to Indiana Glass patterns –complete with a picture of Recollection Madrid bowls and saucers: That’s my glass!

So the mystery is solved. $.30 each for pink Indiana Glass 1982 “Recollection” (reproduction) glass that I like…

Two Pink Madrid 1982 Recollection Pieces

*[Side note: I imagine this situation, of thrifting for glass and finding things you like first round,  is somewhat analogous to winning a bunch of money out of a Baby Seahorse Slot machine on your first time to the casino, then getting excited to win at the game every time.  It can be addicting, thrilling and fun to find good stuff at a thrift store and to some people, (like those who win Baby Seahorse money) a casino provides a similar feeling. Then again, thrift success is NOT easily comparable to winning at a casino the first time because it’s a bad thing to get addicted to gambling, but not to thrifting….or? There are a bunch of other reasons the comparison is not that good, but I should just stop here….]


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