Carnival Glass Antiques: Value of These Gorgeous Pieces

Carnival glass used to be a free giveaway at carnivals. Now it can be quite valuable.

Updated October 5, 2023
Carnival glass candy bowl and glass

With its stunningly beautiful colors, iridescent glaze, and endless variety, carnival glass is a popular collector's item that used to be given away for free. Today, it's common for single pieces to fetch $30 to $50 at auction, with especially desirable items selling for much more.

Carnival Glass Prices at a Glance

This handy chart of example values can give you a glimpse at what some of the most valuable carnival glass can be worth.

Carnival Glass Piece Approximate Value
Northwood Grape and Cable punch bowl set $2,000
Dugan Farmyard 11-inch bowl $3,800
Northwood Greek Key plate $1,700
Fenton Blueberry water pitcher and glasses $1,200
Northwood Tree Trunk 12-inch vase $1,000

Example Values for Carnival Glass


When you know that carnival glass was given away as prizes by carnival vendors (hence the name), it's easy to imagine that it might not be all that valuable. Turns out, that's not the case at all. Today, collectors will pay top dollar for prime examples while still assigning value to more common pieces, too.

Factors Affecting Antique Carnival Glass Value

close up of carnival glass plate

Because there are so many patterns, colors, and types of carnival glass on the market, there are a number of factors that can affect the value of an individual piece. In general, the rarer the item and the better its condition, the more it will be worth. Consider the following as you examine a piece.

Type of Item

Manufacturers made everything from tiny figurines to huge serving sets out of carnival glass. But in general, the more useful an item is in today's world, the more value it has. Obviously, there are many exceptions when it comes to rare pieces, but things like vases, pitchers, bowls, and platters are highly valued. It's also handy to know that items in a complete set, such as drink or berry serving sets, are among the most valuable.


Many factories created the same type of item in the same pattern in different sizes. If all other factors are equal, larger sizes tend to be more valuable. For instance, a six-inch Northwood Tree Trunk vase in amethyst sold recently on eBay for about $46. A 12-inch example in the same pattern and color sold for almost $1,000.


Collectors Weekly reports manufacturers began creating iridescent glass in 1907, so the oldest pieces are from this era. The glass is still made today, but pieces dating from before 1940 are the most valuable.

Quick Tip

Older glass can have imperfections like bubbles, especially when we're talking about carnival glass. You can also tell whether a piece is old by checking when the pattern was made.

Manufacturers and Patterns

When identifying carnival glass, it's a good idea to do as much research as you can. There were dozens of manufacturers, each with many glass patterns and forms. Rare carnival glass prices can be pretty high, so this is good info to have. Some of the following patterns are especially rare and desirable:

  • Fenton Glass Strawberry Scroll - a sweeping pattern featuring raised strawberries
  • Millersburg Blackberry Wreath - a ring-shaped pattern with leaves and berries
  • Northwood Poppy Show - an elaborate pattern with flowers and a scalloped edge
  • Dugan Farmyard - a simple pattern with detailed animal figures


Blue Vintage Carnival Glass Bowl/Basket With Handles & Ruffled Edge

Carnival glass came in dozens of colors, including white milk glass (aka vintage milk glass), deep blacks and purples, vivid reds, blues, greens, and even pastels. Each manufacturer tried to outdo the others with new and unique colors, so the variety is amazing. The following colors are among the rarest and most valuable:

  • Fenton Ambergina - a deep orange-red tone
  • Northwood Marigold - a warm-toned deep yellow
  • Fenton Cherry Red - a dark, glowing red
  • Northwood Black Amethyst - a very dark purple that appears almost black
  • Northwood Ice Green - a cool pastel green


Condition affects value significantly, but it isn't a deal-breaker with highly desirable pieces. Still, for most items, condition is something you should consider. The following types of damage can negatively affect value:

  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Scratches
  • Discoloration
  • Etching
Quick Tip

It might not seem like part of assessing condition, but look to see if there is anything missing. Missing pieces can detract from the value of a set.

Look It Over

Collecting carnival glass is so fun, and the right pieces can be a good investment (or a windfall if you choose to sell them). Take some time to look over items you're considering to make sure you're getting a good deal.

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Carnival Glass Antiques: Value of These Gorgeous Pieces