vaseline or uranium glass

Collecting Vintage Glassware? What you Need to Know

A popular category at Legacies Upscale Resale is vintage glassware from Pyrex, Fire-King, Corning and other brands.


Around 1910, Bessie Littleton acquired a wet-cell battery jar made with a new type of glass her husband, Jesse, had told her about. A research physicist at Corning Glass Works, Jesse was testing temperature-resistant glass for industrial use.

Bessie’s favorite baking dish had cracked, and she wondered if she could use the battery jar instead. Jesse cut the jar down, and Bessie baked a cake in it. The discovery led to Pyrex cookware, launched in 1915.

A series of manufacturing advancements in the ’20s and ’30s made Pyrex cheaper to make just as patriotic, budget-minded homemakers came to prefer American-made kitchenware. Pyrex was clear glass until 1936, when opaque “opal ware” was brought to market. It became the white background to the bold colors and patterns popular among collectors today.

As interest in Pyrex grows, so does the value of certain patterns. Owning Pyrex doesn’t mean you’re sitting on a gold mine, but an unusual dish could be worth thousands. Gooseberry, Friendship, Butter Print, Dianthus, Starburst and pink Stems patterns are highly sought-after. Complete pink or turquoise sets also demand top dollar.

Pyrex was, and still is, produced in the United States, Canada, England and Australia. Each country produced original designs that are collectable. Look for stamps or labels with “Made in…” markings. Brand names like JAJ (England) and Agee (Australia) also reveal origin.

With options at every price and in a myriad shapes, sizes and colors, all collectors can find Pyrex pieces to suit their taste.


Created by Anchor Hocking, Fire-King is similar to Pyrex. The brand’s Jade-ite, an opaque green glass produced from the ’40s through the ’60s, got a boost from Martha Stewart in the ’90s when it first appeared in her magazines and TV shows. Prior to that, shoppers could walk into an antique store and pick up Fire-King's Jane Ray pattern in Jade-ite at a reasonable price.

The square Charm dinnerware pattern came predominantly in opaque Azur-ite, Forest Green, and Royal Ruby. It is easily recognizable from its shape.

Sapphire Blue ovenware is highly-prized for its beauty. Anchor Hocking manufactured this glass from 1942 through the '50s. Dinnerware produced in Sapphire Blue is referred to as “Philbe.” Once you learn to recognize the color, it is easy to spot.

Another popular pattern is Game Birds. These pieces feature decals depicting different types of fowl on white glass mugs, plates, tumblers and bowls.

Affordable alternatives are the flowered Fleurette, Honeysuckle, and Primrose decals on milky white glass dinnerware sets.

The Meadow Green pattern is the least expensive. This white glass, produced from 1967 to 1977, has an avocado green floral pattern.

Corning Ware

Corning Ware is a combination of glass and ceramic called “Pyroceram” accidentally discovered by Dr. S. Donald Stookey at Corning in 1953. He was working with photosensitive glass and put it in an oven to heat it to 600 degrees F. When he checked it, the oven was at 900 degrees.

Stookey pulled the glass out with tongs but dropped it. It reportedly hit the floor and bounced unbroken, and Corning Ware was born. It became available in 1958 in the Blue Cornflower pattern, which is still popular. Later came Floral Bouquet, which was released in three varieties between 1969 and 1974, and many other patterns.

Rare sets of Corning Ware in uncommon patterns can pull $1,000 or more. We can’t promise you that kind of return, but if you like Corning Ware, it is worth a visit to Legacies to see what’s in stock.

Shopping Cincinnati Jewelry Stores

Need a new look in jewelry? A cool place to shop one-of-a-kind items no one else is wearing is Legacies Upscale Resale, one of the jewelry stores in Cincinnati focused on second-hand gems. Don’t let the idea of used (or “vintage," a much hipper way to look at it) scare you away. Pre-owned jewelry at Legacies is in great condition. You’ll find a variety of antique, vintage and contemporary pieces, some from name designers, sure to make your newest outfit shine. We only accept items of high quality, and price everything for quick sale. Purchases at Legacies benefit Cancer Support Community, so that’s another reason to stop in and see what’s on the floor this week. You might find silver, gold or platinum rings, necklaces, earrings, pins and/or bracelets. We might have pearls, diamonds and/or gemstones in stunning settings. If you don’t see want you want, try again soon!

Swarovski earrings

Still Popular 129 Years Later: Swarovski Jewelry

Swarovski jewelry was born in 1892 when Daniel Swarovski, the son of an Austrian glasscutter, patented a machine that could cut glass into crystals that were virtually indistinguishable from diamonds.

To make a Swarovski crystal, quartz sand, potash, sodium carbonate and red lead are melted in a stew at high temperatures.

The potash makes it easy to shape the crystals. Then polishing and the Aurora Borealis coating (developed in the 1960s; the process creates rainbow refractions) give the crystals the brilliance of diamonds—without the hefty price tag. The crystals are not as hard as diamonds, however, so you have to be a bit more careful with them.

The company has a patent on the electric glass cutter designed by Daniel, so no other crystals look like Swarovski.

Red Lead and Safety

Some people worry about the red lead Swarovski uses. Lead is toxic, and is banned in many countries. But Swarovski uses lead on the glass, not the metal, so it cannot transfer into skin.

The metal on Swarovski pieces is usually gold- or rhodium-tone plated. Some pieces have a palladium tone, and are coated with a PVD base metal. Swarovski jewelry with a gold tone has a top layer of pale-yellow gold.

Because the materials used are not precious, Swarovski jewelry is not highly-valued per se. But the brand is so highly-regarded, Swarovski pieces are priced higher than those from competitors.

Swarovski uses higher-quality materials, and the process of creating a Swarovski crystal is complicated compared to other glass jewelry. The company’s precision cutting is unmatched in the industry to this day.

Making Sure Your Swarovski is Real

No matter where you buy the jewelry, confirm that the dealer works directly with Swarovski to make sure what you are buying is genuine. Check credentials on the vendor’s website. Authentic Swarovski comes with an official certificate, and the box has a patented Swarovski swan logo.

Absent a certificate and box, there are other ways to verify Swarovski:

  • There shouldn't be any bubbles in the crystals,
  • all facets should meet and point upwards,
  • each crystal should be identical in size and cut,
  • crystals in the same color family should look identical,
  • and there should be no scratches or oily sheens on the faces.

You can also check the seal code on the tag, if there is one. At Legacies, we clean and authenticate every piece of jewelry, ornament and decoration we label “Swarovski.”

Swarovski Cachet

The brand has had some amazing moments. Marlene Dietrich’s 1932 comeback film Blonde Venus brought Swarovski to the attention of the masses. After Dietrich’s costumes and jewelry glittered with crystals in that film, an endless parade of starlets showed up onscreen and on the red carpet wearing Swarovski head to toe.

In 1961, Audrey Hepburn wore Swarovski as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's. A year later, Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy wearing a dress dripping with the crystals. (Watch her here).

Brands like Christian Dior, Victoria’s Secret, Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and the Royal Canadian Mint have partnered with Swarovski.

There’s always a giant Swarovski crystal on top of the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree. And at the 2018 Academy Awards, 45 million Swarovski crystals decorated the stage’s focal set piece.

Buying Secondhand

If well cared for, Swarovski jewelry can last a lifetime. That’s why you can find exquisite vintage Swarovski pieces in great condition at Legacies Resale Shop in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park Plaza.

We sell the following Swarovski items:

  • necklaces
  • pendants
  • bracelets
  • rings
  • earrings
  • watches
  • home accents
  • Christmas ornaments

Our inventory changes frequently, so stop in often to see what Swarovski treasures we have this week!

mid century modern drawers

What is Midcentury Modern? How Can You Tell? Why is It Popular?

“Midcentury modern” is a hot buzzword. So-called midcentury furniture and design are everywhere--on TV show sets, in fashion and hip restaurants. But what does midcentury modern really means?

The word is used very loosely to describe furniture, architecture and graphic design from approximately 1933 to 1957 (experts disagree on the exact years). The time period refers to the larger modernist movement, which had its origins in the Industrial Revolution, and later the period after WWI.

The Book that Sold America on the Style

The term was actually invented by author Cara Greenberg, for her 1984 book, Midcentury Modern: Furniture of the 1950s.

Greenberg’s book sold over 100,000 copies, and was said to capture the “verve, imagination and zaniness of the period” by The New York Times. The popularity of midcentury modern design that lingers today began with Greenberg’s book; most of the 1950s styles were out of fashion by the late 1960s.

Several events catapulted midcentury modern’s appeal beyond a small group of design fans to the mainstream in the mid-1990s:

  • Collectors drove up prices by orders of magnitude beyond the original value of items such as plywood folding screens, marshmallow sofas and pretzel armchairs.
  • While some midcentury furniture manufacturers were still in business, most had gone out of production by 1990. Even getting something still in production would have required an architect or designer to help you before 1992. But that changed in 1993 with the opening of a Knoll retail showroom in SoHo. Because of a decline in the office furniture market (more people were working at home), the company stopped giving architects and designers a 40% discount—selling their designs at trade prices to anyone who came into the store.

The showroom was a huge success, leading Knoll to convert other contract showrooms into consumer-oriented shops. As time went on, more and more pieces became available to average homeowners.

  • At the same time, many “iconic” midcentury designs were reissued by the likes of Herman Miller. The company reissued pieces from its archives. The new pieces stayed true to the original designs, with updated elements such as current fabric and material technologies. Customers welcomed the furniture, because other midcentury modern offerings were often low-quality knock-offs.

Herman Miller took a chance and launched a webstore in 1998. The rest is history: from that year, Herman Miller midcentury modern has been in high demand.

  • The sale of such reproductions got another boost in 1999 when Californian Rob Forbes launched Design Within Reach (DWR), a direct-mail catalog and online business. DWR gave consumers direct access to midcentury modern pieces that were once only available to the trade, and gave the masses a design education. Every piece of furniture was shown with a biography of the product's designer.

Midcentury Today

Mass-produced pieces made in the ’50s still get amazing prices, even items made from inexpensive materials such as fiberglass and plywood.

But you have to be careful shopping for midcentury modern. Stores and websites carry both genuine items, and items that are of no design significance.

The market for midcentury pieces with documentation has exploded in the last 15 years. That phenomena started in 2005, when a Carlo Mollino table sold for $3.9 million at auction.

The media has helped keep midcentury modern in vogue. Magazines Wallpaper and Dwell, launched in 1996 and 2000 respectively, supported the look. Even House Beautiful has gotten in on the act with special sections.

Shopping Midcentury at Legacies

The volunteer salespeople at Legacies are well-informed about the value of our midcentury pieces and can steer you toward the style and price range right for your home.

fine china

Identifying Your China Maker, Pattern and Value

If you have acquired heirloom china or glassware, you are probably wondering the name of the manufacturer and the pattern name—along with whether your possessions are of particular value.

Here are some clues:

The Type

There are three main kinds of porcelain, which we Westerners call “china.” Knowing the production process used to make your pieces will narrow down your pattern and its vintage:

  1. Bone china was first made in England in the mid-18th The process involves adding bone ash to finely-ground stone and clay. The tea sets, vases and dinnerware made from this process are delicate and thin.
  1. Hard-paste porcelain– This type of “china” was actually originally actually made in China. It included ground alabaster and kaolin, a clay mineral including silicate and alumina. Hard-paste porcelains made today may include quartz as well. Germans started making tableware items from this material in the early 1700s.
  1. Soft-paste porcelain– Later, Europeans used a softer clay, often from the Limoges region of France in the southeast. 

Translucency, Color and Sound

If you can see light coming through the piece when you hold it up, it is probably bone china. Bone china is often more ivory-colored than white. White china is usually hard- or soft-paste porcelain. Tap the edge of your piece with a coin. If it makes a high-pitched sound, it is probably hard-paste.

The Backstamp

What we consider “fine” china usually has a mark on the back identifying the manufacturer. If there are two marks, one may be the manufacturer and the other the painter/glazer. Backstamps provide a clue as to the date of china, because historically, manufacturers changed stamps frequently. Using a magnifying glass, you can see the writing on the mark. Or use your phone to take a picture and enlarge it on your computer.

There are websites that can help you learn more about your china once you have the backstamp.

  • Kovels has an extensive library of backstamps. Search by mark shape, initials or full names on the stamp.
  • Gotheborg has photos of marks and details about the manufacturers.

Very early bone china piece may not have a backstamp. If yours does not, a  professional appraiser can help identify the pattern and estimate its value.


Looking at the following details can also help narrow down the pattern, once you have determined the manufacturer:

  • Gold or gilt edging
  • Colors of the dishes themselves or paint on the dishes
  • Images like flowers, Asian motifs, people, birds or animals

Go Online

Once you have all of the above information, websites can help establish the name of your pattern.

Try these sites: for all manufacturers and National Shelley China Club, Meissen China Patterns, Robbin’s Nest Noritake Directory, The Spode Collection or Haviland Online for specific manufacturers.

How Old is It?

Some patterns have been in constant production for decades or centuries. The backstamp can help you figure out when and where the piece was produced. Use the backstamp sites given above to compare yours to the stamps used by the manufacturer at different times.

How Popular is It?

Certain china patterns stand the test of time and have remained popular with collectors for centuries. These are some of the most desired patterns:

  • Spode’s Blue Italian
  • Meissen’s Ming Dragon
  • Royal Copenhagen’s Flora Danica
  • Deruta’s Raffaellesco

Finding China of Beauty and Value at Legacies

It’s fun to shop for china at Legacies Upscale Resale in Cincinnati, because we often have quite a variety. Whether it is valuable in the minds of collectors or not, you may find a pattern you love, and your “new” dishes will become priceless possessions.

Jewelry Event at Legacies Starting March 20th!

Legacies invites you to stop in and check out our March Madness Jewelry Event starting March 20th and running until April 4th.

We will be offering our largest selection of costume jewelry at our deepest discounts.

Get ready for spring with a jewelry box refresh at prices you can afford!

kitchen items

Kitchenware Event Starts on March 2nd!

It’s that time again! Our annual Kitchenware event is here!

Join us as we showcase a wide selection of new and gently used small kitchen appliances, modern and vintage cookware, table ware, and serving pieces. Some featured brands include Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Oster, Pyrex, Corning Ware, and Dansk.

Event begins in store on Tuesday March 2, 2021.

consigned jewelry

Legacies Is Looking For High End Jewelry For Their Big Jewelry Event

Now through the end of the year!

Legacies is launching its annual high end jewelry event for our 26th Anniversary and we're looking for consignors and donors of:

•    Gold
•    Silver
•    Gemstones (Diamonds, Emeralds, Sapphires, Rubies, etc.)
•    Collectable Costume (Coco Channel, Boucher, Miriam Haskell, Eisenberg, Weiss, etc.)
•    Designer Brands (Cartier, David Yurman, Tiffany, Roberto Coin, Lagos, etc)
•    One of a Kind Art Pieces

Higher consignor splits for jewelry over $200

Do you have any of the above? We want to chat!

Instructions to Consign or Donate Jewelry

1. Call 513.871.8899 or email to make an appointment

2. Each piece should be cleaned prior to appointment and in its own ziplock bag.

3. Intake sheet should be filled out prior to your arrival for appointment. Request blank intake sheet when you are in the store or ask that one be emailed to you

4. If you have appraisals, receipts or paperwork for the related jewelry, please bring them with you.

The Event begins Tuesday, October 20th at 10am but it runs through the end of the year.

Donated jewelry can be dropped off any time without an appointment; consigned items require an appointment.

Help us kick off the shopping season by donating or consigning your high end jewelry with us.

hermes scarf

Yes, Legacies Sells Hermès Scarves in Cincinnati!

Since 1937, Hermès’ hand-hemmed, 65-gram silk scarves made from the cocoons of 250 mulberry moths have never gone out of style. Queen Elizabeth II, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Audrey Hepburn made these gorgeous accessories must-haves, and today’s celebrities keep them just as popular.

On their website, Hermès sells in-stock designs for between $195 to over $1,000. An older design goes for much more—when you can find it. But at Legacies Upscale Resale, you’ll discover scarves in Cincinnati by Hermès and other heritage houses in excellent condition at much lower prices.

Why Shop Consignment in Cincinnati for Shawls and Wraps?

There’s saving money, of course, but that’s not the biggest reason to browse the amazing variety of classic and contemporary scarves at Legacies. Our scarves are of the best quality, made with bygone attention to detail, and you can find a wider range of materials and designs than are available at even big-city department stores and boutiques.

Every Hermes Tells a Story

For decades, Hermès’ limited-edition scarves have been highly sought after as fashion and collectibles. Only two new collections are introduced each year (along with a few reprints and limited editions), and anyone who has held on to a Cincinnati scarf-lover’s Hermès has a very special item in their possession.

The distinctive designs of Hermès are instantly recognizable. Each is an iconic luxury that comes with a story of the design’s inspiration. And at a hefty 36” x 36”, most Hermes scarves can be worn a myriad ways around the neck, head or waist.

Is that Cincinnati Headscarf New or Preowned? No One Can Tell!

Scarves don’t take a beating like other clothing items, and a scarf that has been well-maintained is indistinguishable from new. Our Hermes scarves are authenticated before they go on the floor.


fossil watch

Where to Save on Preowned Wristwatches in Cincinnati

In the market for a designer watch? Shocked at the prices and lack of availability? Here’s a secret: you can find a distinctive, name-brand watch at Legacies, the Upscale Resale shop in Hyde Park Plaza. And no one will ever know you bought it secondhand.

There are other places that sell preowned designer watches in Cincinnati, but few offer the quality and variety you’ll find at Legacies. On any given day, you might find a deal on a luxury watch such as an Anne Klein or a Fossil, or one may have just walked out our door on someone else’s wrist. Legacies’ merchandise changes all the time, so check back frequently!

Why Shop Consignment in Cincinnati for a Watch?

Shopping secondhand timepieces at Legacies is smart for a number of reasons:

  • You can find things not available elsewhere
  • Vintage watches have a certain cachet that new ones do not
  • They can be a good investment
  • They are less expensive than new
  • You skip the initial depreciation of a designer watch
  • Watch trends change, so it makes sense to not break the bank

Plus, Legacies’ watches are always in good repair and you can be assured of years of wear with proper cleaning and servicing.

Finding a Timepiece That Makes the Right Statement

We can all check the time on our phones these days, but the panache of a beautiful watch endures. Why? A watch does more than tell time and look elegant as jewelry. It says a lot about who you are: your tastes, interests, and most of all, style. A watch is often a cherished possession. You might wear a high-end timepiece for decades and even pass it down to your children.

There are watches that cost a few dollars and watches that are worth more than the average American’s car. Types and functions vary widely. The materials, colors and design of the face and band all make a specific statement. To a degree, you can change that message by switching out the band when you go from season to season or event to event, but you wouldn’t wear a clunky chronograph to a black-tie event, or a leather-strapped dress watch to the beach.

So it makes sense to think about when and where you will wear your Legacies watch—or watches. Our prices are so good, maybe you will find one for every day and one for evenings out!

Finding Watch Value without Leaving Cincy

We sell vintage, casual, and classy watches in excellent condition at great prices. But watches are one of the few things that hold their value, so our prices may not be as low as you would hope. Nonetheless, our prices are much lower than what you would get from a high-end jeweler or watch seller in Cincinnati.

It’s good to be careful buying a preowned designer watch. Not only do you want to make sure it is authentic, but also that the dial and bracelet are in excellent working order. You don’t want the bracelet to be stretched, for example.

You never have to worry about any of that at Legacies. We are careful to authenticate every watch that comes in.

The added value of buying a watch at Cincinnati’s upscale resale shop is that your purchase makes a difference. Every item we sell is either donated or sold on consignment by someone eager to help people fighting cancer.

Our shop is run by volunteers, so our share of the proceeds go to The Cancer Support Community of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, which supplements medical care with support groups and workshops.

coach purse

Where to Save on Designer Purses in Cincinnati

Shopping for a classy shoulder bag or tote in Cincinnati? They can be hard to find or require long waits. And the prices can take your breath away. A great place to look for bargains is Legacies Upscale Resale. We offer brands such as:

  • Michael Kors - known for innovation
  • Coach - affordable luxury
  • Dooney & Bourke - one of the most respected brands on the market
  • Cole Haan - timeless craft and great bags for organizing your stuff
  • Gucci - enjoying a popularity resurgence
  • Fossil - designs to complement any look
  • Vera Bradley - head-turning feminine prints
  • Anne Klein - versatile

You’ll love our variety and quality. And our pre-loved bags are carefully authenticated (no fakes allowed).

Find The Right Handbag Right in Cincinnati!

Because handbags from high-fashion houses are meant to convey status, they are always an investment, even secondhand. So you want to make sure you are choosing a bag that makes you feel like a million bucks, while fitting your personality and lifestyle.

Some things to consider:

  • What is the reputation of this brand? Is it one with which you want to align yourself?
  • How will you use the bag? For errands, work, every day, vacations, parties, date nights or special occasions? Do you need a clutch, a structured tote, crossbody bag or carryall? They all make a different statement and function differently.
  • What aesthetic are you looking for? The shape and silhouette of a bag is often synonymous with the brand. When people see your bag across a room, they instantly know who designed it. Make sure the bag you choose says what you want it to.
  • Think about quality. What materials do you want? Do you want a machine-made or handmade bag?
  • What about color? Do you want to be able to carry your handbag around Cincinnati year-round? You might prefer a neutral color in that case. Would you rather celebrate spring, for example, with a bag that gets attention? A bright color will suit you best.
  • The last thing to consider is long-term value. An “It-Bag” is super-trendy now, but will the style still work in five years? What about 10? A designer bag is a purchase for the long haul.

Get the Quality you Want

You may wonder if you will feel as confident carrying a secondhand Gucci bag as you would a new one. If the bag comes from Legacies, absolutely!

Here’s our promise: With a pre-owned handbag from Legacies, no one will know you found your iconic carryall in Cincinnati’s favorite resale shop!

Our Hometown Handbags Make a Difference to Your Neighbors

Designer bags are exclusive on purpose. They’re made in small batches and crafted to last, so you will pay a lot more for a pre-loved designer bag than a typical department-store purse. But compared to other Cincinnati handbag boutiques, you’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised at our prices.

Our shop is run by volunteers, which also helps keep our prices low.

Money spent at Legacies also makes a difference. Everything we sell is either donated or sold on consignment by people who want to help others. Your purchases enhance traditional medical care with professionally-led support groups and healthy lifestyle classes at The Cancer Support Community.

Get Your Next Purse in the ‘Nati

Shopping at Legacies is always a fun adventure. You never know what deals you will find. But that’s part of the fun of shopping for luxury goods without leaving town! If you don’t see what you want this week, try again soon—the bag you’ve been dreaming of, the one that will transform your wardrobe, may have just come in!

Legacies Upscale Resale
Hyde Park Plaza
3854 Paxton Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45209