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Tips on How to Collect Vintage Glass

Updated on April 7, 2015
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.

Amazon see link below
Amazon see link below | Source

Collecting vintage glass

This page is dedicated to showing you how to start collecting vintage glass. Here you will find tips on what to look for and where to start looking. We have included a selection of vintage glass items you can buy from eBay which is probably the best place to start online. For those readers who just like the vintage look, there is also a selection or reproductions featured on Amazon - these will be suitable if you are decorating in a rustic, vintage or retro look. But the page is primarily for anyone new to collecting vintage glass, or for those who are looking to add to an existing collection. Scroll through to enjoy this page and some online shopping made easy.

Featured here: Turquoise Blue Vintage Glass Candle Holder available from Amazon

Collecting vintage glass - video

Hand-blown glass jar - drink dispenser

Tag 350218 28.5-Cup Bubble Glass Drink Dispenser, Green
Tag 350218 28.5-Cup Bubble Glass Drink Dispenser, Green

Bring memories of childhood summers back with this vintage hand-blown glass drink dispenser with tap. The jar measure around 10 inches by 7 inches and has a rubber gasket seal on the lid. Should be hand washed - not washing machine safe.


Vintage style glass bottle - glass for collectors

Luna Bazaar Small Vintage Glass Bottle (6.5-Inch, Square Design, Red) - Flower Bud Vase - For Home Decor, Party Decorations, and Wedding Centerpieces
Luna Bazaar Small Vintage Glass Bottle (6.5-Inch, Square Design, Red) - Flower Bud Vase - For Home Decor, Party Decorations, and Wedding Centerpieces

Vintage style glass painted to look like antique medicine bottle. Made of glass this measures 1.75 inches square x 6.5 inches tall.


Did you know?

about glass

Glass making began over 3000 years ago in the Middle East.

The main component is sand with the addition of an alkaline “flux” like lead oxide to give clarity and topped up with lime to stabilise the glass. The same components have been uses for hundreds of years and glass is still made in basically the same way although refined with different ingredients to improve clarity and add more color.

Glass can be hand blown, moulded or pressed glass which was a mass produced style developed in the 19th C in Manchester England.

Decoration includes hand painting etching, engraving, cutting and cameo to name but a few.

America and France are famous glass producers in early 19th century and include famous names like Louis Comfort Tiffany in US and Rene Lalique in France. Both names attract high prices indeed today and pieces are increasingly difficult to come by.

Molten glass is shaped, allowed to cool, then decorated in a variety of ways .

Cut glass is produced by hand operated drills and is a time consuming and expensive procedure hence attracting higher prices. It tends to be thicker and sharper than moulded or pressed glass and should elicit a “ring” when flicked with a fingernail.

Vintage Glass Ashtrays

Ebay is a great place to start searching online - try entering "vintage glass" is the search box and pick "antiques" or "collectibles" in categories.

Facts about vintage glass - what you need to know

  1. Vintage glass is considered to be any thing over 50 years old.

    Antique glass is anything over 100 years old.

  2. The first thing you need to decide is if you are going to collect vintage glass in principle or if you want to specialize in one type. Perhaps the deciding factor is your budget. Naturally the older and rarer the piece the more expensive it will be.
  3. Things to consider - age, style, type (eg bottles glasses perfume bottles flatware jars tableware etc). Some collectors decide on collection by color - eg blue medicine bottles.
  4. Start off with research. Online research is really easy these days and there are forums to join where you can contact like minded people. There are also Collectors clubs and collectors magazines. Often reasonable membership ans subscriptions give you access to a great deal of expertise, whilst their free magazines give information on prices . where to find exhibitions and fairs. Clubs are based all over the world and with the internet, instantly accessible.
  5. Where to start: check out your local area first e.g. visit antique shops and antique fairs and shows. Think about the treasures you can find in swap shops, garage sales and goodwill shops and sales. One particular attraction to collecting is the hunt!
  6. What to look for: from your research you will now know that some pieces are marked. These do tend to be the more expensive rarer pieces. Not all pieces are marked. Copies and reproductions are common, so become familiar with the common characteristics of your chosen area. That way you won't end up paying more than you should for a piece.
  7. Use your common sense when buying. Remember that few old pieces will look pristine, they will show signs of wear on bases or handles , whilst painted or embellished pieces may have small scratches /marks reflecting their age.

Please take a minute to take the poll

Which type of vintage glass will you collect?

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Do you like vintage glass?

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    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 5 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      I love the look of vintage glass, and also beach glass which often comes from vintage glass. We get a lot of beach glass here in Cleveland, Ohio. :)