Vintage Glassware

Many people enjoy collecting vintage glassware, and the number of serious collector’s is burgeoning. The “Cut Glass Association” was launched in the late 1970’s with just a few collectors, and today the organization numbers several thousand members.

Hobbyists disagree about how old a piece of glassware must be to be considered “vintage,” but most experts feel that the time period is between 50-100 years. Cut glass has been produced for centuries, but only became popular in the 1800’s. During that period of time, people oil lamps and candles. It was discovered that cut glass reflected light. The glassware reflected the colors of the flowers and other ornaments, as it sent glittering rays of light over the table.

Vintage gold aqua Blue flowers drinking glasses 1950s set of six
Vintage gold  aqua Blue flowers drinking glasses 1950s set of six $24.95
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MID CENTURY ATOMIC BLACK AND GOLD STARBURST HIGHBALL BAR WARE SET OF 10 VINTAGE
MID CENTURY ATOMIC BLACK AND GOLD STARBURST HIGHBALL BAR WARE SET OF 10 VINTAGE $65.00
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4 Vintage Culver Christmas Roly Poly Glasses Bar Cocktail Coasters Mid Century
4 Vintage Culver Christmas Roly Poly Glasses Bar Cocktail Coasters Mid Century $49.99
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Vintage Glass Angel Food Cake Pan Jello Mold glassware bakeware dish glasbake
Vintage Glass Angel Food Cake Pan Jello Mold glassware bakeware dish glasbake $14.99
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Vtg Culver Glass Set of 4 Christmas TOYLAND Highball Tumblers + Vinyl Ice Bucket
Vtg Culver Glass Set of 4 Christmas TOYLAND Highball Tumblers + Vinyl Ice Bucket $60.00
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6 VTG Black Gold Atomic Arrow 3 oz 4 oz SHOT GLASSES Bar Ware Atomic Arrow
6 VTG Black Gold Atomic Arrow 3 oz  4 oz SHOT GLASSES Bar Ware Atomic Arrow $17.99
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Vintage FRED PRESS Signed Barware Beautiful White Horses w Gold Set of 5
Vintage FRED PRESS Signed Barware Beautiful White Horses w Gold Set of 5 $29.99
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Vintage Etched Glass Vase
Vintage Etched Glass Vase $30.00
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VTG 50s 5 ATOMIC RETRO MID CENTURY MODERN ASSORTED COLOR DRINKING BAR GLASSES
VTG 50s 5 ATOMIC RETRO MID CENTURY MODERN ASSORTED COLOR DRINKING BAR GLASSES $59.99
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Vintage Fire King Frosted Tall Dottie Glasses Set Of 4 With Wire Carrier
Vintage Fire King Frosted Tall Dottie Glasses Set Of 4 With Wire Carrier $29.99
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8 Vtg Hollywood Regency MCM Cera Gold Mad Men Hi ball Glasses w Carrier Caddy
8 Vtg Hollywood Regency MCM Cera Gold Mad Men Hi ball Glasses w Carrier Caddy $22.99
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Vtg Cera Turquoise Gold Barware Glass Ice Bucket Oriental Persian Polo Metal MCM
Vtg Cera Turquoise Gold Barware Glass Ice Bucket Oriental Persian Polo Metal MCM $39.99
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Vintage FIRE KING Green Jadeite Glass Butter Dish BOTTOM PART ONLY
Vintage FIRE KING Green Jadeite Glass Butter Dish BOTTOM PART ONLY $49.99
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6 Vintage Mid Century Frosted Diamond Atomic Snowflake Tumblers 3 Black 3 Pink
6 Vintage Mid Century Frosted Diamond Atomic Snowflake Tumblers 3 Black 3 Pink $15.99
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Vintage Fab 50s Culver 22k Gold Bar Cocktail Glasses X8 Hollywood Regency
Vintage Fab 50s Culver 22k Gold Bar Cocktail Glasses X8 Hollywood Regency $79.99
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VTG Dorothy Thorpe Silver Fade Highball Glass Ice Bucket Cocktail Set with Caddy
VTG Dorothy Thorpe Silver Fade Highball Glass Ice Bucket Cocktail Set with Caddy $39.99
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Vintage Bar Set hand blown turquoise Glasses in Art Deco design Metal Carrier
Vintage Bar Set hand blown turquoise Glasses in Art Deco design Metal Carrier $20.00
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7 VTG MID CENTURY CULVER 24K BLACK WITH GOLD SCROLL TOM COLLINS GLASSES BARWARE
7 VTG MID CENTURY CULVER 24K BLACK WITH GOLD SCROLL TOM COLLINS GLASSES BARWARE $29.99
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VINTAGE 1965 FIRE KING SNOOPY COFFEE CUP MILK GLASS
VINTAGE 1965 FIRE KING SNOOPY COFFEE CUP MILK GLASS $19.95
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Fire King Vintage Burger Queen Mug
Fire King Vintage Burger Queen Mug $24.99
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VINTAGE CANDLEWICK GLASSWARE CLEAR DIVIDED BOWL 6
VINTAGE CANDLEWICK GLASSWARE CLEAR DIVIDED BOWL 6 $5.99
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VINTAGE FIRE KING BATMAN ROBIN MILKGLASS SET OF 2 D HANDLE CUPS
VINTAGE FIRE KING BATMAN ROBIN MILKGLASS SET OF 2 D HANDLE CUPS $49.99
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Libbey’s Glass and American Glass were among the most prominent manufacturers of cut glass in the mid-to-late 1800’s. Libbey’s made their first glass in the late summer of 1888. By the end of the 19th century, it was the largest cut glass company in the U.S. In 1893, Libbey’s Glass had a pavilion all their own at the Chicago World’s Fair. The company won the gold medal for its cut and engraved glassware.

American Glass made the Brilliant line from the mid-1890’s until 1908, and it continued to be a favorite until about 1925. Brilliant cut glass is thick with deep engravings; it shimmers when it reflects light. Each company had many different patterns, and each pattern had several motifs. In the early 20th century, most cut glass had strawberry diamond, hobstar, and fan motifs. A few all-time favorite glass patterns are Anchor Hocking, Early American, Fire King Swirl and Blue Mosaic.

One of the most effective ways to learn about vintage glass is through reference books. The best ones are books about specific manufacturers, and books that include the history of the time period in which the various patterns and motifs were made. Some examples are "Glassware Pattern Identification Guide," "Stemware of the 20th century: Top 200 patterns,” and “Libbey Glass - Since 1818,” by Carl Fauster.