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Types of Collectible Glass – Which Ones Are the Most Valuable?


Collectible glass
Photo Credit: Pinke

Glass has been around for centuries and it’s probably one of the most versatile materials that has ever been invented. Humans have used glass to create everything from functional pieces such as weapons to decorative pieces like wall art and jewelry.

Nowadays collectors from all around the world still find value in glass objects. Whether you’re just starting out as a collector or looking to add to your knowledge base, this guide will take you through the different types of collectible glass and give you an idea of which ones could possibly have the most value.

Art Glass

There are many types of art glass including glass sculptures, vases, and figurines. According to an article from Bernard Katz, there are 3 ways to tell if art glass is valuable:

1: Is it handmade?
2: Does it have a signature or maker’s mark?
3: How unique is it?

One of the most famous modern glass artists is Dale Chihuly. His large-scale glass sculptures have been seen in museums across the U.S. The city of Glendale, Arizona once commissioned a $200,000 sculpture from him.

If you’re into vintage or antique art glass, manufacturers such as Baccarat and Waterford have a loyal following who appreciate the luxury and elegance of their pieces. Baccarat chandeliers are highly-sought after with many of these crystal-dripping stunners going for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mid-Century Glass

Anything made during the mid-century is having a revival. Everything from glass barware to Fenton glass and Murano glass are being featured in design magazines. The Spruce Crafts has written an excellent article that goes into further detail about the history and different types of mid-century glass that are being collected today.

Mid-century glass is more abundant and budget-friendly. You’re likely to find them in estate sales or thrift stores, although there are some Fenton pieces that are being offered for a couple hundred dollars.

Historic Glass

When America was just a baby there were glass manufacturers such as South Stoddard Glass Manufacturing Company and The New Hampshire Glass Factory that produced utilitarian wares such as glass flasks, pitchers, and medicine bottles. A Washington/Jackson pictorial flask made by Marlboro Street Glass Works (circa 1825-1835) sold several years ago for $420.

If historic bottles are your thing, you may want to check out the Society of Historical Archaeology for more in-depth information about bottle identification.

Depression Glass

Back in the early ’30s this glassware was mass produced and very affordable during the times of the Great Depression. Many companies gave this type of glass away as a free gift with purchase. It wasn’t uncommon to find a piece of glass in your cereal box or detergent box. Depression glass comes in a variety of colors, but pink and green seem to be the more popular colors among collectors. You can find pieces typically ranging anywhere from $5-$50 or possibly more.

If you’re looking to make a substantial amount of money in the future, your best investment would probably be art glass out of all the different types of glass collectibles.

In our monthly estate sale auctions, we usually have vintage and antique collectible glass pieces. Make sure to sign up to receive email notifications of upcoming auctions!