The Art Deco period witnessed the making of many glass vases, some of which survived the test of time. Given that these vases come from in between the 1920's and 1940's, do not expect them to sell cheaply. The best Art Deco Glass Vases were typically the first few batches of a lot, offering sharper imagery, making them even more expensive. Since the sale of reproduction Art Deco vases is not uncommon, knowing how to identify vintage glass vase pieces is important.
Identifying Art Deco Vases
Glass vases from this period follow the Art Deco concept of using motifs from ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, Asia, and Mesopotamia. These traditionally bold and angular vases also come acid-etched with ziggurats, chevrons, parallel lines, circular forms, and other geometric patterns, varying considerably from flowing curved lines associated with the preceding Art Nouveau period. The use of painted enamel surfaces was not uncommon.
During this time, a number of British, French, Czech, and German designers delved into making glass vases, and the quality of the glass, along with their etchings, make for some highly collectible pieces. Certain artists created one-off pieces, and this adds to their value. For instance, a large art deco vase in shades of pink with floral imagery that Eugene Muller made in 1910 is valued in the thousands as of 2014. Other notable artists include Emile Galle, Carl Stolzl, Rene Lalique, and Nancy Daum. Carl Stolzl, an Austrian designer, made some angular vases as part of the "Winged Vase" collection, which continues to remain in demand. These used frosted blue, amber, pink, and green glass in their making.
Most prominent Art Deco artists turned to Venetian glass to create Murano glass vases. Since this glass came in different colours, vintage options include blue, pink, amber, and green art deco vases. While reproduced Art Deco vases also sell in these colours, the quality of the glass is not as good. Artists of that time commonly etched their initials into the glass, and these are relatively easy to notice. Given the popularity of Art Deco vases, copies made in other parts of Europe are not hard to find, and these typically come with the word "tip" etched at the bottom. This means "type", informing buyers that it is a copy; however, keep in mind that the mark is not hard to grind off.
Look for cracks. When viewed under natural daylight, cracks tend to break the natural flow of light, turning whitish when you look inside the vase. Determine if the crack runs through a single layer or the entire glass because, in case of the latter, the value can drop significantly. Avoid buying glass vases with chips altogether.