Your Guide to Buying an Art Deco Vase

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Your Guide to Buying an Art Deco Vase

The purchase of an Art Deco vase can give a buyer the opportunity to own piece of art from an exciting era: a time of innovative design and bold decoration. The Art Deco movement celebrated advances in technology, machinery and industry. These themes can be seen to dominate the inspiration behind the creation of much of the architecture, art and furniture of the Art Deco movement. The vase is a household item that combines aesthetic values and functionality and it was an item that went through many interesting designs during the Art Deco era.

The term Art Deco is used to describe an artistic and visual design movement that first started in 1920s France. During the 1920s and 1930s Art Deco became hugely popular and the movement dominated all aspects of design, from art to advertising. By the late 1940s, after the Second World War, Art Deco’s popularity started to fade as other artistic movements came to the fore. The term ‘Art Deco’ was first coined in the 1960s, thirty years after the movement had peaked, and is now the name by which the movement is universally known. Items are still made in an Art Deco style although may not be from the original design period.

This guide will attempt to give a buyer all of the knowledge that they could require when it comes to buying an Art Deco vase. It will look at the history of Art Deco and the vase, mention some of the materials used to make the Art Deco vase, bring up some factors to consider before purchasing an Art Deco vase, and give an overview on how to find the right Art Deco vase on eBay.

History of the Art Deco Vase

The vase is an item that is used in all corners of the world as a container, with the primary function to store flowers, in a way that showcases the flowers’ aesthetic appeal. The history of the vase goes back as far as the ancient Chinese, Greek and Roman civilisations. Over the thousands of years since its invention the vase has become known as a piece of art in its own right, so much so that in 2003 the piece of art produced by the winner of the world famous art award, the Turner Prize, was a vase.

The Art Deco movement was seen, at the time, as being very modernistic and the Art Deco vase fitted into this description perfectly. The movement’s penchant for geometric shapes and symmetrical forms was reflected in the Art Deco vases. A cylindrical style of vase also became very popular at this time. The abstract side of Art Deco was also seen in the production of vases though as many vases were made with jarring angles and highly decorative glasswork. Art Deco vases are often vibrantly coloured and ornately decorated. Other Art Deco tenets, such as floral decorations and the female imagery, were also incorporated into some of the vases. The vases could range in shapes, with some being angular and pronounced, while others were tall, sleek and intricately finished. The movement began to wane in the late 1940s but in recent decades its style has seen resurgence and Art Deco items can be extremely sought after.

Discover the Art Deco Vase

An Art Deco vase may be purchased for a number of reasons. Some buyers will purchase one to use functionally, to display flowers in while others will see an Art Deco vase as being too precious or delicate to use and will display it decoratively. Certain buyers will see an Art Deco vase as a good financial investment, as some vases will increase in value, and will store it to preserve its condition and value.

Parts of an Art Deco Vase

The vase’s main function is to safely store flowers and is often simple in construction. The different parts of a vase, and how they interact with each other, allow it to be both functional and often stylish too. These parts include:




This is the base of the vase. It must be strong enough to support the weight of the vase. Usually in a flat or bulbous shape.


This is the main part of the vase with the largest surface area for designs or adornments.


The curve of the vase where the main body meets the neck.


The neck is usually thin and will vary in length. The neck adds elegance and sophistication to the vase.


Usually flares back giving emphasis to the vases opening.


Used to pick up the vase.

Materials Used in an Art Deco Vase




Its shiny, glossy veneer can be considered to be highly decorative. The exterior of porcelain can be painted with intricate designs.


Glass was a very popular choice amongst Art Deco vase makers. Murano glass was a particularly popular choice; it combined the quality of Venetian glass with the creative art of Deco designs.


Has a natural cream or green tint. Is strong and durable and considered aesthetically pleasing.

Types of Art Deco Vase

Artists that had produced work in previous eras heavily influenced the Art Deco movement. Here is a brief description of some of these influences.




A derivative of Cubism. Traditional forms of expression were shunned in Futurism; quick and dynamic movement was often represented.


Natural forms were often distorted. Intense and expressive colours were used.


Often consisted of reducing forms to their geometric equivalents

Factors to Consider When Buying and Art Deco Vase

There are certain considerations that every buyer should think of before making a purchase of an Art Deco vase.

  • Condition - The condition of the vase is extremely important. If there is any crack or chip it will affect the value of the vase. Study the pictures provided by the seller for damage of any kind. If the photos are not clear enough the buyer should ask the seller for alternative photos, or more information.
  • Decoration - The buyer should consider where they are going to place the Art Deco vase. Many Art Deco pieces can be bold in design and vibrantly coloured, so a buyer should think about whether or not the vase will suit their current decorative theme.
  • Ask Questions - The buyer should ask the seller as many questions as they feel they need to, whether it is about the condition of the vase, or the vases history. Sellers are used to being asked questions and will be happy to help.

How to Care for an Art Deco Vase

An antique, by definition, is an object or piece of art that is over a hundred years old. Vases from the Art Deco movement are on the cusp of being considered antiques so should therefore be given the care and attention that is given to antiques.

If there is any dust or dirt on the vase it should be removed with a soft cloth or brush. If the dirt is difficult to remove, a wet cotton bud can be used.

An Art Deco Vase should be handled extremely carefully as there is a good chance that it could be delicate. If the vase is delicate, and does have handles, try not to pick the vase up by these handles. They are likely to be the weakest part of the vase and should be handled as rarely as possible.

It is advised that an Art Deco vase is displayed in a cabinet as this should prevent any accidental damage from happening to the vase.

Accessories for an Art Deco Vase

Below is a short list of some accessories that a buyer of an Art Deco vase should consider getting.

  • Soft Cloth/Brush/Cotton Bud - Good for wiping off dust or dirt.
  • Bubble Wrap - This will protect a vase from getting cracked or smashed when it is being moved from one place to another.
  • Glass Cabinet - A glass cabinet will ensure that the Art Deco vase is handled as rarely as possible. It will also decrease the risk of the vase being accidentally knocked over.

Finding an Art Deco Vase on eBay

Once you determine the type of Art Deco vase you want to purchase, visit the Antiques portal on eBay, click on then ‘Art Deco’ under ‘Style/Period’ and start searching item listings. The Categories list on the left-hand side of the eBay page helps to narrow the search.

Searching for an Art Deco Vase on eBay

Search eBay listing titles for specific words when shopping for an Art Deco vase. For example, to find an Art Deco Glass Vase, type, ‘Art Deco Glass Vase’ into the search box, and then click the Advanced button to customise the results. Also visit eBay’s Search Tips page for more advice on searching for an Art Deco vase with keywords. If you can’t find the exact Art Deco vase you want, try shopping eBay Stores.


The Art Deco vase is an item that can bring style and functionality to a home. It is an object that truly represents an art movement known for its innovation, style and vibrancy. To make the most informed purchase a buyer should consider the age, design and condition of the vase, as well as how to best use and care for it after purchase. Once you have collected this information, you can buy an Art Deco vase safely and securely on eBay.

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