Collect Vintage Glass as a Decorative Piece or Special Gift

Decorative glass has remained desirable through several centuries. Vintage decorative glasses are highly collectable. Whether you wish to extend your existing collection of glass bottles, or you are looking for a special gift to a friend who is into vintage bottles, you will find many options on eBay.

Can you spot authentic vintage glass?

Yes, but it might be tricky if you are a beginner. Fortunately, you can quickly learn the ropes by getting a guidebook for decorative glass collectors or subscribe to a specialist website. Nonetheless, some general pointers in assessing the age of a glass bottle are:

  • Bottle mould lines and marks: If seam lines can be seen all the way up a vintage bottle and over the lip, there is a good chance it is a vintage item. Machine marks and maker signatures can often be seen on a collectable bottle.
  • Pontils: The pontil is the nib on the base of a vintage glass bottle left from the glass blowing process. There are particular details to look for in a pontil that help to identify the age and authenticity of a glass bottle. Check the websites of the manufacturer for these details.
  • Edges, tops, and rims: An older glass item will have softer or rounder edges than a new piece. On a vintage glass dish or stand, the bases tend to be rimmed rather than flat. Vintage drinkware pieces often have a crown top.
Understanding the value of vintage decorative glasses?

The following are thumb rules when considering the value of vintage glass bottles:

  • Certain colours are considered more collectable. The lower value items tend to be clear, amber, and aqua. Amber bottles were used by travelling salesmen when providing samples and are more prevalent. Mid-value bottles are black, teal blue, green/olive, and milk glass.
  • Vaseline glass (made with uranium between the 1800s-1920s), purple, yellow-green, cobalt blue, and puce are generally considered higher value.
  • A vintage beer bottle or mineral bottle often has the iconic codd neck, which was the small marble inserted to assist in pouring carbonated liquids. These are relatively common but particular maker's embossing can be appealing to certain collectors leading to increases in value.
  • The value of a decanter bottle will vary considerably, whether cut glass, plain, coloured, singular, or in pairs. Again, consult a specialist guide book or website.
Choosing a decorative vintage glass perfume bottle

Look for a decorative glass perfume bottle that has its original stopper. These can be enamel, metal, or glass and should match or complement the design of the bottle. However, simply the attractiveness of colour and shape of the perfume bottle can be enough justification for purchase.