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Mid-20th Century Glass Decor – So Retro!

by Lisa Huff (08/22/08).
Large Italian Venini Art Glass Sommerso Duck
Huge Viking Art Glass Yesteryear Goblet Vase
1960s Blenko Art Glass Crackle Decanters

During the middle years of the 20th century (1920s – 1970s), glass design mirrored the attitudes and fashions of a world surging ahead of its previous limitations. From the Arts & Crafts, Modernism, Art Deco, Eames, Atomic, and Post Modernism eras, came fabulous glass decor from all over the world. Glass artists pushed the envelope in decor and style, took advantage of new techniques, modified old techniques, and produced a bounty of beautiful, fragile decor items that are now the antiques of the very near future. The value of mid-century glass is increasing rapidly.

Decor fashions through the years are often repeated and modified. Today, the Retro style is popular with the younger generation who appreciate the bold and beautiful designs of the Modernists and Hippie generation. We older Hippies still appreciate it too. Big, bold, colorful glass from the 1950s-1970s make for eye-catching decor focal points, and often can be found at a very good value compared to the cost of today’s new glass in the retro style. Authentic vintage retro glass is of much better quality than the new “knock-offs” of today.

Collecting good retro vintage glass is tons of fun, but identifying it correctly can be difficult. The 20th century produced billions of glass items, from thousands of different makers. Some makers have “tell-tale” signs of their art style or creation method that can help identify. There are also clues that can be followed in relation to distinctive era décor, specific colors and forms, the glass “recipe”, and regional styles throughout the world.

Do you have a glass item from the past? Can you name the maker and era? Does it have a story? Or is it a mystery? Post your fabulous finds, comments and questions here.

5 Responses to “Mid-20th Century Glass Decor – So Retro!”

  1. olliedacey says:

    i have 2 peices of murano glass the picture of thems on my profile please please can some one tell me what they are and how much there worth please email me at ollie.dacey@yahoo.co.uk

  2. Diane Peltman says:

    I’m new to the art glass collecting hobby. My main interest is Scandinavian art glass. I found this at a garage sale. To me, it looks like Scandinavian glass and I am wondering if it could have been made by Holmegaard around the 1950s. I’ve uploaded the image into my profile. Any suggestions?

  3. Abby Robinson says:

    I always enjoy you articles about glass. My own fmamly, the Bischoffs, were glass blowers in PA,OH, and WV during the late 19th and 20th centures. There were located near the Blenko plant. Most of my family collects it but I usually blow my own :)

  4. Lisa Huff says:

    Ollie has a pair of tall cylinder stoppered mid-century modern decanters made by Mazzega. The Mazzega family was a fine Italian glassmaker that ceased doing business in 1983. Their great works come from the early 20th century and are modernistic in design.

  5. historicbottlewebsite says:

    Hi there…my area of expertise is late 18th through early 20th century American-made bottles. I’m sorry to say that the purple glass decanter – though very beautiful – is from a era and place of origin that I know nothing about.

    (Your question was forwarded to me through WorthPoint in some way…I’m still learning how it works!)

    Bill Lindsey
    Historic Bottle Worthologist

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