Vintage Christmas Glass and Crystal

Glass and crystal items are traditional Christmas decorations and gifts. Glassmakers like Sandwich, Waterford, Fenton, and others have long produced glass Christmas pieces including ornaments, tableware, wall decorations, lanterns, window-hanging ornaments, glass-beaded garlands, and limited-edition glassware.

But historically, glass had a more practical purpose during Christmas, as counterweights or shades for candles, which were used to light up Christmas trees before the widespread distribution of electricity. Glass Christmas counterweights generally resembled the ornaments of the day (fruits and flowers were common motifs), except they had clips on their tops that were meant to be secured to branches, as well as holders for candles. Glass shades, which were often blown into the same molds as ornaments, were even more functional, outfitted with clips at their bases since the shade was designed to contain the flickering flames.

A parallel tradition of Christmas crystal gives collectors of Waterford, Swarovski, Baccarat, Orrefors, Steuben, and even Lalique something a bit more upscale to hang on their trees or set on their tables. Subjects for crystal ornaments generally run along the same lines as glass ones, with sparkling Santas, angels, bells, and doves being among the most popular motifs. Waterford has made crystal ornaments in the shapes of wreaths and fleurs-de-lis. Orrefors ornaments tend to be abstractions of Christmas trees and snowmen, while those from Baccarat include shooting stars and snowflakes.

Beyond ornaments, crystal makers have also produced objects that are more traditionally decorative, intended for household display during the season. Swarovski’s cut crystal pieces are like little statuettes of Santa, his reindeer, and their sleigh. Steuben’s Christmas crystal was even more sculptural, especially the trees represented by bubble-riddled, dunce-cap-like cones. On the other hand, many pieces of holiday crystal are functional, such as the 12 Days of Christmas stemware and plates produced by Waterford.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Papa Teds Place

Papa Teds Place

The late Theodore H. Althof, Jr's beautiful collection of vintage dimestore cardboard Christmas 'putz' village hous… [read review or visit site]

Antique Christmas Lights Museum

Antique Christmas Lights Museum

George Nelson's incredibly detailed chronicle of vintage Christmas tree lighting. Browsable by decade and special t… [read review or visit site]

Bohemian Christmas Decorations

Bohemian Christmas Decorations

This simple site showcases over 500 artistic Gablonz glass bead antique and vintage Christmas tree ornaments, made … [read review or visit site]

Old Soviet Christmas Cards

Old Soviet Christmas Cards

This site showcases over 1000 old Soviet Christmas and New Years cards from 1950 to 1990. Browse through page after… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Signed Swarovski 1999 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredCollectible Swarovski 1991 First Edition Austrian Crystal Christmas OrnamentSigned Swarovski 2001 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredSigned Swarovski 2004 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredAmazing Vintage Crystal Czech Rhinestone Christmas Tree StandingFenton Glass Mouse Christmas Retired Signed Handpainted Holly, Berries, ScarfWaterford Crystal 1982 Christmas OrnamentSigned Swarovski 2008 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredSigned Swarovski 2002 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredSwarovski Scs 2014 Limited Edition Little Snowflake 5059029 Christmas Ornament2015 Christmas Ornament Large One Swarovski 2015 Christmas Ornament Large One Swarovski Swarovski Crystal Christmas Ball Ornament 2014Waterford Crystal "the 12 Days Of Christmas Collection" Six Geese A-laying FluteSwarovski Annual Edition Snowflake Christmas Ornament 2007, 2008, 2009 - RetiredSigned Swarovski 2005 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredSigned Swarovski 2000 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredCanada 2011 $20 Christmas Tree .999 1 Oz Silver Coin With Swarovski CrystalsWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Flute 1st Edition Partridge Waterford Crystal: 12 Days Of Christmas, Champagne Flute, 8 Maids A MilkingWaterford Crystal "the 12 Days Of Christmas Collection" Five Gold Rings FluteCrystal Memories Swarovski Christmas Tree Ornament 2015 Christmas Little Star Swarovski 1996 Swarovski Crystal Christmas Ornament W/ Box & Papers Star Snowflake BrokenSigned Swarovski 2006 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Champagne Flute: 10 Lords A Leaping2015 Christmas Ornament Large One Swarovski 2015 Christmas Little Star Swarovski Sweet Fenton Hand Painted Christmas Glass Polar Bear Signed M. YoungMurano Glass Christmas Tree FigurineSwarovski Crystal 2004 Christmas Stars Ornament Waterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Champagne Flute--11 Pipers PipingWaterford 12 Days Of Christmas 2 Turtle Doves Crystal Flute 2nd Edition In Box Swarovski Crystal Ornament Locomotive From Christmas Memories Series Austria2011 Fine Silver Crystal Christmas Tree Canada $20 Proof Coin, Secc26Waterford Heavy Crystal Radiant Cross Christmas Ornament W/bag Ireland BeautifulSwarovski, 20 Years, Christmas Ornament 2011Lot Of 25 All Art Glass Icicle Christmas Ornament Holiday Murano Tree DecorationWaterford Crystal "the 12 Days Of Christmas Collection" Three French Hens FluteSigned Swarovski 2003 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredSigned Swarovski 2007 Holiday Christmas Ornament Silver Crystal Figurine RetiredBetsey Johnson Crystal Fawn Deer Pendant Sweater Chain Necklace Christmas Gift ZWaterford Crystal The Songs Of Christmas Collection O Holy Night The 3 Wise MenSwarovski Crystal 2015 Annual Edition Christmas Ornament 50998401982 Waterford Crystal Christmas Ornament With BoxFenton Christmas Ornament W/ Church Painted By S. MillerWaterford Crystal "the 12 Days Of Christmas Collection" Four Calling BirdsVintage Murano Wrapped Glass Candies Christmas DecorChristmas Gift Santa Claus Bracelet Clear Austrian Rhinestone Crystal Red EnamelChristmas Cat Trinket Box By Keren Kopal Austrian Crystal Jewelry Box FabergeBetsey Johnson Cute Fashion Inlay Crystal Christmas Bells Earrings # F398Swarovski Christmas Ornament 2007 Never Used, Originial Retail $70 !!!!!!!!!!!!Swarovski Crystal Snowflake Star Christmas Holiday Ornament Annual 2000 Lalique 2013 Red Crystal Christmas Snowflake Ornament W/ Box.Vintage Murano Art Glass Christmas Tree Red Green 7.5"Baccarat Christmas OrnamentsWaterford Crystal Ten Lords A-leaping Christmas Ornament 12 Days Of Xmas 20046 Ft Clear Glass Chandelier Crystal Beaded Chain Wedding Christmas Garland 14mm 3 Tier Crystal Bowl Of Baubles & Holly ~ Glittered Christmas Ornament~ Vtg ImgChristmas Gift. Natural Solid Crystal Opal Pendant Sterling Silver Stamped 925