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]

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    

Swarovski Crystal 1994 Snowflake Star Annual Christmas Holiday Ornament Mib NrSwarovski Crystal 2007 Snowflake Star Christmas Ornament 3p Box Set 0903409 NosSwarovski 2010 Christmas/x-mas Ornament/snowflake, Perfect !!!Swarovski Crystal Snowflake 2002 Annual Edition Christmas Star Ornament Mib NrSwarovski Crystal Snowflake 2003 Annual Edition Christmas Star Ornament Mib NrSwarovski Crystal 2012 Annual Edition Christmas Star Snowflake Ornament Mib NrWaterford Crystal 1982 12 Days Of Christmas Ornament Partridge In A Pear TreeMib 2004 Waterford Snow Crystal Christmas Spire Ornament 8.5" Icicle 129275 RareSwarovski Crystal 1999 Snowflake Christmas OrnamentMib Swarovski Crystal 2010 Annual Christmas Star/snowflake+box+coa - Free ShipSwarovski Crystal Golden Snowflake 2012 Annual Christmas Ornament Mib 1139970 NrWaterford Crystal Christmas Ornament 1982 - PartridgeSwarovski Crystal Star/snowflake 2001 Christmas Ornament With Mirrored StandMib Swarovski Crystal 2011 20th Anniversary Christmas Ornament+box+coa Golden Crystal Ornament Star Suncatcher Christmas Decor Wedding Gifts Top 2013 2016 Swarovski Crystal Christmas Large Snowflake Ornament Annual EditionBlue Fish Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Pendant Key Bag Chain Christmas Lover Gift 2002 Swarovski Crystal "snowflake Star" Annual Christmas Ornament #288802Lot Of 2 Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal 12 Day Of Christmas Punch Glass Signed7 Ft Color Glass Chandelier Crystal Beaded Chain Wedding Christmas Garland 14mmWaterford Crystal Christmas Ornament 1992Original Label Fenton Satin Glass Green Praying Boy Girl Christmas PrettyCrystal Carnival Glass Bow Pattern Shoe Slipper Boot Iridescent Christmas Clear 6.6 Ft Clear Glass Chandelier Crystal Bead Chain Wedding Christmas Garland 14mmT Poodle Dog Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Pendant Bag Keychain Christmas Love GiftFashion Christmas Tree Ice Crystal Colorful Changing Led Light Lamp Party DecorLovely Guitar Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas GifT Scorpion Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Key Bag Chain Christmas GiftSwarovski 2005 Christmas Ornament Star Brand Rockefeller Center- Both BoxesSwarovski Annual Christmas Star Crystal Ornament 2003Swarovski Crystal Christmas Figure Cockatoo A7621 #261635 Rare Retired BirdKosta Crystal Glass Angel Head With Wings Christmas Tree OrnamentA609 Betsey Johnson Crystal Enamel Christmas Eggs Pendant Sweater Chain NecklaceChic Led Lamp Light Crystal Christmas Tree Xmas Festival Party DecorationsT Carousel Horse Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Charm Key Bag Chain Christmas GiftT Carousel Horse Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Charm Key Bag Chain Christmas GiftSwarovski Crystal 2001 Christmas Star Snowflake Ornament In Original Box1.1lb 501g Nature Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone Pyramid Point Christmas Gifts H4Spun Glass Miniature Christmas Tree Figurine Type Crystal Lovely Guitar Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas GifKosta Round Bells Crystal Glass Christmas Tree OrnamentSwarovski Austrian Crystal Pendant Prism Teardrop Christmas Ornament Suncatcher 39g Nature Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone Pyramid Point Christmas Gifts H544D Butterfly Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Pendant Bag Keychain Christmas Lover GiftT Pegasus Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Key Bag Chain Christmas Gift24pcs/lot 14mm Crystal Glass Charm Pendants Butterfly Christmas Created ColorfulCrystal Trojan Horse Stick Earings 18k Yellow Gold Filled Lot Earings ChristmasT Carousel Horse Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Charm Key Bag Chain Christmas GiftChristmas Snowman Trinket Box By Keren Kopal With Austrian Crystal Faberge Christmas Manhattan By Croton Set Of 5 Crystal Bezel Womens Watches Hsn $79Crystal 2015 Annual Christmas Little Star Snowflake Ornament Xmas Gift With BoxCrystal Carnival Glass Bow Pattern Shoe Slipper Boot Iridescent Christmas Clear Af309 Betsey Johnson Enamel Crystal Christmas Tree Pendant Sweater NecklaceD Butterfly Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Pendant Bag Keychain Christmas Lover GiftBetsey Johnson Sparkling Crystal Christmas Tree Pendant Necklace # F278bWedding Royal Carriage Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas GiftBetsey Johnson Cute Fashion Inlaid Crystal Christmas Tree Snowman Earrings JChristmas Santa Claus Trinket Box Hand Made By Keren Kopal With Austrian CrystalWedding Royal Carriage Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas GiftDt Turtle Keyring Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Key Bag Chain Christmas Gift