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    

Fenton Red Slag Christmas Tree Selling With No Reserve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!2 Vintage Matchless Star Christmas Tree Bulb Light Usa Crystal GlassSwarovski Crystal Snowflake Star Christmas Ornament Annual For 2009 With BoxSwarovski Crystal Magical Christmas Tree Figurine Swarovski Christmas Ornament 2001 Waterford Irish Crystal Christmas Tree TopperSwarovski Austria 1999 Annual Christmas Tree Snowflake Ornament.Vintage Lot Of 6 Waterford Crystal Christmas Tree Ornaments Various DatesVintage Waterford Crystal Christmas Tree Topper Mint W/ BoxSwarovski Crystal Snowflake Star Christmas Ornament Annual For 2007Thomas Kinkade Illuminated Crystal Snowman White Christmas W/ Moving TrainSwarovski Crystal Snowflake Christmas Ornament 2004 631562 3" Size1998 Swarovski Crystal Annual Limited Edition Christmas Ornament Box, Coa, RareSwarovski Christmas Ornament 2000 Mint In BoxFenton Burmese Green Holly Berries Hand Painted Christmas Tree 7.5"Swarovski Crystal Memories Christmas Angel Ornament W/gold & Wings, Original BoxWaterford Crystal Christmas Ornament 1991 Christmas Ball 3755467,mint In BoxSwarovski 1999 Star Snowflake Crystal Christmas Ornament Stunning Rare RetiredSwarovski Crystal Christmas Ornament 2010 1041301 2-9/16 X 3-1/16" SizeSwarovski Crystal Scs Christmas Ornament 2010 1054560 2-9/16" X 3-3/16"Swarovski Christmas Ornament 2014Swarovski Crystal Snowflake Star Christmas Ornament Annual For 2006Set Of 4 Crystal Christmas PezArt Deco Christmas Gift Flower Bracelet Cuff Bangle Rose Pink Austrian CrystalSwarovski Crystal Figurine Kris Bear Christmas 2014Limited Fenton Glass Signed By Artist Mint Condition Green Christmas Themed BellSwarovski Crystal - 2009 "large" Christmas Ornament Star 3", No Box1997 Swarovski Austria Christmas Tree Ornament. Mint In Box.Swarovski Scs Christmas Ornament 2012 1139970 2-9/16" X 3-3/16" Size(2) Swarovski Christmas Ornament Home Displays 1076800 7" TallFenton Glass Ruby Amberina Santa Claus Christmas Holiday Fairy Candle LampBetsey Johnson Crystal Fawn Deer Pendant Sweater Chain Necklace Christmas Gift 1Fenton Glass ~ 6 Inch ~christmas Tree Iridescent Ice Blue With Gold SquirrelSwarovski Snowflake Christmas Ornament Swarovski Crystal Christmas Tree In Original Box No Reserve Must See!!Swarovski Crystal Christmas Noel Angel Natale With Box & Paperwork7 Ft Color Glass Chandelier Crystal Beaded Chain Wedding Christmas Garland 14mm6 Ft Clear Crystal Glass Chandelier Beaded Chain Wedding Christmas Garland 14mmBdd) Marquis Waterford Crystal Christmas Tree Ornament In Orig Box BeautifulSwarovski Crystal Christmas Ball Ornament 2014Christmas Cat Trinket Box By Keren Kopal Austrian Crystal Jewelry Box FabergeMurano? Glass Snowman Christmas DecorationKc010 Bells Keyring Swarovski Crystal Charm Pendant Key Bag Chain Christmas GiftLovely Guitar Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas GifSwarovski Crystal Christmas Snowflake Ornament 2012 1125019 2-9/16" X 3-3/16"Murano Glass Christmas Tree Ornament Heavy Rippled 3.5 Inch Ball Tree OrnamentCertified Swarovski Crystal Christmas Tree Ornament Hardanger & Crystal Christmas Stocking Cross Stitch KitWaterford Crystal Marquis Ornament - First Christmas Together 2003Wedding Royal Carriage Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas Gift1p Retro Red Owl Charm Crystal Pendant Necklace Chain Prom Gifts Christmas GiftsTree Black Christmas Charm Lovely Rhinestone Crystal Purse Bag Keyring Key ChainChristmas Gift. Natural Solid Crystal Opal Pendant Sterling Silver Stamped 925Christmas Jewelry Blue Crystal Long Butterfly Pendant Necklace Women Enamel GiftTree Black Christmas Charm Lovely Rhinestone Crystal Purse Bag Keyring Key ChainSpotted Deer Cervus Nippon Cute Pendant Crystal Purse Bag Keyring Christmas GiftSwarovski Crystal Christmas Tree Ornament 0904990 1-13/16" X 3-3/8" SizeFenton Glass Spruce Green Santa Claus Christmas Holiday Footed VaseMarquis Waterford Crystal Noah's Ark Monkeys 2nd In Series Christmas OrnamentLot 6 Art Glass Crystal Clear Heart Memorial Tribute Favor Christmas Ornament