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 Emerald Green Hurricane Lamp Christmas Tree Girl Teddy Bear Mary GregorySwarovski 2001 Christmas Ornament 2001 Snowflake Limited EditionSwarovski Crystal "1999 Christmas Snowflake Ornament" Figurine MibSwarovski Christmas Ornament 2000Tiffany & Co., Crystal, Christmas, Bell & Snowflake Ornaments.Canada 2011 $20 Christmas Tree .999 1 Oz Silver Coin With Swarovski Crystals 2004 Swarovski Rockefeller Star Christmas Tree Ornament With Coa2004 Swarovski Christmas OrnamentSwarovski Crystal "1992 Mini Christmas Ornament" FigurineWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Ornaments 1985-1995 Lot Of 11Swarovski 2002 Christmas Ornament 2002 Snowflake Limited EditionSwarovski 2005 Christmas Ornament 2005 Snowflake Limited EditionSwarovski Crystal 2015 Christmas Santa Figurine Rocking Holiday Deco 1143323 $60Tiffany & Co., Crystal, Christmas Ice Skate And 5 Point Star Ornaments.Swarovski Crystal "1993 Mini Christmas Ornament" FigurineSwarovski 2011 Scs Annual Christmas Ornament 1092040Swarovski 2009 Scs Annual Christmas Ornament 10267611985 Waterford Crystal Christmas Ornament Two Turtle Doves With Original BoxWaterford Crystal Fleur De Lis Christmas Tree Ornament With Sticker Christmas Gift. Natural Solid Crystal Opal Pendant Sterling Silver Stamped 9252 Waterford Marquis Christmas Tree Sculpture Crystal Clear 6.5" & 3.5" - Mint Swarovski 2010 Scs Annual Christmas Ornament 1054560Vintage Fenton Glass Handpainted Christmas Tree 7.5 Signed J. Powell StickerSwarovski Crystal Rocking Holiday Penguin Figurine 5004495 Collectible ChristmasSwarovski Little Star Christmas Ornament 681402Fenton Large Christmas Tree 5535 ZqVintage Iris Arc Swarovski Miniature 1" Crystal Christmas Tree - Mint HallmarkedWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas 2nd Ed Flute 2 Turtle DovesWaterford Crystal Sea Horse Christmas Tree Ornament1988 Waterford Crystal Christmas Ornament Five Golden RingsSwarovski 2013 Scs Annual Christmas Ornament 5004491Set Of 11 Waterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Bells 1984,1986-1995Swarovski 2007 Christmas Ornament 2007 Snowflake Limited Edition4 Pairpoint Crystal Annual Christmas Bells - Dated 1991-1994 & Artist InitialFenton Christmas Tree Small 5557 Zq6.6 Ft Clear Glass Chandelier Crystal Bead Chain Wedding Christmas Garland 14mmBetsey Johnson Crystal Fawn Deer Pendant Sweater Chain Necklace Christmas Gift ZLovely Guitar Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas Gif2000 Swarovski Crystal " Snowflake " Christmas Ornament Orig Box (no Coa)Waterford Heirloom Crystal Glass Christmas Ornaments. Rare. Red And Green GlobesBlue Irredescent Snow Frosted Fenton Glass Christmas Tree Gold Squirrel 6" VntgSwarovski Austrian Crystal 2015 Holiday Owl Ornament Christmas Decor 5135848 $90Swarovski Crystal Ornament Merry ChristmasWaterford Crystal Christmas Tree Ornament With Sticker And MarkedLovely Guitar Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas GifFashion 925 Silver Filled Crystal Necklace Pendant Christmas Fine GiftsDouble Christmas Trees Charm Pendant Rhinestone Crystal Purse Bag Key Chain GiftDouble Christmas Trees Charm Pendant Rhinestone Crystal Purse Bag Key Chain GiftRomantic Decoration Led Crystal Light With Football Design Christmas PartyLovely Guitar Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas GifVintage Swarovski 2001 Star Or Snowflake Christmas Ornament1999 Waterford Crystal Five Golden Rings Ornament 12 Days Of Christmas - 5th Ed Lot 25 Solid Glass Icicles Christmas Ornament Venetian Murano Window DecorationLot Of 23 Solid Glass Icicle Christmas Ornament Murano Window Suncatcher PrismFenton Medium Christmas Tree 5556 Zq1996 Waterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas, Turtle Dove, 2nd EditionDioptase Fine Rare Mineral Specimen Crystal, Christmas Mine, Arizona, UsaMurano Red Shoes Charm Fit European Silver Snake Bracelet For Christmas GiftChristmas Carriagtrinket Box By Keren Kopal Austrian Crystal Jewelry Box FabergeHigh Silver Charm Bracelet With Blue Butterfly Murano Bead Christmas Diy Jewelry