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    

Swarovski Crystal 2015 Annual Edition Christmas Ornament 5099840Rare Collection Of Xmas Christmas Tree 37 Pc Lot Book Weiss Eisenberg Swarovski Fenton Satin Art Glass 1714bd Chickadee Ballet Hand Painted Christmas Ornament Fenton Satin Art Glass 1714nb Bluebird In Snowfall Painted Christmas Ornament Swarovski Crystal Small "felix Christmas Tree" Figurine ~ 665024 ~ RetiredC Lalique Signed France Art Glass Christmas Plate 1965 Double Necking Dove Birds2008 Annual Swarovski Crystal Large Snowflake Star Christmas OrnamentSwarovski Large Christmas Ornament 2007 Mib #872200Swarovski Crystal Christmas Memories "bells" Ornament ~ Mib ~ 9443 000 003Swarovski Crystal Ornament - Christmas Memories AngelWaterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Champagne Flute: 12 Drummers DrummingFenton Satin Art Glass 1714bl Downy Woodpecker Song Painted Christmas Ornament Swarovski Annual Star Snowflake Christmas Ornament 2006 Complete W/ Box NrC Lalique Signed France Art Glass Christmas Plate 1968 Deer Fawn Fantasia1994 Mib Swarovski Crystal Annual Christmas Ornament Star/snowflake Waterford Crystal 12 Days Of Christmas Champagne Flute: 10 Lords A Leaping2008 Swarovski Crystal Annual Holiday Christmas Snowflake Ornament W/ Box & Cert2000 Swarovski Crystal Annual Christmas Ornament W/ Inner & Outer Box & InsertWaterford Crystal Christmas Bulb Ornament Ruby Cased Ball & Box & Papers & TagC Swarovski Crystal Christmas Ornament Angel 2013 In BoxSwarovski Annual Star Snowflake Christmas Ornament 2000 W/ Box No ReserveSwarovski Annual Edition Snowflake Christmas Ornament 2007, 2008, 2009 - RetiredWaterford Marquis Green Crystal 6.5" Christmas Tree Mib2007 Swarovski Crystal Annual Holiday Christmas Snowflake Ornament W/ Box & CertSwarovski - Christmas Tree Decoration Bear With Toy Train - BoxedC Lalique Signed France Art Glass Christmas Plate 1969 Butterfly Snowflake1972 Lalique “coquillage ‘ Annual Christmas Plate – No ReserveVintage Antique 80s Gold Christmas Candle Crystal Earrings Deceased Estate VtgSwarovski Figurine - 2004 Christmas Ornament - 631526Betsey Johnson Sparkling Crystal Christmas Tree Pendant Necklace # F2782001 Swarovski Crystal Christmas Tree Ornament. Original Boxes!Swarovski 1997 Christmas Star Snowflake Ornament In Box2011 Christmas Tree $20 - Peridot Stones Swarovski - .9999 Pure Silver CoinC Lalique Signed France Art Glass Christmas Plate 1973 Red Breasted Robin BirdBetsey Johnson Sparkling Crystal Christmas Tree Pendant Necklace #g278Swarovski Christmas Sleigh Retired W/ Mirrored BaseSwarovski Crystal Snowflake Star Christmas Ornament Annual For 2003 Mib2011 Swarovski Crystal Annual Christmas Ornament W/ Box & Certificate C Lalique Signed France Art Glass Christmas Plate 1974 Plate Of CookiesRare 2005 Pepi Herrmann Crystal Christmas Tree Ornament ~ Mint In BoxBetsey Johnson Crystal Fawn Deer Pendant Sweater Chain Necklace Christmas Gift ZSwarovski Elements Christmas Gift Marquise Cut Purple Amethys Lady Bracelet6 Ft Clear Glass Chandelier Crystal Beaded Chain Wedding Christmas Garland 14mm Lovely Guitar Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas GifBetsey Johnson Sparkling Crystal Christmas Tree Pendant Necklace #g278C Swarovski Crystal Christmas Ornament Angel 2005Swarovski Large Christmas Ornament 2010 Mib #1041301Swarovski 2011 Crystal Large 20 Year Snowflake Star Christmas Ornament 1092037Waterford Crystal Snowflake Wishes 2012 Christmas OrnamentVintage Green Lead Crystal Glass Evergreen Christmas Tree 7" TallMarked Swarovski Swan Christmas Package Gold Tone Crystal Pierced 1" EarringsCrystal Ball Pendant Chandelier Prisms Hanging Christmas Wedding Ornaments GiftsKc010 Bells Keyring Swarovski Crystal Charm Pendant Key Bag Chain Christmas GiftChristmas Cat Trinket Box By Keren Kopal Austrian Crystal Jewelry Box FabergeDouble Christmas Trees Charm Pendant Rhinestone Crystal Purse Bag Key Chain GiftLovely Guitar Rhinestone Crystal Charm Pendant Purse Bag Key Chain Christmas GifPink Octopus Pearl Pendant Charm Crystal Purse Bag Key Ring Chain Christmas GiftSwarovski Crystal Christmas Ornament 2011Murano Art Glass Christmas Tree - Clear With Silver Foil And Multi Colors Christmas Tree Two (2) Mikasa Crystal Water/wine Goblets Glasses