I have quite the obsession with vintage glassware! Glassware is another one of the vintage items I collect in addition to costume jewelry and handbags. I’ve been asked several times to put together a guide to the most popular, or at least, my favorite vintage glassware.
A Guide to Vintage Glassware
You can get lucky by finding vintage glassware by rummaging around at garage sales or at the flea markets. Most people, however, don’t know what to look for when selecting a good piece of vintage glassware because there is a LOT of vintage glassware out there ranging from antique crystal to more refined mid-century glassware. The markings, color, shape, and other details all play a part in understanding the history and value of glassware. By knowing what to look for, you’ll know when to splurge on a valuable piece of glassware to add to your collection. More often than not, just knowing the various brands and style gives you a better appreciation for the fine art of glassware. My take on it- if you love it then collect it – it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be a great find or collectible piece.
I’ve focused on my favorite and most recognized vintage glassware from the mid-century period.
Anyone who knows me knows that Blendo glassware is by far my favorite vintage glass to collect. Blendo glass was made by West Virginia Glass Company and was really popular in the 1950s and 60s and is still relatively easy to find now. Blendo glass is characterized by a bright neon/pastel solid base that fades as it goes up the glass and a gold rim. You’ll see repros and knock off brands that have the base color, but not the signature gold rim. Blendo glass makes great entertaining ware as they come in cocktail and juice sets and pitchers. Because they are easier to find, you can build an entertaining set quite quickly (and on the cheap).
Where to buy: flea market, thrift store, Etsy
Cost: $30 for a set
Culver Glass Company was famous for their stunning decorative glassware in 22-karat gold – think lavish and opulent cocktailware of the 1950s and 60s. In the late 1950’s, Culver started the application of the 22-karat gold to their glassware. Fun fact: the super-heated, roll-on process of gold remains a secret today. Culver comes in a variety of patterns including gilded mushrooms, owls, cats, wildlife, Egyptian or Asian inspired design themes, scrolling leaf patterns, holiday designs, sports motifs and many others. The Valencia pattern which features gilded Moroccan-style trellis and raised emerald-green diamonds is the most popular pattern in cocktailware. Some other collectible patterns include:
Prado: green and gold squares
Antiqua: low-set, simple crackled-gold band with a single row of oval cut-outs
Seville: similar to ‘Valencia’ pattern, but with aqua-blue diamonds and considered very rare
Pisa: crackled gold with three rows of oval cut-outs
Paisley: red reverse and gold swirly paisley pattern
If you’re looking for high-end vintage cocktailware, then Culver is the top contender. It’s relatively easy to find, but you’ll pay a bit more for it. Look for the “Culver” signature on the glass.
Where to buy: flea market, vintage stores, Etsy, One Kings Lane
Cost: $60 – $120 for a set
Dorothy Thorpe was a mid-century American artist who designed beautiful glassware and ceramic pieces out of her Los Angeles studio. She purchased simple blank glassware, mostly crystal, from U.S. and European manufacturers and decorated them with her personal designs. She created these breathtaking designs by using a sandblasting technique. She was also known for her silver overlay and paint speckled glass pieces, which included all types of glassware and punchbowl sets. This silver overlay is now her most popular and collected pattern. While some of Thorpe’s glassware pieces are signed with a large “T” and a smaller “D”, many of her pieces found today do not carry her signature or her original logo sticker on them. Since Thorpe designed on “blanks”, the only known silver pieces that can be attributed to Thorpe are her timeless and modern, wide-band sterling overlay glass pieces. If you’re a minimalist, then Dorothy Thorpe is your go-to for fine cocktailware.
Where to buy: vintage stores, Etsy, One Kings Lane
Cost: $100 – $250 for a set
Libbey has made millions of glass tumblers – from water glasses, tea glasses to goblets and other drinkware – over the years. It was and can still be found in most American homes! Since there are many patterns to find, the most popular – and at least my favorite – include the flamingo, daisy, and travel patterns. Vintage Libbey glassware is signed with a cursive “L” within an ordinary circle or ring. The mark actually appears backwards if viewed from outside of the glass, but it appears correctly when looking down through the inside. New Libbey glassware is signed with a cursive “L” without the circle.
Where to buy: thrift stores, flea market
Cost: very inexpensive, $10 – $20 for a set
Georges Briard was the go-to for decorative housewares in the 1950s and 60s and was carried at upscale retails like Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. Briard’s success and notoriety came with the use of 22-karat gold as screened decoration for bent glassware. His design hallmarks are repetitive patterns, most often featuring geometric shapes or nature based images. The most popular patterns include:
Ambrosia: features a pineapple motif in gold
Fancy Free: features a hot air balloon motif usually found in gold as well as light blue
Forbidden Fruit: features an apple motif usually found in gold as well as light blue, mint, and yellow
Persian Garden: features flowers, leaves, branches in gold
All Briard glassware is signed with his name and appears in cursive on each piece of glassware.
Where to buy: vintage stores, Etsy, One Kings Lane
Cost: $60-$100 for a set
Arcoroc pink swirl cups known as Rosaline are a dream and pop up on Instagram and Pinterest most often. Arcoroc glassware was produced in France in the 1980s, although it is commonly known as depression glass. This glassware features a swirl patterns on a variety of glass including saucers, coupes, flutes, goblets and other glassware. The Rosaline collection is the perfect gift for a bridal shower or as a hostess gift.
Where to buy: flea market, Etsy
Cost: $30 for a set
All images by me, except Libbey photo from here.
I have pictures of glasses that look like George Briard. How can I send you a picture to see if you know whose they are. I have many Waterford also. Please help.
Hi Ro- thanks for stopping by! Have you checked the glassware for the George Briard signature? It generally appears toward the bottom of the glass as you can see in the photo (red white and blue glassware). You can also email me, but if there are no signatures on it, then it’s probably not George Briard
i just purchased two Georges Briard glass trays. They are both large, one triangular and one hexagonal. There is a round Aztec/Phoenecian/King Tut type emblem in the middle of both trays. They have striped 22K gold (from what I’ve read) sunbursts from the center to the edges of the trays. I have scoured the net and have not found these at all. In fact, the only thing I’ve seen with this pattern of his are one set of 4 glasses on Etsy for $225. That’s it, so I’m assuming these are rare. Both are signed. They are stunning. I’m not sure if I will keep them or sale them and I have no idea what they would go for. Any comments would be helpful! Thanks
The glass trays sound beautiful. From my research, I found that there were a few patterns that were not mass produced so they are rare and hard to find. If you haven’t been able to find any items (other than the set of glasses), then it’s one of the rare or small batch designs. I would hold onto the trays especially since they are signed and have the signature gold pattern. If you do sell, take it to a high end consignment shop to get appraised and then try to sell through an estate seller. I hope this was helpful!
I am researching a set of 22k gold overlay tumblers with the signature J W in the design. I’m at a standstill. Very Culver like in looks with a bamboo and what looks like a Japanese floral medallion motif with turquoise green and blue flashing. Any ideas? Any help greatly appreciated.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m not familiar with JW glassware but they do sound similar to Culver glassware. Have you tried a reverse Google search? You input an image and it bring you results for similar or exact items. I’ve tried this when trying to identify rare vintage pieces. Here’s the link for the image search: https://images.google.com/
I have a set of 4 Culver Prado and 7 George Baird glasses with green crosses on them. Do you know where would be a good place to sell them? Thank you for your time.
Hi Megan! I recommend trying Etsy or eBay. Definitely sell them as a set and check similar listings to give you an idea of how much to sell for. I hope that helps!
Hello Annette…..I’m in need of some help….My 95 y/o Grandmother just passed and we’re are in the process of cleaning out her house….She has a beautiful 8 piece set of Culver glasses that are gold and purple….I’m having a rough time trying to find the name of the pattern…it kind of looks like a sun in the middle…..I don’t want to just get rid of them, but I would love some help in trying to find out what thus pattern is……she has a few other pieces in her collection (not culver) that I would love to find out about…..any help would be so greatly appreciated
Hi Nikki. Thanks for reaching out. The Culver glasses you’re describing may be the Celestial series. Do they look like this? https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/26/aa/97/26aa97d399bdde4339add90feec59040.jpg
For the other pieces, I would try a very descriptive Google search (for example, light pink hobnail saucer) or reverse image search to find out more about them. When I’m stuck, the reverse image search always helps!
Do you know what the Asian inspired design on Culver glassware is called? Colors include gold, red and blue. I have a bowl and just trying to figure out what the name of the pattern is. Thanks.
Hi Chelsea. That sounds like the Imari collection! It’s a beautiful pattern.
Hi! I’m starting out at getting into vintage glassware. I was trying to look them up and find their worth and about the year they were out. How would I do that? What are your tips? I have pictures and you may have seen them before!
Do the Blendo glasses always have a gold rim on the top? I have a set and the pitcher has gold trim but not the juice glasses.
Yes, blendo always has a gold rim, but after a lot of use, the gold does come off. I’m guessing the glasses were used and washed enough times to slowly remove the gold rim. I hope that helps!
Are all pieces in a Culver set signed? I have a cocktail set with holder, but only the martini pitcher is signed.
Hi Rebecca! All glassware should be signed. It will be very small and sometimes appear on the bottom below the pattern.
I have a set of 9 inch arcoroc plates. I don’t think they are very valuable but I would like to know what the number means that is between the name, arcoroc and The word France. Mine are 26, 7, 19, and 33. I searched the internet but could fine nothing regarding the number. My husband think it might be a batch number……it is puzzling.
Hi Milli. I just looked at my plates, saucers, bowls and cups and none of them have that number. It’s so interesting. If I had to guess or give you some insight, I would have to agree with your husband and assume they are the batch number.
Hi Annette! Does Blendo glass ever come with designs? I have a set in a yellow, blue and green each with a different type scene-covered wagon, dog sled ect. They have the gold trim but I can’t seem to find anything like this. Any assistance is appreciated.
Hi Rose. Yes, there are a few Blendo glasses that have designs on them. I haven’t seen the set you’re describing, but I know there are ones with flowers, an Asian pagoda design, and some stars. I hope this helps.
I have a serving dish in perfect condition it has 3 depressed sections and a gold pattern – would you know it’s worth and where to sell it ? I can send you a photo .
Hello. I have an ice bucket that I believe is Culver and 3 glasses that may or may not be. I would like to know the name of the pattern and if the glasses are Culver.
I tried attaching a photo but not sure if you can see it.
Thank you for any help you can give me.
The photos didn’t come through the comment. Have you tried a reverse Google image search?
Hi, I love reading your blog but wanted to inform you that there is no Blendo Glass, it is actually Blenko. Another wonderful glass company that came from WV was Pilgrim Glass in Huntington that was know for their crackled and cranberry pieces. Happy collecting!!!
Hi Jennifer. Thanks for visiting. Blenko and Blendo both exist. While Blenko is the actual glass company, Blendo is the style of glassware produced by West Virginia Glass Company!
Hi Jennifer. Thanks so much for stopping by and your comment. Blendo and Blenko both exist. Blenko is the glass company, while Blendo is the style of glassware produced by West Virginia Glass Company and Anchor Hocking Glass Corp. I did a lot of research to get to the origins of the “blendo” style as it’s my favorite. I’ll have to start looking for Pilgrim glass – so pretty!
I see these glasses described as Culver LTD a lot online, but they have no signature as you describe.
Hi Mike. I see a lot of vintage glassware describe as Culver when it has the gold leaf detailing. This style doesn’t look like Culver to me and based on my research, Culver is always labeled. I hope this helps.
It’s interesting to know about various vintage glassware. I noticed the mark you were talking about on one of my grandmother’s glasses when I visited her last month. I didn’t know that it is a Libbey glassware because I am not that familiar with vintage items in the kitchen. It’s nice to know these things, especially that I’m planning to give my sweet grandmother a gift. Thanks!
Hi I am wondering on what you think these are. I’ve tried searching so much with no results there is no markings I can see and the case say new life collection glass table wear any ideas at all about these glasses and value? Thanks
I am wondering if you would be available for me to send you a picture of some glasses I got from my great grandma. I think they may be Dorothy Thorpe but would like a second opinion.
Hi! I have one set of Culver and the glasses are all signed in cursive. I am looking at some sets of Valencia on Etsy and eBay, and both sellers say they are not signed (and based on their experience, say the Valencia glassware often isn’t signed.). Is this possible? Are you aware of any Culver “fakes”? They look absolutely legitimate. Thanks!
Hi Linda! In my experience, the Valencia is signed. All Culver glassware is signed with “Culver” – at least low ball and high ball glasses should be. Anything footed may not be. I hope this helps. Feel free to email me if you have any questions!
O have enjoyed your blog. Big help since I love glasses.
Hi your site is awesome
I have gotten into Thorpe glassware and have a set of dishes and bowls. The bowls are arcoroc. The plates don’t identify the blank
I am wondering how safe they are to use in terms of lead food safety… do yours ever any ideas?
Hi I have a set of vintage Blendo pink frosted glass pitcher set with four glasses. Could you give me an idea of their value? Thank you
Hi Roxy! I’d recommend looking at Etsy and eBay to determine the value. I’d say sets are usually more valuable than just pitcher or glasses. Hope that helps!
I have a pair of Georges Briard glasses and am searching for the name of the pattern. They have gold and peach (beige?) arcs on them…almost rainbow like at thrE base of the glass’ then a second level of “rainbows” on top. The rainbows are only on the bottom half or so of the glass. Can you tell me what the pattern is called? I did try a reverse google images search and it was no helpful. Thank you so much!
Hi Annette… I have run across some silver fade glasses that could be Dorothy Thorpe but since there are no markings on them I don’t know how to correctly identify them. I would like to resell them but I don’t want to falsely advertise them. Did anyone else make these kinds of glasses? Thanks for your help.
Hi Linda. I know the brand Queens Lustreware makes similar glassware. Dorothy Thorpe pieces are signed with a large “T” and a smaller “D” but many don’t have the signature. Dorothy Thorpe glasses have banded silver tops, while Queens Lustreware has the faded design. I hope this helps!
Hi. I have some mid-century Blendo tumblers as well as some 8″ dessert plates, but I can’t find any plates online. Could you tell me if they are West Virginia Glass? Assorted colors.
I would be happy to email a picture.
Hello, I recently acquired a black hobnail pitcher and was wondering if you could tell me what it’s worth. I’ve tried looking online and have found matching photos, but am unable to find a value.
Hi Tammy. Unfortunately I can’t help with providing valuation of glassware beyond what I’ve included! I’m sorry I can’t be of more help!
Hello. I just found your website and found it very helpful. I have 4 small glass tumblers with a gold leaf pattern circling the top and a green wine bottle (?) pattern circling the bottom. I am wondering what type of glasses they are and where I might find information on them. I also have 8 black and gold geometric pattern tall highball glasses in a caddy. I have found 2 matching sets on Etsy but no one knows the pattern. If I send you photos of these 2 could you steer me in the right direction for research? Thanks so much.
Hi! I just picked up 6 Fred Press glasses. I believe they are atomic eclipse done in pink. You don’t mention him in your article. Are you familiar with his work?
Hi there! I have a red Arcoroc “Through the Woods” 13 inch plate and I can’t find anything at all about its manufacture date. Would you happen to know of any resources? I have found a couple examples of this plate online but only in clear for the 13 inch and only the red in 7 inch dessert plates. I cannot find anything at all about the red 13 inch plates. Also, would you know why Arcoroc France is spelled backwards on the plate? Thank you!
I have never seen the red dessert plates before, so I can provide more information! I’m sorry!
I love vintage glassware too!l I have been collecting since the early 1980s. I have many shakers, DOFs, highballs, champagne flutes, etc. I own the Blendo lime chip and dip, and set of 5 high balls with pitcher – lemon/lime combo. Looked for a long time for those! High 5 to vintage glassware!
Hi there! Thanks for the great resources you’ve provided on this site. I just found a set of 8 Culver (signed) glasses that have all gold flowers, butterflies and birds on them, with the jewels as well. They are stunning! I’ve done a Google image search and can’t find them anywhere, nor on eBay/Etsy/Chairish. Do you know what pattern this might be? It’s the taller glasses, with no pattern circling the rim. Thanks so much for your time!
That sounds to me to be a private contracted pattern. Culver created custom sets for publicity and events for awhile unless it is the charm bracelet pattern which has a variety of items on them. They are rather rare.
Have a peter Hunt Signed large Glass tray and wondering the value .
Thanks for the great article. We have a set of Culver glasses found in an antique store a few years ago. My favorite high ball glasses. It’s good to know more about the production.
I have a silver banded punch bowl set I believe to be Dorothy Thorpe however there are no markings. There are 12 Roly poly glasses approx. 2 1/4 “ tall with a 1 “ silver band at the top. The matching bowl is 10 1/2” wide, 7” high, and has an approx. 1 3/4” band. Does this fit the description of the Thorpe set and what might the value be? Any information you could provide would be appreciated. Thank you.
Hi Lynn. I’m not sure what the value is. The best bet would be to search Etsy and Ebay for similar items and then set a price that way. I’m in Los Angeles so vintage pieces are priced much higher here than other cities. I hope that helps!
Hi there, I am trying to determine if the glasses I have are Blendo. I thought they were, then someone told me all Blendo glasses have a gold rim. This seems to be true from what I can find online. Said no gold rim are Libbey. However, no matter how I search I can’t find any examples of this type of glass being attributed to Libbey. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
Hi Sharon! Yes Libby has a similar style to Blendo and you are correct that Blendo glasses have a gold rim. I have seen Blendo glassware where the gold rim has completed come off so that may be the case for you.
Is there such a thing as Culver Cornet patterned roly poly glasses that are knock-offs? I have a set of 10 and online research has led me to that pattern, but mine do not have the Culver signature on them.
Wow!! very informative! I love it all. We have sold vintage for many years and now run an estate sale company, and I recently had a big find of two patterns of Culver glass- the Pisa which was signed we sold quickly, and a Palm tree pattern that features white and gold trees all the way around. Curiously it is not signed. But I found another example with only white (no gold) of the exact same pattern on worthpoint. Did they sign some patterns certain years and other times they were unmarked? or do I have some kind of copy cat knock off here? My gold and white unsigned examples actually look to be the more upscale quality, so I’m all the more confused!!
I have some glasses that were my grandmothers. I’m quite sure they have gold on them because even after running them through the dishwasher numerous times they are just as pretty and shiny. They are green and gold. I just don’t; know where to start to find out about them. Any help would be appreciated.
Hi Holli. Have you checked to see if there is a signature on the glasses? Anything with gold is usually Culver but it will always be signed.
Love this! I did not see you mention Fred Press designs with Corning. Most of the glassware I have are decorative coffee and beverage carafes, percolators, and hostess serving sets. Through my research on Fred Press I’ve found some gorgeous designs – I would love to put together a blog similar to yours with information about them. I’ll email you with some photos and see what you think. Thanks for the awesome blog!
I just picked up what looks like a set of 4 Blendo glasses. Other than a gold rim/pastel bottom that fades as it goes up, are there any other markings to look for to see if they are authentic?
I just bought a mid century modern glass caddy with roly poly style glasses. I think they are Federal Diamonds Black Gold Harlequin design. I love them as decoration, but am weary to use them in case they have lead paint in the design. Do you know how I could find whether they are safe to use?
In my research, this is what I found:
“Traditionally lead was used as a main ingredient in the paint and glaze for most ceramic dishware because it provides strength and gives the dishware a smooth, clear finish. Traditional glassware contains around 50% silica (sand) and no lead content, whereas “crystal” glassware is made of silica and lead oxide and is typically used for champagne, wine, or spirits. contact a certified lab by searching the National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program List”
I hope this helps!