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Glass: Back in style

Glass, an inorganic compound found in many forms in the natural world, has been man-made into
practical and decorative objects since the Late Bronze Age. Over the millennia, the process, look and feel,
and applications of glass have changed and evolved but its allure remains timeless and collectible.
In past Glass issues, we have shared everything from the history of glass to the eras, makers, and
designers that help define the interests of collectors and enthusiasts. In this issue, we focus on living with
and using our antique and vintage glass rather than just admiring our collections as beloved objects on a
wall or in a cabinet. Who knew that what some of us have loved and collected for decades would be
trending again in 2024!

For years, antique and vintage glass has been in a bit of a slump as younger buyers and collectors looked
elsewhere for tableware and decorative inspiration and long-time collectors downsized their living space
and collections. For years, glass types and makers from past centuries, once coveted by homeowners and
later collectors, piled up on the shelves of antique shops, thrift stores, and flea markets while interest in
contemporary and decorative art glass rather than functional glass tableware has been on the rise. Yet, like
so many items from our past, the pendulum is once again shifting back toward market interest.

Ask antique shop owners and Google search “2024 antique trends, glass” and you will see that antique
and vintage glass is “having a moment” thanks to this year’s design and fashion trends that focus on retro
colors, vintage aesthetics, and mixing old and new. Antique dealers and interior decorators say that
translates to interest on the shelves for period-era barware, tableware, and glass, in particular Venetian,
Georgian, Depression-era, Art Deco, and Mid-century Modern, among others.

Even if you lean towards more contemporary design in your home, say dealers, antique and vintage glass
make perfect gateway antiques for everything from bar cart items to statement chandeliers for the foyer.
Jay Bower, whose online concerns include several upscale Etsy and Chairish shops, says that he’s found
the greatest change in demand for any one item over the last year has been for Venetian glass. In a recent
Asheford Institute of Antiques article entitled, “Antique & Vintage Trends to Watch For In 2024,” Bower
is quoted as saying that he’s “gone all-in [on Venetian glass], adding everything from sconces and glasses
to vases and even chandeliers to his online inventory.”

Interest is also on the rise for Georgian glass. In a recent article for Homes & Antiques on “Antique
Trends for 2024,” Hilary Fisher, owner of Fisher London in England, says he’s focused on Georgian glass
– particularly wine glasses and decanters “We’ve had commissions for large runs of 18th-century glass:
one from an established English dealer and designer who’s just opened a new showroom in New York,
another from a young decorator working on a large stately home in York.”

Interest in period-era glass barware is especially strong with Art Deco-inspired pieces, such as gilded rims
and cut crystal, and Depression glass—the colored or transparent glassware that was popular in the 1920s
and 1930s—leading the way. Curating a bar cart with unique glass decanters, wine and cocktail glasses,
an ice bucket and barware accessories has single-handedly brought the bar cart and cocktail hour back
into the spotlight.

When it comes to setting a fashionable table, designers say gone are the days of monotonous table
settings—2024 welcomes a vibrant palette of hues and shades of glass that add personality and charm to
the dining experience.

“Glassware serves as both a functional necessity and a design statement,” says a 2024 blog on entitled “Cheers to Color: Embracing Multicolored Glassware Trends in 2024.” “Whether
it’s a set of tumblers in jewel-toned hues or a collection of highball glasses adorned with whimsical designs,
multicolored glassware adds a touch of whimsy and sophistication to any occasion. Each piece is a work
of art, inviting you to mix and match colors and styles to create a table setting that reflects your unique
aesthetic and adds charm to your dining experience.”

The stylized look, appeal, and unmatched color, artistry, and elegance of antique and vintage glass,
barware, and tableware make them ripe and affordable for the picking, driving first-time buyers as well as
seasoned thrifters, dealers, DIYers, and interior decorators into antique shops, thrift stores, and flea
markets in search of self-expression and unrecognized value in long-forgotten makers, brands and

Follow thrifters and antique influencers such as Dr. Lori on social media and YouTube who share their
finds and conquests among the discarded and it’s easy to see why half the fun of the new, old glass design
trend is the hunt for items that execute a vision and, for the moment, are undervalued.
Interior design and etiquette rules no longer dictate that we entertain and set a table with just one type or
color of glassware or decorate a room all in one period or finish. The trends for 2024 encourage us to go
bold; to mix and match colors and styles, old and new. What better place to start than with our dining
room table, where we can shine a new light on and appreciation for early glass tableware as more than
just functional objects of everyday life.