Vases created from high quality lead crystal, with the clearest formula and absence of flaws, are the most desired of glass. Crystal vases may be blown glass, pressed glass or cut crystal. Some collectors look for vintage crystal or brilliant-cut crystal, while others seek contemporary works of art. Limited edition vases may command higher prices than production glass because of scarcity, not quality. Desirability of crystal is often in the eye of the collector, although high quality always seems to rule. Vases in more than one size usually command a higher price in the larger size.
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A chemical formula that could make glass as pure as crystal discovered in 1952 by Steuben Glass made Steuben the front-runner in desirable crystal in the United States. The Spiral vase design by Donald Pollard in 1955 or the Hyperbolas vase by George Thompson in 1969 are Steuben classic designs. Steuben destroys pieces with flaws, so there are no "seconds" in Steuben, reports Carrie Coolidge in an article at Luxist.
Baccarat crystal from France leads in beauty and style, as well as perfection in design elements. Baccarat Celimene, Hurricane and Twist come from the contemporary Baccarat line. Infinity comes in the shape of a shoe in a limited edition vase from Baccarat. Lalique is French crystal of high quality, and Lalique vintage crystal stirs many collectors' hearts. New crystal vases celebrating the 150th anniversary of Rene Lalique's birth should thrill any crystal vase collector.
Vintage American Crystal
American Brilliant era cut crystal by fine artisans from Hawkes, Fry, Dorflinger and Libbey stand out in any setting. The cutters started with quality lead crystal shapes to produce a work of art. The glass was thick to endure the hand-cutting process, and the lead crystal was hard enough to make sharp designs and facets that would reflect the light. T.G. Hawkes won an award at the 1889 Paris Exposition for two patterns that top the list of the desirable patterns in cut glass: Grecian and Chrysanthemum. Libbey Glass won top awards at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago with patterns named "Columbia" and "Isabella."
Crystal From Other Countries
Faberge Russian crystal in Winter Palace design is a discontinued pattern in a 14-inch or 12-inch vase. Swedish Orrefors crystal competes on the world market for quality and beauty. Orrefors Precious, with its thick, star shape, is an outstanding contemporary crystal vase design. Other Scandinavian glass companies created works of art in crystal, particularly during the Mid-Century Modern era from about 1950 to 1970. Kosta, Hadeland and Iittala made glass to love. Waterford holds the desirability standard for English or Irish crystal. Lismore is one of the most collectable contemporary patterns, and Waterford makes several different sizes and styles of vases in this pattern.
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