Guide to Identifying Glassware Patterns


Dating back to 3500 B.C., humans have produced decorative glass work for jewelry and ornamental purposes. In the Syrian empire around 14 A.D. glass blowing was being created and perfected. The Romans developed clear glass, leading to the first windows, which were used in Pompeii and Rome. Beginning with a volcanic rock called obsidian, glass has now been refined to specific colors, dimensions and strength grades.

Patterns of the 1920s

  • Glassware in the 1920s was based on practicality and classic design. The Adam's Rib product was a lined design that encompassed the body of many vases and tumblers. The bowknot style of glassware closely resembled the Irish Claddagh design. The rim of a tumbler or dish was ribboned with filigree and hearts as the band came to a close with one large laced heart. Tea room was a beloved style in the '20s, and a well-known design among collectors today. Tea room could be found on many glasses and goblets. The raised squares that are tightly set upon the body of the piece are beveled in a cascading depression.

Patterns of the 1930s

  • Perhaps one of the most popular designs of the 1930s is the American Sweetheart. This design was defined by one large lip followed by a smaller one all the way around the rim of a bowl or plate. The pattern was graceful and sweet, as the name indicates, providing a delicate impression for a fine dish set. The cherry blossom was another common design of the time, used mostly in bowls or serving dishes. The very bottom center had a small ring that connected to the outer rim by numerous sets of two perpendicular, straight lines.

    The jubilee pattern was created by indentations in the glass that were spaced about 1/2 inch apart. These indentations created a thickly-striped appearance. Miss America diamond pattern looks just like the name suggests. The entire body of the piece was created to have diamond-shaped bevels, most usually with a band around the rim for a conservative appearance. The radiance glassware pattern was widely used on plates and bowls during the 1930s, with a star-like emblem rising from the center. This star is like a glowing sun with two small lines of bursting light followed by one large burst. This pattern goes around the entire base in a circle while the outer edges are smooth with several raised lips.

Patterns of the 1940s

  • The 1940s brought more decorative pieces to the glassware industry. The homespun glassware design was made with thin, beveled lines running from the base to the rim of a certain item, with little space in between. The Columbia pattern was widely popular in this era as well, mostly because it was durable and heavy. The Columbia had lines of flower heads or beads of glass that starting in the center of the piece and grew outward to the rim. The very center would have a star-like etching with a band of flower heads or beads encircling the rays.

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