Argy Rousseau Art Glass
Gabriel Argy-Rousseau worked in Paris, France in the pate de Verre (paste of glass) style. He is generally considered one of the top five best art glassmakers to work in the pate de Verre style. He started his own workshop in 1906 and was active until the 1940s. Most Argy Rousseau pieces are either large and exceptional vases or smaller items like paperweights, plates, and bowls. He also did lots of glass pendants. The best Argy Rousseau vases can sell for between $5,000 and $30,000. Smaller, less desirable pieces usually trade for $1,000 and up. There is definitely a strong market for good Argy Rousseau right now.
Burgun & Scherer Art Glass
There is a very limited supply of Burgun and Scherer glass. Nice vases are only available at auction a handful of times per year and they are usually hotly contested by bidders. The typical piece usually has pink, white, purple, or green colours with decorated flowers. Floral vases range in size from four to around ten inches. The example we are showing in our guide is inspired by classical Greek vases. These are pretty easy to spot because they have a rich amber glass that really shines under the right conditions. Other vase varieties exist, but floral and neo-classical vases are the most popular. Most Burgun and Scherer vases sell for between $3,000 and $15,000.
Daum Nancy Art Glass
Daum Nancy first got started in the late 19th century in the Lorraine region of France; the factory is still making glass today. There are essentially three types of Daum. The earliest glass made from about 1890 to 1920 is by far the most desirable. That is the type of vase we are showing in our guide. Early Daum is usually cameo glass or acid etched and then enamelled with scenes inspired by nature (think lakes, trees, birds, etc). This art nouveau glass is usually worth at least $1,000 per piece; many nice vases can be worth several thousand dollars or more. The second type of Daum glass is from the art deco period. These pieces are usually one colour with deep etching and frosted surfaces. They sell for between $400 and $4,000. Modern Daum is now produced as clear cut crystal or as coloured glass objects made from moulds. They are valuable, but much more difficult to sell than art nouveau glass. Please contact us if you have any Daum Nancy art glass. We have a strong market for it.
Durand Art Glass
Vineland Flint Glass Works in New Jersey produced Durand art glass from 1924 until 1931. These vases have a distinct feel that makes them look like they were made a decade or two earlier. Many of the workers at the factory were skilled in art nouveau glass and those techniques and preferences show in Durand vases. The most famous Durand glass has the King Tut pattern, which is swirled coils of coloured glass. They are also well known for their lady gay rose colour (a rich peach colour). Durand sells relatively well for being American art glass made in the 1920s, but prices still lag well behind what similarly rare and attractive French art glass is worth. The best Durand vases auction for $3,000 or slightly more. More mundane vases are regularly available for several hundred dollars to $2,000.
Galle Art Glass
Right now Emile Galle is considered the king of the art glass world. The very best Galle vases can sell for more than $100,000 at auction. That is good news. The bad news is that 95% of the Galle vases we see are either reproductions or they were made when Galle was being mass-produced in the 1920s and 1930s. Vases from that time period are rarely worth more than $1,000. The best Galle vases were made early on in the factory’s history. These are either marquetry vases that are clear with swirls of colours (some are internally decorated). Other “blown out” vases can also sell for more than $10,000. There are plenty of cameo vases with landscape or floral scenes that auction for between $1,000 and $5,000. If you have a Galle vase then we would certainly love a chance to take a look at it and provide an auction estimate or offer.
Lalique Art Glass
If Galle is king of the art glass world, then Lalique is second to the throne. There are more books on Lalique than any other art glassmaker. The very best Lalique objects are capable of having auction realizations in excess of $100,000. Lalique can be a little bit tricky to value if you are a new collector. First off, Lalique’s output is tremendous, ranging from vases to bottles, clocks, and just about everything in between. The colour of Lalique glass is extremely important. Some vases can come in several different colours, and the price range between colours could be several thousand dollars. Lalique is still making crystal and art glass today. Some of their designs were first introduced in the 1920s. A modern version might be worth $2,000 and an antique version could be worth $20,000. You should talk to an expert before taking any action on Lalique glass.
Legras Art Glass
Legra's art glass was made in France between about 1880 and 1930. There are essentially two types of Legra's art glass. There are interesting and original pieces that are outstanding in their own right. Great vases like these can sell for between $2,000 and $5,000. Sadly though, very few really nice vases exist. The next tier of Legras (and the most commonly encountered) is composed of designs that are blatant copies of Daum and other more elite French glassmakers. These “inspired by” vases are usually worth around $200 to $1,000. Keep in mind that Legras used at least a half dozen marks. If you can’t quite figure out the maker of your vase, but it looks familiar, then there is a decent chance it was made by Legras.
Loetz Art Glass
Loetz made glass in Klostermuhle, Austria in the 19th and 20th centuries. Their vases made around 1900 are the most desirable and valuable glass that the factory produced. A typical Loetz vase has a yellow or orange tone with iridescent “oil slick” colours shining across the surface. Vases like that come in several different style names. It is not uncommon to see the same vases with a silver overlay. It can be somewhat difficult to identify and value Loetz vases. Many of them are not marked and several other makers used similar styles. The easiest way to spot an authentic Loetz vase is based on the shape and colour patterns. A great Loetz vase can be worth more than $10,000. Nice vases regularly sell for $2,000 and up.
Moser Art Glass
Moser glass is definitely worth including in any art glass guide, but it does have some flaws that prevent it from being especially popular with collectors today. Moser’s factory was in Austria and first started making glass in 1857. It is still making glass under the same name today. There is such a wide array of glass made by Moser that many collectors have trouble keeping up. Furthermore, Moser was an innovator in many designs and styles that were later copied by other makers. So what should be unique and special often feels cheap because we are so used to seeing the copies? A lot of Moser isn’t marked, which makes it even harder to collect with confidence. Great Moser vases can still be worth thousands of dollars, but the lesser material has trouble finding bidder support.
Mt. Washington Art Glass
Art glass made by Mount Washington Glassworks in New Bedford, MA continues to be some of the most popular art glass made in the United States in the last 130 years. No other maker has such a varied output in terms of styles. The best MTWG vases are from the Royal Flemish, Crown Milano, Colonial Ware, and Lava glass lines. Royal Flemish vases (like we are showing) have a dark colour with lots of gold gilding. Crown Milano and Colonial Ware vases are white or cream coloured, usually with carefully enamelled designs and scenes. Lava glass is black with swirls of pink and other colours. We can admit that Mount Washington glass may look like the stuff you saw in grandma’s curio cabinet in the 1970s, but the best pieces can be worth between $2,000 and $20,000.
Muller Freres Art Glass
Muller glass is important because it was made during the same time period and in similar styles to Galle and Daum. However, Muller is certainly in a class below those two makers. The majority of Muller vases you see today are relatively generic cameo vases with scenic or floral designs. They typically sell for between $400 and $1,500. The top 1% of Muller vases are closely held and rarely appear on the open market. They can be worth in excess of $5,000. The difference between something generic and something exceptional is usually related to the number of layers, colours, and originality.
Quezal Art Glass
The Quezal glass was produced from 1902 until 1924. The name purposely sounds similar to the quetzal bird, which was known for its rich colourful feathers. If you had to sum up Quezel in two words it would probably be colourful and shiny. The best Quezel vases are usually jack-in-the-pulpit and other floral-inspired shapes. Vases like that can sell for $2,000 and more. Quezal also made lots of glass that at first glance could easily be confused with Durand, Loetz, or Tiffany. The colourful surfaces with lines of pulled and flowing glass aren’t unique to Quezal, but they certainly are beautiful. These vases can be worth several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars.
Schneider Art Glass
Schneider art glass is likely the most instantly recognizable maker we have in our guide. Most Schneider vases have a light mottled background colour and a very rich outer layer cut into sharp designs. Oranges and reds were most frequently used. The best vases by Schneider were made during the 1920s and they were some of the first great art deco vases produced in France. The only tricky thing about Schneider is that there are so many different names. Many vases are marked as Charder, which is a combination of the beginning of Charles and the end of Schneider. Some pieces are also marked Le Verre Francais, which is the name of a line from Charles and Ernest Schneider.
Steuben Art Glass
Steuben was one of America’s great glass manufacturers for 109 years. The factory closed in 2011. The best Steuben vases date prior to 1920. Unfortunately, 99% of Steuben’s output is relatively generic and would struggle to sell for a few hundred dollars today. The top 1% of the market is very much in demand. Many Steuben vases will have the Aurene decoration like we are showing to the right. Lots of other vases have rich jade and blue colours. There are a select few vases made by Steuben during the art deco era that have deep acid etched lines. These vases are very popular with collectors. The best Steuben vases can sell for several thousand dollars at auction.
Tiffany Art Glass
No decorative arts guide would be complete without mentioning Tiffany. There are essentially two main types of Tiffany art glass. The most commonly encountered vases are favrile glass. Favrile vases come in lots of different shapes and colours. The signature favrile colour from Tiffany is a rich fingernail polish red. You also see lots of gold, green, and yellow favrile vases. The other main type of Tiffany glass is known as “paperweight” glass. These are basically vases that look like they were made from a clear glass paperweight with flowers inside of it. These vases are the most attractive and stunning to see in person. You can buy an attractive but reasonably generic Tiffany vase for a few thousand dollars. The best Tiffany art glass sells for tens of thousands of dollars.
Thomas Webb & Sons Art Glass
Webb is to English glass what Wedgwood is to English Porcelain. It is likely that no single company made more art glass or profited more from it than did Thomas Webb & Sons. They both created innovative lines and copied popular styles. Today most people think of cameo glass when they think of Webb. We are showing an exceptional exhibition cameo vase by Webb. Don’t expect to find many like that in today’s market. Most Webb glass is generally smaller with figural designs showing cherubs or animals. The majority of Webb glass can be bought for between $200 and $1,000 per vase. The absolute best of the best can sell for more than $10,000, but those pieces are few and far between.