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Decorative Vases

Decorative vases were amongst the finest expressions of Victorian glass artists skill. They were able to indulge their more extravagant fashions and foibles, producing pieces which perhaps more than any other type would be appreciated for form over function. As the 19th century wore on, so the defiance of convention became more of an artistic virtue than ever before, and there are some spectacularly uninhibited, freeform vases to be found.


There was, and probably always will be, a place for traditional cut-glass urns and tulip-shaped vases with their classical ogee profiles and symmetry, but once the Regency period had reached its close, there was an explosion of far more experimental vase shapes. The materials used also became far more diverse, with opaline vases, milk glass, uranium glass and satin glass all enjoying spells under the spotlight. It was the advent of the Art Nouveau ethos, though, which prompted the biggest outbreak of vase-making creativity.


The latter decades of the century saw aventurine and mica ‘stoneware’ vases, marbled glass, kaleidoscopic oil-spot vases and opalescent or iridescent finishes. Shapes became entirely free-form – flaring, crimped rims to approximate the appearance of fabrics, made with materials that looked and felt like the sheerest of silks contrasted with more substantial, quilted finishes. And then there were the sculpted vases, made in the form of flowers or shells, and coloured accordingly.


Where a more ‘restrained’ shape was called for, the decoration would come to the fore, most notably with the many cameo-glass vases which were produced. These easily recognisable pieces with their complicated imagery created in relief from contrasting coloured layers were to prove hugely popular during the fin de siècle and on in to the 20th century.


Perhaps even more ‘of an age’ were the cut-to-clear and flashed Bohemian and French vases, with a nod to the form and substance of earlier pieces but often in cranberry or ruby glass – less commonly in blue - which places them firmly in the late Victorian period.


As you can see from just this brief summary, there are an almost infinite variety of Victorian decorative vases to appreciate – you’re sure to be able to find something which really appeals and which, of course, will serve a purpose as well now as it would have done over 120 years ago when newly-made.


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A Pair Of French or Bohemian Victorian Posy Vases c1890

A Pair Of French or Bohemian Victorian Posy Vases c1890

A pair of French or Bohemian Victorian posy vases from c1890. Available from Scottish Antiques online store.

£90.00

A Thomas Webb Filamentosa Vase c1880

A Thomas Webb Filamentosa Vase c1880

A Thomas Webb Filamentosa Vase c1880

£145.00

John Walsh Opaline Uranium Bon Bon Dish c1890

John Walsh Opaline Uranium Bon Bon Dish c1890

John Walsh Opaline Bon Bon Dish c1900

£70.00

Thomas Webb Filamentosa Vase c1880

Thomas Webb Filamentosa Vase c1880

A very fine Thomas Webb Filamentosa vase from c1880 in excellent condition. For more British art glass, including a wide range of Victorian vases, please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£225.00

Rare Thomas Webb Filamentosa Dimples Vase c1880

Rare Thomas Webb Filamentosa Dimples Vase c1880

A very fine Thomas Webb Filamentosa flask from c1880 in excellent condition. For more British art glass, including a wide range of Art Nouveau vases, please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£225.00

Thomas Webb Filamentosa Vase c1880

Thomas Webb Filamentosa Vase c1880

A beautiful Victorian Art Nouveau vase by Thomas Webb. For more art glass including Art Nouveau and Art Deco as well as a wide range of antique glassware please visit Scottish Antiques online store.

£225.00

An Early Loetz Jungendstil Glass Vase c1900

An Early Loetz Jungendstil Glass Vase c1900

A early Loetz Jungendstil Glass green gilded vase pattern DEK IV/783, PN 11/242 from c1900. Available at Scottish Antiques online store.

£150.00

Pair Signed Moser Rainbow Glass Solifleur Vases c1890

Pair Signed Moser Rainbow Glass Solifleur Vases c1890

Pair of Signed Moser rainbow glass solifleur bud vases

£175.00

Large Thomas Webb Quilted Satin Glass Vase c1885

Large Thomas Webb Quilted Satin Glass Vase c1885

An antique quilted blue satin glass vase made by Thomas Webb in Stourbridge in the late 1900's

£140.00

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