How Do I Choose the Best Antique Wine Glasses?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 December 2019
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Whether you are adding to a collection, purchasing to resell, or you simply want to add an interesting touch to your table or china cabinet, many antique wine glasses offer exquisite beauty and unmatched style. Select name brands may provide better quality or have a higher resale value. Some may be quite rare and tend to have a price tag that reflects their uniqueness, while others are more affordable. Most antique wine glasses require special care, so keep that in mind when choosing, especially if you intend to use the glasses rather than displaying or reselling them.

If you have special china or other pieces, you may wish to find antique wine glasses that will complement them. If you are a collector, you probably enjoy browsing antique shops, but it is important not to forget about thrift stores, consignment shops, and yard or estate sales. Quite often, people donate or sell items, especially when moving or settling a loved one’s estate. They may not know the true value of those items, so you may find beautiful antique wine glasses in a secondhand store at giveaway prices. Also, be sure to check the Internet, as there are online shops and auctions that could offer great finds.


It pays to do your homework before making purchases. Unless you are a proficient collector who has managed to memorize myriad important details, it is a good idea to purchase a collectibles book or guide, or to do some research online. Many antique wine glasses do not have distinctive maker’s marks like some other types of vintage glassware. Instead, it is the details that will let you know if a piece or set is choice quality. If you are searching for a particular piece or type of glass to complete a collection, there are replacement suppliers available that may prove helpful.

Caring for antique wine glasses can be a bit of a challenge so you may want to choose those that are somewhat less fragile than others. Be especially careful if your antique wine glasses have gold or silver trim as it is easily damaged. It is not advised to wash vintage champagne flutes or wine glasses in the dishwasher.

Wash gently by hand with a soft cloth and do not use excessively hot water. Check a guide for your particular antique glasses before using detergent. Place a towel or other soft item in the sink before cleaning your glasses to protect them from hitting the hard surface of the sink as well as from clanging together.

Some vintage wine glasses are very delicate and can be almost paper-thin after long life, especially if they have endured a lot of use and cleaning. If you intend to use the glasses frequently, you may wish to find some that don’t require such special care and are not as prone to breakage.



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