Buying Swedish Glass
Quite often we get questions about whether a piece of Swedish glass is worth purchasing.
In general, we say that if you like it, you should buy it. There’s nothing better than the joy that a collector gets from looking at a nice piece of Swedish glass every day.
Signed or not signed?
In general, pieces by Orrefors and Kosta Boda are signed, where Orrefors has been much better from almost the start of the glassworks with implementing a systematic system of signatures and date marks. Kosta Boda is a bit more tricky – here there does not seem to have been a clearly defined and documented way of signing pieces until Vicke Lindstrand went to work for them. Other glassworks also signed their pieces, albeit often to a lesser extend. Some only signed the art glass pieces and all the serially produced items were not signed. This makes it a lot harder to determine the age and make of some pieces. Sometimes they only signed with the artist name, and not the name of the glassworks.
Value and Damages
However, if you are concerned about the value of your Swedish glass, then you should only purchase glass without any damages. Some scratches underneath the base are acceptable – they inevitably occur over the years as the piece is moved over different surfaces. Any scratches or other damages such as so-called “flea bites” are a big no-no.
Whereas an experienced glass restorer might be able to eliminate smaller scratches, any other damages are impossible to repair.
Sometimes people send us picture of vases which have a white hue to them (much like glass that has deteriorated due to excessive washing in the dishwasher) and ask us how to “treat” the glass. The whiteness and dullness of the glass is due to an interaction of different molecules of water and the materials of which the glass is made up, and sadly, it is irreversible. We therefore discourage collectors to purchase any glass that has this problem.
So when you purchase something, make sure it is as near to mint condition as possible. That way, you can be certain that the condition of the glass will not affect its value in a negative way.