Chinese Glass Identification Guide + Gallery

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This section of the encyclopaedia is for Chinese glass, including glass made in Taiwan. There is a surprising amount of vintage glassware, found in the UK and elsewhere, that is often mistaken for Italian/Murano glass, or Scandinavian glass, but was in fact made in China. There is also a vast amount of modern glass produced in China, using popular Murano glassmaking techniques such as "sommerso", which can easily be mistaken for, and sometimes purposefully misdescribed as, Murano glass. This Murano style, Chinese made glass used to be quite easy to spot to the experienced collector or dealer, as they contained many production flaws, and often certain features could give them away, such as a frosted, unpolished base, compared to the shiny, highly polished base found on most genuine Murano glass. However in more recent years, the quality of some of these items have improved greatly, and it can be very difficult to spot the difference. This guide aims to help with the identification of Chinese glass.

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Vintage Chinese Glass

Shown here is glassware made in China that I would class as vintage, i.e. made before the year 2000. Most of these are likely from the mid-century / retro era, 1950's - 1970's.

LABELLED Chinese 'Lotus Flower / Snowflake' Vase by Dalian Glass Co

A white glass "Lotus Flower" vase with dark red and orange swirls, made in China, by The Dalian Glass Co. Ltd, circa 1950's - 1980's, labelled.

Reference: [click here].

LABELLED Chinese 'Lotus Flower / Snowflake' Vase by Dalian Glass Co

Red & silver foil label used by The Dalian Glass Co. Ltd, reads "Lotus Flower, Made in China". The same or a very similar range can be found with labels that read "Snowflakes, Made in China".

LABELLED Chinese 'Lotus Flower / Snowflake' Vase by Dalian Glass Co

A white glass "Lotus Flower" vase with dark red and orange swirls, made in China, by The Dalian Glass Co. Ltd, circa 1950's - 1980's, labelled.

Chinese 'Lotus Flower / Snowflakes' Stem Vase by Dalian Glass Co

A white glass "Lotus Flower" or "Snowflakes" cylinder vase with dark blue and orange swirls, made in China, by The Dalian Glass Co. Ltd, circa 1950's - 1980's.

LABELLED Chinese Vintage Orange Cased Glass 'Plum Blossom' Vase

An orange glass "Plum Blossom" vase with applied flower decoration and internal white casing. Made in China, circa 19750's, labelled.

Reference: [click here].

LABELLED Chinese Vintage Orange Cased Glass 'Plum Blossom' Vase

Red & silver foil label reads "Plum Blossom, Made in China".

Chinese Vintage 1970's Green Retro Cased Glass 'Bamboo' Vase

A green glass "Plum Blossom" bamboo shaped hooped vase with internal white casing. Made in China, circa 19750's.

Reference: [click here].

Pair of Taiwanese Orange & White Striped Glass Vases

A pair of orange and white striped glass vases with applied clear decoration. Can be found with labels that read "Made in Taiwan, Republic of China". Often mistaken for Murano or Czech glass.

Reference: [click here].


Modern Chinese Glass

Shown here is glassware made in China in more recent, modern times, i.e. after the year 2000. Many of the items listed here can be found, or at one time could be found, on the Chinese trade website alibaba.com. We may refer to these listings where possible to confirm Chinese origin, but please note these links may become broken over time as listings on the Alibaba site are ended, or products are discontinued.

Chinese Murano Style Green & Blue Sommerso Glass Vase

A blue, green and clear "sommerso" glass vase with applied green lobed sides, and controlled bubble "bullicante" effect. Made in China, and was originally sold in Debhenams stores under the brand name "Star", by designer Julien Macdonald.

Reference: [click here].

Chinese Murano Style Green & Blue Sommerso Glass Bowl

A blue, green and clear "sommerso" glass bowl or candle holder with controlled bubble "bullicante" effect. Made in China, and was originally sold in Debhenams stores under the brand name "Star", by designer Julien Macdonald. Marked and labelled.

Chinese Murano Style Green & Blue Sommerso Glass Bowl

"Star by Julien Macdonald" marking, and "Made in China" plastic label.

Chinese Murano Style Purple & Blue Sommerso Glass Bowl

A blue, purple and clear "sommerso" glass bowl or candle holder with controlled bubble "bullicante" effect. Made in China, and was originally sold in Debhenams stores under the brand name "Star", by designer Julien Macdonald.

BOXED & MARKED Xia Shi Liu Li Chinese Glass Pâte de Verre Dragon Sculpture

A blue, green and amber "pâte de verre" / "liuli" style glass Chinese dragon sculpture. Made in China, by Xia Shi Liu Li, signed and boxed, with leaflet.

BOXED & MARKED Xia Shi Liu Li Chinese Glass Pâte de Verre Dragon Sculpture

Signed in Chinese writing.

BOXED & MARKED Xia Shi Liu Li Chinese Glass Pâte de Verre Dragon Sculpture

Xia Shi Liu Li company logo on presentation box.

BOXED & MARKED Xia Shi Liu Li Chinese Glass Pâte de Verre Dragon Sculpture

Dragon shown with Xia Shi Liu Li presentation box and leaflet.

Chinese Murano Style Purple & Amber Sommerso Glass Teardrop Paperweight

A purple and amber sommerso glass teardrop shaped paperweight. Made in China, the teardrop shape and sommerso style is typical of Chinese production. These can be found in many different colours on the Alibaba trade website. The shiny, polished base suggests more recent production than others with a dull, frosted base.

Reference: [click here].

Chinese Murano Style Pink & Blue Sommerso Glass Teardrop Paperweight

A pink and blue sommerso glass teardrop shaped paperweight. Made in China, the teardrop shape, sommerso style and dull, frosted base finish is typical of Chinese production. These can be found in many different colours on the Alibaba trade website.

Chinese Green, Orange, Black & White Mottled Glass Teardrop Paperweight

An orange, green, black and white mottled glass teardrop shaped paperweight. Made in China, the teardrop shape, mottled pattern and dull, frosted base finish is typical of Chinese production. Items with the same mottle pattern can be found on the Alibaba trade website.


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