What is a Swung Vase?

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By Daniela Klein

Updated: Feb 27, 2024

8 min read

What is Swung Vase

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    If you are an ardent lover of antiques and want to add more artistic pieces to your collection, a set of antique swung glass vases is a great idea. The Swung glass vase is a popular and most sought-after antique due to its unique shape of the irregular mouth, though the primary function is the same as another vase, i.e., to display the beauty of flowers kept in the vase. To achieve the desired shape, a certain unique technique is used which we’ll discuss in the following lines. In this article, we’ll discuss everything about a swung vase- what a swung vase is, the technique used to make it, the identification of these vases, and many more.

    Swung Vase

    A Swung vase is a unique and beautiful glass vase made with a specific blowing technique. The vase is made from normal glass, but the term swung is used for the pattern in which the glass vase is shaped. Snap tool holds the base of the vase after the vase is removed from the mold, then it is reheated until the glass becomes elastic to form the shape. The next step is when the  mold is hot, the glassmaker swings the vase, giving it the desired shape. The popularity dates back to the 1960s. These vases are available in various vibrant colors like blue, red, purple, green, and pink.

    The height of the vase depends on the elasticity and temperature of the glass and the intensity of the swinging. All these processes transform a simple glass vase into an artistic item you would love to flaunt in the living room.

    Know About the History of the Swung Vase

    Bryce Higbee was the first and the oldest company that produced swung glassware in 1889. Three other companies in the U.S. started manufacturing swung vases in 1905, and some of them still continue to make them. These companies were Viking Glass Company, Fenton Art Glass, and L.E. Smith. Over the years, the popularity of these vases fell down due to the financial crisis in the U.S.

    Why Was Swung Glass So Popular?

    • It looked unique. No other glassware looked like these vases.
    • It appealed to people due to its statement look.
    • Anyone coming home cannot go without noticing and appreciating the beauty of the irregular mouth-swung vase.

    Swung Vase Identification

    The swung vase is identified by its base, neck, and mouth. Some of the identification tips are given in the following paragraphs.

    • The mouth of the vase has a non-uniform pattern with a folding or pinching look filled with fun.
    • Look at the seam along the vase’s body for identification.
    • Swung vases can be identified by the brands because each company has its own way of making these vases. You can easily figure out which swung vase you own.
    • Neck is elongated

    The Process of Making a Swung Vase

    The word Swung sounds like a metaphor, but it actually has a literal meaning, and there’s a reason to use the word because of the way glassware is made. The process of making these vases is as follows:

    • Swung glass is pressed into a mold.
    • It is left for some time to cool.
    • Once the glass takes the shape of the mold, it is lifted by the neck and swung in a pendulum motion by the glassblower.
    • The glass stretches and twists when swung, giving a unique shape to all the vases. No two glassware look similar.
    • The next step is to shape up the mouth of the vase.
    • The glass bowler gives shape to the opening after cutting its tail. For this reason, the top of the vase has a ruffle slope.
    • Once the swung glass vase cools, it is polished.
    • Finally, the ready products are sent to retailers.

    Swung Vase Patterns

    Swung vases have multiple patterns depending on the size (mini, small, standard, midsize, and funeral)of the vase and the company making it. Some of the patterns, as

    • Northwood’s Tree Trunk
    • Fenton’s April Showers
    • Imperial’s Ripple
    • Dugan’s Target
    • Fenton’s Butterfly
    • Berry from a tumbler mold
    • Fenton’s Blackberry
    • U.S. Glass Palm Beach

    Popular Swung Vases

    Purple Amethyst Swung Vase by L.e. Smith

    Purple Amethyst Swung Vase by L e  Smith

    In the 1900s, L.E. Smith started amethyst coloring on swung vases and brought revolution to the glass industry. Amethyst is known to bring emotional, physical, and spiritual calmness to the house, and this was one of the vital factors for its popularity. These vases look sophisticated and soothing, making them a preferable choice for a yoga studio.

    Mid-Century Pink Diamond Swung Vase by L.e. Smith

    Mid Century Pink Diamond Swung Vase by L e  Smith

    These vases have a diamond pattern with mouths looking like fingers bulging out from the rim. The beauty of the vase is its light-reflecting pattern when kept under the light.

    White Opalescent Swung Vase by Fostoria Heirloom

    White Opalescent Swung Vase by Fostoria Heirloom

    These vases are no longer produced. It was made in 1969. These vases can be seen and bought from the antique market.

    Orange Swung Vase by Viking

    Orange Swung Vase by Viking

    These vases look like melting volcanoes with a sturdy base and narrow mouths.

    Black Amethyst Swung Vase by Fenton

    Black Amethyst Swung Vase by Fenton

    These glasswares were manufactured between 1960 to 1969. It had a black appearance, but when exposed to the sun, the color changed to purple.

    Green Swung Glass Vase by Murano

    Green Swung Glass Vase by Murano

    Murano Glass Company is a well-known Italian brand that produces lamps, perfume bottles, and vases. The company manufactures various colors(blue, black, and green) and designs of swung vases.

    Three Foil Swung Vase by Viking

    Three Foil Swung Vase by Viking

    This vase looks like three fingers pop out of the mouth. If you want to have a rare collection, buy it.

    Blue Peacock Swung Vase by L.E. Smith

    Blue Peacock Swung Vase by L E  Smith

    This vase looks like peacock color, so it has got the name peacock swung vase. It has a broad base and fine lines from bottom to top.

    Jester’s Cap Swung Vase

    Jester’s Cap Swung Vase

    These vases inspired by Jester’s cap are a rare product only found in antique stores. It looks beautiful even if there’s no flower because it is unique.

    Long Neck Swung Vase by Italian Murano

    Long Neck Swung Vase by Italian Murano

    These vases are identified with the stunning long neck, fluted design, and green color.

    Places to Sell and Buy a Swung Vase

    • Etsy
    • Ebay
    • 1stDibs
    • Ailly mall store
    • Vatican
    • Ruby lane

    Conclusion

    The swung vase idea is a very unique and amazing idea. I hope the above information will help you gather additional knowledge about age-old glassware. The technique used in making these vases and the beauty of the final product is mesmerizing and the reason for its popularity and wish to have one in the living room.

    FAQs

    Why is Glassware Called a Swung Vase and Not a Swing Vase?

    Glassware is called swung because the vase has already been swung in the past, and the shape you see is the result of the swinging. For this reason, the past tense of swing is used.

    How Rare is the Hobnail Milk Glass Swung Vase?

    Since it dates back to 200 years during the Victorian era, it is rare to find, but not impossible. Fenton produced pieces are are still seen and even few companies manufacture it.

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