Epic Line | Viking Art Glass

by mandeesears

Beautiful art glass was produced by Viking Art Glass from 1944 to 1999. The "Epic Line" was one of the most popular and sought by collectors today.

The Epic Line from Viking Art Glass was produced from 1956 to 1975. The bold colors, swags, pulls and drapes the artisans used to produce the line were often duplicated but will forever be associated with the Epic Line.

A little history, lots of photos and some resources for collectors or would be collectors are included in this article. Even the opportunity to purchase some of the gorgeous glass art from the secondary market are included.


Epic Line

History of the Line

Handkerchief Bowl 1160In 1956, the first "mention" of the Epic line at Viking Art Glass was made in an industry journal. There were 14 pieces in the original line available in 5 colors: amber, amethyst, charcoal, crystal, and olive green. The bowl on the left is the handkerchief bowl #1160 in amethyst. 

The Epic Line was a departure from the tradition form of art glass. It was referred to as a "free-form" line. The actual name "Epic Line" does not have any discernable qualities or meaning that distingished a piece as Epic. It wasn't a name for a specific pattern or shape. Viking used the term as a brand, basically, as a way to identify pieces as made by the Viking Art Glass Co.  

1962 - Epic Line

By 1962, the Epic line had grown from the original 14 pieces to include approximately 51 peices and was well on its' way to popularity. The Epic line retail prices in 1962 ranged from $1.50 to $10. WOW! Times have changed. 

Bluenique is one of the colors added to the original 5. The image on the left is my 1962, 14" shallow bowl, #142114 in shallow bowl bluenique 1421 in the bluenique color (introduced in 1958). Pictures don't do it justice. The blue reminds me of the craters inside the reef where the ocean water is still clear but a deeper blue on the island of Guam. 

This peice is rather hard to find on the internet. The shallow bowl was also made in an 8 1/2" and a 22" version. After searching for more than a week, I finally verified a secondary market value and the fact that there are not too many to be had. 


Another piece I own and love is the 6 petal crimped vase, also from 1962, #890, 6 1/2" also in the bluenique color.890 crimped vase 1962 This piece still has the majority of the "Viking Glass" sticker on it. Again the color is phenomenal in person.

With the popularity of the free-form style, many other glass companies started producing "look-a-likes". If you are a collector, know that most Viking glass bears no stamp or inscription in the glass. Viking used the foil stickers exclusively until close to the end when a few pieces were actually marked in the glass.

Also, because the sticky labels were used, some have found that the label was placed on a non-Viking glass item. The labels themselves were used over many years and the color or style is not an indication of production year or age of a piece. 

The Epic pieces were manufactured in an array of colors and styles. Vases, bowls, animal figurines, smoking items and more bore a modern, almost futuristic style that is synonymous with the Epic name. 

Examples of Pieces Available on the Secondary Market

Tobacciana in Viking Glass

Collectible Ashtrays

Ruby Horseshoe ashtrayViking Glass was a large manufacturer of smoking items. Appearing as early as the 1948-49 catalog with more than 30 items available. The smoking items continued through the company's history t0 1970. Items produced included things like:

  • Ashtrays
  • Covered Cigarette Jars
  • Cigarette Holders
  • Cigarette Boxes
  • Lighters

All were available in a varity of "Viking colors".

Tobacciana items are highly collectible today, even though smoking is more a thing of the past. I actually use a vintage art glass ashtray on my dresser to hold things like coins, watch, earrings when not in use. The glass is so beautiful, I wanted to display it and still have it useful.

The photo is the horseshoe ashtray design in the ruby color. This design spanned over two decades having first appeared in the late 1940's and staying through the late 1960's.

Depending on the color and issue year, these smoking items can be very valuable. The earlier items are harder to find especially in one of the original 5 colors. However, with the decrease in smokers, even vintage smoking items are becoming more scarce. 

For collectors, the ashtrays and cigarette boxes and jars can be used as candy dishes or just displayed in an attractive manner. 

More Epic Line Art Glass

The Epic Line stayed until 1975-76

The Epic Line grew, changed and shrank by 1975-76 when it last appeared in their catalog. After ownership changes in the late 1980's, the company finally went into recievership and closed its' doors in May, 1999.   

After the company closed, the Viking glass products immediately became much more collectible. Today, 12 years later, it remains a favorite of collectors. The Epic line may seem a bit messy since they was no real rhyme nor reason to the pieces included in the line, but it is still a favorite of art glass collectors. 

Actually, it's one of my favorites. The colors, free-form designs and styles are still fit with many different decorating styles -- vintage anything being my favorite.  

I have a small Viking Art Glass collection. Family members, auctions, estate sales and even the odd yard sale will produce pieces to add to my collection. Images are from my private collection. 

To read more about Viking's Epic line, visit the Vintage With A Twist website. 

Happy hunting! 

Updated: 03/15/2012, mandeesears
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Do you collect art glass?

Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
[email protected] on 11/29/2016

I've become attached to the graceful curves and uniquely designed aspects of these pieces. So far, I have 8 swung glass vases and a couple of beautiful bowls that are in question. Awesomeness!!

Diane J. Pontarelli on 12/15/2012

I am in need of someone who can repair art glass. I have a vintate perfume holder with a longtailed bird stopper. The tail is broken and I wondered if there is anyone who can fix it. It belonged to my Grandmother. In trying to find out about glass repair, I came accross Viking Glass. I have purchased several pieces. Some have aViking label but most do not. I do not know if they are really vikings. The sellers claimed that they were. I purchased them because they were so pretty. All of my purchases have been of longtailed birds in different colors. I also purchased some vintage bird dresser sets. I.E. Two small bird perfume holders with a powder container (or ring storage). It has a swirled glass (two piece) container. I love glass?? I would rather use a mason jar for leftovers than plastic any day. I would also like to find Glass storage containers. The clear ones with the lined lids that usualy have a fruit or vegetable design on it. [email protected] (diane pontarelli )

Dale on 11/12/2012

YES! I collect the Viking Epic 6 Petal Candy Jars (8" and & 5.5") as well as the 3 footed drape. I am seeking (and going nuts trying to do so) to find the clear, satin annd milk white jars. CAN ANYONE HELP?
Much THANKS from a diehard Viking Glass Collector!!

mandeesears on 10/02/2012

You can try to look them up on the VikingArtGlass.com website. If you find a photo of them, you can download the information about value for $1.00. Hope this helps!

Mechell on 10/02/2012

I have 2 tall bright green matching vases still have viking stickers but I can't seem to figure out what they're worth. Not looking to sell as they were passed down to us and of course they are beautiful! :/) I need to no for insurance purposes.

mandeesears on 10/04/2011

They are very attractive, I agree! I started that way myself -- buying just what appealed to me visually. Still kinda do that...

fanfreluche on 09/24/2011

I don't really collect art glass, but I have a couple of pieces found at garage sale. I know next to nothing; but find them attractive

sheilamarie on 08/06/2011

I know next to nothing about these things, but the colors sure are pretty.

ohcaroline on 08/05/2011

I don't know too much about it until today...but I do like the Smokey Grey piece on the page. Nice of you to share your collection.

happynutritionist on 08/05/2011

I took so many things for granted until I started selling on eBay, then all kinds of collectibles became interesting...opened up a whole new world. Even though I don't sell glass items, things became interesting to me that weren't before. Learned about some art glass, but haven't heard of Viking glass...beautiful pictures.

You might also like

Vintage Definition | Antique Definition

The terms "antique" and "vintage" have caused confusion to more than one shop...

How To Sell Antiques

A few suggestions on how to sell your antiques and collectibles in a brick an...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...