Glass Discussion & Research. NO IDENTIFICATION REQUESTS here please. > Malta Glass

Mtarfa glass

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I see a lot written in various places about Mdina glass but have seen no mentions of Mtarfa glass, also from Malta. Is Mtarfa considered to be of a lower quality than that of Mdina or is it just that Mdina are more successful at marketing and promotion?

The reason I ask is I found a delightful little vase last week with a Mtarfa signature and sticker on - it's mainly pink with some darker colouring - very reminiscent of flamingo feathers, but until then I had never heard of Mtarfa at all.

David E:
The two makes are quite similar and Paul Said, the owner of Mtarfa, is related to the Mdina owner. I think they are brothers.

Personally I don't think Mtarfa is inferior at all, but most of their items (as Le Casson eluded to elsewhere) are not very demanding or imaginative and tend to follow the same form. Early Mdina though, was originally started by Michael Harris (later of Isle of Wight glass - note the resemblance!) and his 'axe head' vases could be seen as contemporary of Whitefriars art glass - many, many excellent pieces that command high prices.

However, Mtarfa do make some very weird vases where a long neck is repeatedly folded over and I think they are fascinating! Then again, I'm a bit weird  :lol: But these might be termed 'end of day' vases - Friday afternoon jobs where the glass makers let their hair down and go a bit wild.

If you want some images of these weirdies I'll gladly post them.

At the end of the day, if you like them, collect them! Most can be picked up remarkably cheaply and they may become tomorrow's collectables.

Best regards,

Thanks for your explanation David, I've had a google around and some of their work I'm not taken with, but this little vase just appealed to me. I'd be interested in seeing the folded neck vases too please, as I've not seen any of those whilst googling.

You're right about liking to collect... everything I've added to the collection is because I like the look of it. If I don't like it I don't buy - simple huh...? :)


The tallest one is 8" tall and you'll note the label on the red one. By far, the orange one is the most convoluted - like I said: dead weird!


Heh heh heh they are terrific David, thanks! Definitely a fun item methinks. The label is the same as on my vase also incidentally... and it has the scratchy-looking signature on the base.  I'll keep my eyes peeled for these sort of vases now I've seen them... they'd be a talking point for sure!  :D


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