Probably the largest area of glass collecting currently is for Zwarovski - about the most prolific of all glass direct to collectors with Zwarovski shops and concessions at airports worldwide. They have been in business since 1895 yet much of their output is unsigned.
There is no accounting for taste :roll: .
Having said that, I understand that Swarovski are attempting to move into the so-called 'designer' sector. Over the last 18 months many big-name designers have been commissioned to produce pieces for the firm. I doubt if these will go unsigned. Although I doubt if the actually makers will be acknowledged.
I think that comments about whether any particular type of glass should be collectable has more to do with personal taste and how an individual rates the cultural importance of any particular type of glass.
As tastes vary, both with individuals and society, I would say that it is very difficult to foresee what will become collectable in the future. Who would have thought that vintage Pyrex would acquire dedicated collectors?
I don't think I am in any position to dictate who should sign what, or how, especially with so many things to consider (cost, practicality etc). However I don't think many people would disagree that the work of contemporary studio artists is likely to remain collectable in the distant future. Therefore signatures will be extremely useful: not only for collectors, but also for historians and archivists.
When it comes to factory glass I couldn't say one way or another whether it is going to have any value in the future; in which case a signature may not be that much of a priority. This would include commercial functional glass or any of the poor quality glass coming out of countries such as China, Romania, and India etc.
There are, as always, grey-areas. There are manufacturers who produce 'art glass' on a large scale. Here you find items of glass that have clearly been conceptualised by talented designers, who are often influenced by the output of renowned studio artists (much like Whitefriars in 60s & 70s).
Just because the glass is mass-produced, does that make it any less valuable to a future collector? Does that mean that such glass should be signed, just in case it becomes valuable?
Is it practical or desirable for large-scale makers to have their work signed?
If you have a situation, where a dozen or more glassmakers make a piece of glass to the same design, is there any value in knowing who was responsible for an individual piece? Is it more important to know the identity of the designer?