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What is a Vitrine?

A vitrine is a glass display case often used in different commercial spaces, including retail stores, museums, and jewelry stores.
Published June 01, 2017


A vitrine is a glass display case utilized to showcase valuable items, whether in a jewelry store, retail store, or museum.

Not all vitrines look alike.

These retail glass displays cases don't all come in the same shapes and sizes. In fact, many are custom-made for the aforementioned commercial spaces, as well as other interiors, in order to enhance the design and effectively present specific products or items.

Museum-Vitrines.jpgPhoto Credit: Armour Systems

For example, some vitrines are freestanding, while others are mounted on walls. You’ll find many are framelesswhich means the glass has been UV bonded together—conveying the illusion the casing consists of one seamless piece of glass, and making it easier for people to view the objects inside. However, metal and wooden frames are also used. All of this depends on what the designer has in mind for the space.

Oftentimes, the particular items and venue determine the type of vitrine used.

Hanging-Vitrine.jpgPhoto Credit: Neiman Marcus

For example, you may notice many museum vitrines vary in size, depending on the artifacts inside, and can be found mounted on walls or located at the center of exhibits. If a solo piece of artwork is on display, there’s a good chance it'll be presented within a vitrine installed on a wall.

Fine jewelry shoppers may have a different experience than museum visitors, as the necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings they browse will likely be housed in a larger, freestanding vitrine—but again, this is all determined by the vision for that particular space, as well as the glass fabricator’s design.

The right glass fabicator will take the necessary time to understand exactly what it is you’re looking for.

You need to know what to look for in a glass fabricator before hiring one. Otherwise, you won’t end up with the display case you had in mind—in terms of both aesthetics and quality. 

A glass fabricator's range of capabilities, its reputation with long-standing clients, communication skills, and access to useful resources are just a few things you should inquire about.

Learn about the vitrines Dillmeier Glass created for High Country Millwork, a Colorado-based luxury retail services and environments provider.

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