American Brilliant cut glass came out of the shadows of European cut glass in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, representatives from eight American glass manufacturers showed off their leaded-crystal goblets, tumblers, decanters, and serving plates, each of which had been deeply cut by hand on a succession of metal, stone, and wooden wheels. The Brilliant Period, as the heyday of the form is known, lasted from the nation’s centennial until the first decade of the 20th century, when changing tastes and less-expensive pressed glass, which replicated the look of cut glass, pushed the real thing to the sidelines. In fact, by 1910 many of the floral, fruit, and geometric patterns in cut glass were pressed first and then cut, making them less costly to produce and less desirable to contemporary collectors.

During the Brilliant Period, roughly 1,000 cutting shops were founded to meet the demand. These shops would turn thick, unadorned blanks into multifaceted confections, whose cut and engraved surfaces splashed light around a room. Companies such Dorflinger, Hawkes, Libbey, J. Hoare and Co., T. G. Hawkes, Tuthill, Egginton, and Mt. Washington were highly regarded for the quality of their work, as well as their artistry. Hawkes would go on to found Steuben with Frederick Carder, while Libbey made Brilliant glassware for the White House.

Some of the most sought-after patterns cut during the American period of cut glass are Wedgemere, Aztec, and Ellsmere by Libbey; Aberdeen by Jewel; Queens, Chrysanthemum, and Nautilus by Hawkes; Assyrian by Sinclaire; Poppy by Tuthill; Wheat by Hoare; and Russian and Comet by a number of companies. Shapes can also be considered rare, such as tea and coffee pots, table lamps, oil lamps, triple-ring lapidary neck decanters, cake plates, punch bowls, and whiskey bottles. Finally, while many pieces are clear, look for colors, including ruby, green, rainbow, blue, and turquoise, if you can even find them.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

American Cut Glass Association

American Cut Glass Association

A great reference on ‘American Brilliant Cut Glass’ (produced between 1876 and 1914), this site features a stri… [read review or visit site]

Pattern Glass School

Pattern Glass School

If you need schooling on Victorian-era pressed glass tableware aka EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) aka Pattern … [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare! Signed Hawks Tall Tankard Art Nouveau Design 11 7/8" TallAbp Cut Glass Turquoise GobletAntique Brilliant Cut Glass Amethyst Purple Cut To Clear Tobacco Jar HumidorRare American Brilliant Cut Glass Pitcher With Gorham Sterling RimAntique Abp American Brilliant Period Cut Glass Oval Center Console BowlAbp Cut Glass Bowl, Cut In Triple Miter Trellis And Hobstar CirclesHawkes Cut Glass Gravic Fruits Water PitcherVtg Cut Glass Crystal Sterling Silver Hawkes Elegant Salt & Pepper Shaker SetAntique Sterling Silver & Cut Glass 1 1/3" Tall Inkwell/dresser JarAntique Brilliant Cut Glass 10" Shallow Bowl AbpRare Abp American Brillant Period Cut Glass Worchester Sauce Bottle - HawkesBeautiful Antique Abp Signed J. Hoare & Co. Corning Cut Glass Ice Cream Tray WowAbp American Brilliant Period Cut Crystal Glass Tall Decanter With Stopper CoolAbp Hawkes American Brilliant Period Cut Glass Later Hawkes Plate AbpAbp American Brilliant Period Or Bohemian Cut Crystal Glass Elaborate TrayAbp Cut Glass Outstanding Triangle Shape Heavy Sharply Cut Bowl10" Libbey Princess Pattern Abp Cut Glass BowlAbp Cut Glass Outstanding Large Square BowlAbp Cut Glass Very Brilliant Fine Quality Handled Wine Decanter14 Total Signed Libbey Stems, Rock Crystal Pattern 0277, C1920 Vintage/antique American Gas Pump Dome Glass 15" AcrossAntique American Brilliant Cut Crystal Glass Large Size Vase 10.5"American Brilliant Period 2 Pc (abp) Cut Glass Punch Bowl & Stand, C. 1880-1900Abp Cut Glass Large And Heavy Jd Bergen Atlantic Pattern Ice Cream TrayPairpoint Viscaria Corset Vase, American Brilliant, 1 Of 2American Brilliant Period Hand Cut Glass Signed Fry Dish Abp AntiqueAbp Cut Glass Bowl With Daisy Pattern 8" Clear And Beautiful Look!Abp American Brilliant Cut Glass Fabulous Bowl Pinched Rim Gorgeous PieceVintage Brilliant Cut Glass Pitcher Floral DesignPairpoint Viscaria Corset Vase, American Brilliant, 2nd Of 2Abp American Brilliant Period Cut Crystal Glass Center Stem Console Bowl CompoteVintage Pressed Glass & Silverplate Neck & Handle Syrup Jar Lions Head DesignAbp Very Nicely Cut American Brilliant Cut Glass Ice Cream Tray Lovely Work!