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    

Signed J. Hoare American Brilliant Period Cut Glass Water PitcherAbp Cut Glass Signed J. Hoare Corning, N. Y. Low 8" Bowl. Gorgeous!Vintage Classic American Brilliant Cut Glass 11 1/2" Lead Crystal Round TraySigned Hawkes Gravic Iris Pattern Engraved Bowl 8' Cut GlassAntique Early Etched Glass Cruet Cattails & Butterflies Signed Numbered Amazing!Cut Glass 13-inch Crystal Ice Cream Bowl 2-handle Tray American Brilliant PeriodSet Of Four Ideal Cut Glass Of Canastota Glasses Rose Star Pattern - Rare! AbpSigned Tuthill Cut Glass CompoteEx Large 16 Tall Antique American Brilliant Cut Glass Crystal Vase C- 1900s AbpAmerican Brilliant Abp Cut Glass Pairpoint Butterfly Daisy Sterling Silver Rim19th C. Abp Antique Blown & Cut Glass Whiskey Tumbler #1American Brilliant Period Cut Glass Round Centerpiece BowlStunning American Brilliant Cut Glass GarafeExcellent Abp Cut Glass Bowl By William Anderson For LibbeyAmerican Brilliant Cut Glass Plate With Integral Center Dip Bowl C Old Cut Glass Abp Holstars And Pinwheels Corset Flower Vase Hawkes/stueben Rock Crystal Finger Bowl And Underplate.floral,scrolls.1Antique Clear Lead Crystal Cut Glass Oblong Bowl Sawtooth RimHawkes Signed 7" Ice Cream Cut Glass Plate American Brilliant American Brilliant Cut Glass Rare Handled Relish DishBombay Crystal~muti Use Candle Holder/vase~stunning!American Brilliant Period Whiskey Tumbler- Diamond, Crosshatch Pinwheel, HobstarAbp Glass Pretty Pattern Very Brilliant BowlVintage Large Heavily Cut American Brilliant Period Cut Glass Crystal Low BowlAmerican Brilliant Period Cut Glass Bon-bon DishVintage American Brilliant Abp Cut Glass Small Berry Finger Bowl Stars SpiralUsed 6.3" Crystal Relish Cut Brilliant Authentic Israel Dish Glass Vintage PlateUsed Leaf Crystal Relish Cut Brilliant Authentic Israel Dish Glass Vintage PlateUsed Crystal Relish Cut Brilliant Authentic Israel Dish Glass Vintage Plate