While cut glass has been produced for thousands of years, it reached a peak of popularity during the late 19th century in the so-called "Brilliant" period, which lasted until the early 1900s. Brilliant period cut glass, a popular wedding gift at the time, was heavy leaded glass, intricately cut with geometric patterns and prisms.
Cut glass became desirable because it reflected the light across the dinner table. During the American Brilliant period, it was referred to as "rich cut glass." It was very expensive and showed the social standing of the owners.
Most companies specialized in either making or cutting glass, and only a few did both. Some of the most prominent cut glass companies of the time were the Dorflinger Glass Compan...
Cut glass often came in sets. For example, decanters came with goblets and tumblers, candlesticks came in sets of two or four, and berry bowls came with six smaller bowls. Other cut glass collectibles include ice cream trays, casserole dishes, cake plates, and fingerbowls.
During the Edwardian period, cut glass became lighter, thinner, and engraved. The Brilliant cut glass was no longer as fashionable or desirable. Cut glass decreased in popularity during World War I, and with Prohibition, many companies, such as Dorflinger, went out of business.
Cut glass is very fragile and sensitive to heat. Collectors should also be wary of fake cut glass, which started to materialize in the 1980s. Authenticity can often be determined by a black light test.
Interviews & Articles
I started collecting cut glass when I was about 18. My sisters were married, and during the summer, I would go out and stay with t… [more]
Just as brass handles, keyhole escutcheons and turned buttons replaced wooden knobs and wrought-iron handles on English and Americ… [more]
My mother was our inspiration for collecting pattern glass. She collected it, and she died at a very young age. My sister and I in… [more]
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New Owner, Same Nostalgia at the Hardware HousePatch.com, May 20th
The new offerings, which include expanded gardening supplies, vintage and new fishing gear, household items and toys, are intended to capitalize on what draws people to the store in the first place—its nostalgic atmosphere and mom-and-pop customer...Read more
Mind your (flea-market) mannersThe Union Leader, May 18th
Part-time musician and flea-market dealer Lowell Keith of Wareham, Mass., shows off a vintage bass at Shirley's Flea Market in Hollis. While some drivers were headed for Amherst's first antique car show of the season, others were on their way to a...Read more
Open Houses: Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, EvanstonPatch.com, May 18th
Enclosed porch welcomes you into this charming, picture perfect vintage home. Recently renovated with newer mechanicals, 9' ceilings, unique plaster molding, stained and cut glass windows, hardwood floors. Plus, new roof, copper flashing, new...Read more
Review: The Orchard Canteen, Notting HillSpear's WMS, May 17th
The fresh bread comes in a lovely little box and the water in vintage cut glass jugs. We also had a little homemade ice-cream – a fresh, clean yoghurt ice cream and a pleasingly unadulterated and tart blood orange sorbet — sprinkled with pomegranate...Read more
Passionate collectors gather for postcard showTimes Herald-Record, May 16th
Scores of passionate postcard collectors gathered at the Elks Lodge on Route 6 in Port Jervis Saturday, where 18 vendors displayed categorized vintage cards and ephemera. "I was a cut-glass collector," said Trovei, "and didn't have much interest...Read more
Ethel Tucker offers more recipesEvansville Courier & Press, May 14th
The table was set gorgeously with linen, cut glass and china. Aimee Blume / Special to The In it, one can find antique furniture, cabinets of beautiful glassware and china, two kitchen stoves, and, most importantly, Tucker herself. At age 95...Read more
Treasure Hunting: Old vases flatter spring flowersPoughkeepsie Journal, May 12th
Antique and collectible vases can appeal to different decorating styles. Ornate cut glass vases, for instance, or the pretty floral patterns of Roseville are the perfect look to adorn an elegant home. Hand-painted Asian vases, with their intricate...Read more
Poetry reviewsToronto Star, May 9th
In a foreword to Archive of the Undressed, her sixth collection, Lynes explains that it was inspired by vintage issues of Playboy, which she describes as “a primer on how to pursue the good life.” In part, of course, that involves having an attractive...Read more