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 Company, Hawkes, the Libby Glass Company, H. C. Fry and Company, Strauss, and J. Hoare and Company. Each manufacturer had their own patented patterns made from a series of motifs, such as Hobstar, strawberry diamond, and punty cut. The rarest or most expensive patterns are Aztec, Panel, and Trellis.

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.


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Five items to add to your home
South China Morning Post (subscription), March 24th

Why: This vintage jug was designed by Swedish ceramicist Gunnar Nyland for Rorstrand. How much: HK$2,590. Where: Deem, 252 ... Why: An antique rusted-metal finish contrasted with cut glass crystal adds glamour. How much: HK$9,700. Where: Timothy ...Read more

Museum & Gallery Listings for March 20-26
New York Times, March 19th

and paintings, from small portable eighth- and ninth-century Buddha statuettes, each basically a mobile communication device, a spiritual smart phone kept close for use on the road or at home; to a single towering 19th-century lacquered wood shrine...Read more

KOVEL'S ANTIQUES: The finer points of antique porcelain
Florida Times-Union, March 19th

But since then, porcelains have been made in Germany, Austria, Japan and other Asian countries that are reproductions of the expensive original antique pieces. Be very careful to examine any piece called Royal Vienna or any piece with a beehive mark ...Read more

Upper East Side Maisonette Asks $18M, Fluffy Dog Not Included
Curbed NY, March 18th

in a home full of commemorative plates, Wedgewood, cut glass vases, silver teaspoons, Tiffany lamps, crystal chandeliers, fringed oriental carpets, ships in bottles, bone china tea sets, antique marbles, seashells, ivory carvings, a plastic Snoopy...Read more

Calendar: Scratch your vintage itch at Dallas Flea
Dallas Morning News, March 6th

GLASS CHARMS AND PENDANTS: Create simple square pendants or charms using thin-cut glass slides and squares. Bring ideas and images for your pieces. 6 to 8 p.m. March 18. Makers Connect, 10242 E. Northwest Highway, Dallas. $28. 972-803-8890...Read more

Antique Show's 40th anniversary show in Pittsford
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, March 5th

Some feature a general line of antiques while others specialize in certain areas of antiques, such as furniture or American Brilliant Cut Glass. The dealers highlight the skill and talent featured in handmade furniture, household accessories and tools...Read more

Touchmark, Edmond residents learn history, value of treasured heirlooms at ...
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Edith Gant carried a heavy, cut-glass pitcher and handed it to antique appraiser Matt McNeil at Edmond's Touchmark at Coffee Creek retirement community. Gant's pitcher was the first of more than 50 antique pieces brought assessed by McNeil at an...Read more

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Some people plan the most direct route to their destination to save time. Vintage treasure hunters Sandy and Steve Milano of St. Charles, however, prefer to take the road less traveled -- as long as that road takes them past an antiques shop or a flea...Read more