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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American Cut Glass Association

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Pattern Glass School

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Recent News: Cut Glass

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'Cigar store Indian' covers wide range of figurines
HeraldNet, November 27th

Antique “cigar store Indians” continue to be popular with collectors. This 19th-century figure of an Indian ... It sold a variety of luxury goods — jewelry, fine silver, china dishes, cut glass, clocks, lamps and engraved stationery. Cowell & Hubbard...Read more

Holiday events: From 'Nutcrackers' to noisemakers
The News Journal, November 21st

Also the Women's Club Christmas Craft Shop (9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at Appoquinimink Training Center, 118 S. Sixth St., Odessa) and antique show (10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Odessa Fire Hall). 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 6. $15-$20. Hale-Byrnes Holiday Open House 11 a.m.-5 p.m...Read more

Community Calendar
Valley Advantage, November 21st

A preview party will be held, Friday, Nov. 21, 6-8 p.m. featuring refreshments and entertainment. Items for sale will include holiday antique items along with vintage jewelry, cut glass, bronzes and collectible “stocking-stuffers.” Antique appraiser...Read more

There and Back Again
Maine Antique Digest, November 13th

At the museum, you can see a timeline of production styles on the main floor including the incredible cost-effective pressed glass that impressively imitated cut glass. The upstairs galleries have great thematic displays (lighting, dinnerware, color...Read more

Madaline has treasures at bargain at Spence's
The News Journal, November 7th

Out come the cardboard boxes, the newsprint carefully unwrapped from the Limoges, the Fitz and Floyd, the cut glass crystal. The designer label clothing ... He finds, among the jewelry trays, a handful of vintage hat pins. One is topped by a sterling...Read more

Amelotte featured at Blue Sea Artisans Gallery
West Hawaii Today, November 7th

A drawing will be held at the gallery and on its Facebook page for a necklace and earring set containing vintage cut glass and sapphires. The gallery is open from from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more...Read more

Made in St. Louis: Local artist enjoys repurposing with mosaic glass
STLtoday.com, November 6th

Each piece is composed of individually hand-cut glass. No two pieces are ... I recently completed a mannequin for a client in Chicago using antique buttons as a way for her to display a portion of a collection previously tucked away in a drawer...Read more

'Set To Celebrate' Event Features Impressive List Of Designers
Hartford Courant, October 30th

The show features vintage, antique and high-end tableware and accoutrements and the committee also spends much of the year scouring eBay, flea markets and tag sales for pieces and collections for the show. "I think that is what surprises people most...Read more