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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Recent News: Cut Glass

Source: Google News

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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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I hooked my fingertips into its dials, touched the smooth-coated wire, pastel yellow, like dinner mints we scooped out of cut-glass dishes in silver spoons after supper. Grandma's face went all slack when a bird missed its trajectory and fell onto a...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

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He's learned a lot about antiques over the years, and is committed to “only sell what he knows.” As for what's hot these days, Pearson said quality vintage glass will always be in demand. The American cut glass, from the 1880s to 1915, is known as...Read more

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A 1912 ad claimed the antiques shop was Virginia's largest dealer of “old mahogany furniture, old brass, cut glass, copper plate, old china, engravings, paintings, etc.” The company began making high-end reproduction furniture when the supply of...Read more

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And that hair had been an accidental game-changer: it highlighted her face, what her future mother-in-law would call her “cut-glass bones.” It would lead to a promotion and, later, profiles in fashion magazines. In fact, now it was always on and on...Read more