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

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Victorian table settings
Observer-Reporter, January 31st

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

McGeorgi's To Close Doors
The Newtown Bee, January 31st

a collection of blue and white china, stacks of small wooden boxes, both carved or decorated; vintage clothing, paintings by local artists such as Betty Christiansen, cut glass, Lennox, teapots, steins, banks, religious figures and objects, vintage...Read more

Glen Ridge Antiques show is February 6 & 7
The Jersey Tomato Press, January 30th

One of the nation's longest running antique shows, the Glen Ridge Antiques Show first opened its doors in 1946 and has since attracted over 1000 people every year. Approximately 30 reputable dealers from PA, MA, DE, NJ, NY, will bring a variety of...Read more

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Tribune-Review, January 22nd

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Antique Appraisal Day to be held Jan. 17
Foothills Focus, January 17th

It's also the perfect time to bring your vintage and antique pieces to Cave Creek Museum, 6140 Skyline Drive, for its annual “Antique Appraisal Day” on Saturday, Jan. 17, 9:30 ... And “what's not” in demand: “Victorian cut glass and oak furniture,” he...Read more

Cave Creek Museum's “Antique Appraisal Day” is Jan. 17
YourWestValley.com, January 12th

The new year is a great time to sort through items in your attic, garage or storage unit and decide what's worth keeping. It's also the perfect time to bring your vintage and antique pieces to Cave Creek Museum, 6140 Skyline Drive, for its annual...Read more

Fontaines Auction Estate Auction: 350 Items of Antique Furniture, 100 Firearms ...
Press Release Rocket, January 8th

Furniture to Include Period Empire, Early American, Victorian, Carved Oak & Custom Mahogany, Oriental Estate Rugs, Over 100 Firearms, Selection of Lighting, Sterling Silver, Artglass, Cut Glass, Clocks, Pottery & Porcelains plus Hundreds of Related ...Read more

Star-studded Bal de la Chasse honors Grace Catherine Cary on eve of winter ...
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