Antique and vintage glassware encompasses countless types of decorative-yet-functional containers, bowls, and platters produced from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s. Examples include pressed glass, cut glass, carnival glass, Depression glass, elegant glass, and milk glass.
Of these techniques, cut glass is the oldest, going back some 2,000 years, almost to the introduction in the West of glassblowing itself. Then as now, glass was cut by holding a cooled piece up to a grinding wheel to carve grooves in its side. The effect could be used to produce decorations and designs, as well as patterns. Another type of cut glass could also be called carved glass. In the earliest surviving example of this technique, a piece of 1st-century cameo glass known as the Portland Vase, a top layer of white glass has been carved away to reveal the background of dark blue glass behind it.
More recently, during the so-called "American Brilliant" period from the late 19th century until the early part of the 20th, intricately cut pieces of leaded crystal on a dining table was a key signifier of social status and class. But the American Brilliant era was brief, its optical opulence interrupted by World War I and dealt a final blow during the Depression, when less-expensive pressed glass was embraced by budget-conscious consumers.
In the United States, the production of pressed glass proliferated in the mid-1800s, when the Early American Pattern Glass (or EAPG) industry matured. Manufacturers such as New England Glass Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Cambridge Glass Company of Cambridge, Ohio, were leaders, as was McKee of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These companies and many others like them, often produced the same patterns (albeit with very minor differences to avoid lawsuits), with names like Bellflower and Wildflower, Westward-Ho, and Lion, and Thousand Eye and Three Face. The numerous firms that came out of Ohio were particularly strong, including Heisey, Fostoria, and Jennette.
During the 1920s, many pressed-glass manufacturers struggled as cut glass from France (Baccarat) and Ireland (Waterford) became relatively cheap. But the stock-market crash of 1929 gave a boost to even less-expensive forms of pressed glass, known, fittingly, as Depression glass. Now it was Anchor-Hocking’s turn to shine. Also from Ohio, the firm manufactured at an impressive rate, producing 90 pieces of glassware a minute, allowing it to practically give away Circle, Mayfair, Spiral, and other popular glassware patterns for pennies each.
Concurrently, companies such as Fenton and Northwood were cranking out a sort of poor-man’s Tiffany Favrile known as carnival glass, since it was so often given away as prizes at carnivals. Fenton made roughly 150 patterns of carnival, with descriptive names like Waterlily and Cattails, Peacock Tail, Thistle, and Wreath of Roses. Because the competition was so fierce, companies resorted to all sorts of visual gimmicks to distinguish themselves. One by-product of this race to the bottom was Vaseline or uranium glass, which glowed green when exposed to UV light thanks to its sprayed coating of uranium salt on its surface.
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For $3300, Diageo Will Make You a Zombie in Your House: RetailSan Francisco Chronicle, March 7th
For 2,000 pounds ($3,300), the world's largest distiller will deploy a bartender to make tiki-style cocktails such as Mai Tais and Zombies for you and 19 friends in your own house. Mixologists are also on offer for vintage cocktail nights, which...Read more
'Hoarder's heaven' estate sale in Huguenot on Friday and Saturday (with photos)SILive.com, March 6th
a brass Seth Thomas Ships clock, antique porcelain plates and figurines, antique brass items, liquor, decanters, crystal, glassware, stemware, dinnerware sets, Cutco knives, pots and pans, vintage cameras and accessories, musical instruments, an...Read more
PUBLIC AUCTIONClay Center Dispatch, March 6th
Auction Location: At the National Guard Armory building at 12th and Bridge Streets in Clay Center, Kansas. Furniture (starting at 9 a.m.): 32” table top color TV, La-Z-Boy 3-cushion divan, dining room table with glass top, wood desk, antique wood desk...Read more
That takes me back! Vintage fair at StruttsBelper News, March 6th
Everything from vintage furniture to costumes, pottery, glassware, jewellery, crafts and cake stands will be up for grabs during the event on Saturday, March 8 at Strutts Community Centre. People can also have a go on ludo, quoits, shove ha-penny...Read more
How to score vintage home decor that looks like newCNN, March 5th
Discover your own eclectic vintage and flea-market finds with the help of these tips from Andrea Stanford, One Kings Lane Vice President of Designer and Vintage Sales, and General Manager of Hunters Alley, the shopping site's just-launched vintage- and...Read more
Vintage goods stand test of timeBakersfield Californian, March 5th
"We like to think that collecting antiques decorates our lives," said the organizer -- for nearly 50 years -- of this weekend's Collectors Showcase Antique Show and Sale. Originally intended to be a showcase for collectible glassware (Fields...Read more
Auction Systems Auctioneers & Appraisers Inc. to Host Clifton-Middleton ...PR Newswire (press release), March 5th
Design & Decor – Clocks, Lamps, Rugs and Textiles, Chandeliers, Bronze Sculptures, Asian Antiques, Art Glass, Art Pottery, Bohemian Glass, Folk Art, Photographs, Posters and Prints, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Victorian Era and more. Culture -- Music and ...Read more
HEMET: Antique appraisal museum fundraiser should be funPress-Enterprise, February 27th
Lindquist also will bring a fine glassware antique pitcher. I wonder if the stuffed armadillo my father brought home from a trip in Mexico would be worthy of appraisal. It survived show-and-tell sessions at school for all my brothers and sisters. It's...Read more