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.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Pattern Glass School

Pattern Glass School

If you need schooling on Victorian-era pressed glass tableware aka EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass) aka Pattern … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Pyrex "lucky In Love" Hearts And Shamrocks Casserole Size 475Vintage Pyrex Ovenware Nesting Mixing BowlsRare Vintage Pyrex Black Rooster Pattern 575-b 2 Qt Casserole Baking Dish PromoVintage Pyrex 2 Quart Warmer - With Box Vintage 1950's Pyrex Black Rooster 2 Qt. Casserole Baking Dish- # 575-bCarnival Rare Millersburg Hobstar & Feather Giant Rosebowl "drilled For Lamp"Large Deeply Cut American Brilliant Period Cut Glass TrayVintage Pyrex Christmas Cinderella Bowl 443Rare Vintage Pyrex Turquoise Teal Balloons Chip & Dip Dish Set With Bracket Vintage Fire King Tulip Cottage Cheese Or Cereal BowlsVintage Pyrex Turquoise Daisy Space Saver Jaj With Lid And Warmer Cradle4 Vintage Waterford Crystal "lismore" Brandy Snifters / Glasses Made In Ireland6 Vintage Fire-king Jadeite Restaurant Ware Cups,diner Coffee,anchor HockingRare Htf Pyrex 443 Merry Christmas Cinderella BowlRare Northwood Carnival Ice Blue Leaf & Beads Rosebowl W/sunflower InteriorWaterford Crystal Flute 12 Days Of Christmas 12th Edition Drummers DrummingStunning 8 Pc Vintage Pyrex Turquoise Aqua Refrigerator Set 501s 502 503 & LidsHoare Rare St Louis Pattern 14" Champagne Jug Sterling Collar Vintage Pyrex Turquoise Aqua 6 Piece Covered Refrigerator Dish Bowl Containers Two Vintage Pyrex Rainbow Pink Stripe Bowls Northwood Alaska Vaseline Opalescent Decorated Pitcher & 6 TumblersVintage Jaj Pyrex Green Shamrock Bowl, Clover, Cinderella Style HtfVintage Pyrex Pink Amish Butterprint Casserole With Flaw #19 Vintage Mckee Chalaine Blue Deco Range SetPyrex Autumn Harvest Refrigerator Dish - Complete W/ Lids -wheat Set 501 502 5034 Vintage Waterford Crystal "lismore" 12 Oz. Highball Glasses ~ Made In IrelandGreentown GlassRare Northwood 10 Inch Wishbone Dark Amethyst Chop Plate- Bw Back Carnival Glass12 Vintage Waterford Lismore Crystal Cross Hatch Stemware White Wine Glasses YqzPyrex Christmas Bowl Seasons Greeting's Clear BottomWow El! Northwood Large Grape Cable Carnival Glass Fruit Bowl Iridescent AntiqueWaterford Crystal Christmas Tree Topper Rare Gillinder Eapg Frosted Lion Water PitcherJadeite Fire King Mixing Nesting Bowl Set 9 8 7 6 Swirl Oven Ware Libbey American Brilliant Period Cut Glass Bowl William Anderson "anne" Design Vintage Pyrex Turquoise Amish Butternut Cinderella Mixing Bowl SetFire King "philbe" Jadite 10 1/4" X 1 7/8" Deep Pie PlateFire King Pink Swirl Luncheon Set Nib Carnival Screaming Millersburg Green Marilyn Water PitcherAmerican Brilliant Cut Glass Stunning Documented Tray Huge 12" 100% Cut!, Thick.Carnival Scarce Northwood Ice Green Fruits & Flowers Large Master Berry Bowl7 Fire King Jadite 5" Chili Cereal Soup BowlsWaterford Crystal Biscuit Jar, In The Lismore PatternVaseline Glass Pistol Gun Colt 6 Shooter Paperweight Novelty WhimsyAbp Cut Glass Signed Hawkes Rare Queens Pattern Vase3 Vintage Waterford Crystal "lismore" Iced Tea Glasses ~ Made In IrelandGreentown Teal Blue Hen On NestSet 4 Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Tramore Claret Wine Goblet Glasses Nr SmsVintage Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Squat Antique Whiskey Bar Ships DecanterRare Waterford Crystal Acorn Lamp Finial In Box Made In Ireland Discontinued NrFire King Anchor Hocking Mug Cup GhostbustersVintage Macbeth Evans Cremax Petalware Pastel Banded 4 Sets Of Cups And SaucersWaterford #5483940200 Araglin 9 Oz Footed Iced Tea Beverage Set Of 8 GlassesSet 4 Vintage Waterford Deep Cut Irish Crystal Tramore Water Goblet Glasses Sms11 Vintage Waterford Lismore Water Glasses 6 7/8"Northwood Peacocks On Fence Antique Carnival Glass Plate Ice Lime GreenStunning Hawkes Cut Glass Bowl 7 1/8" Napoleon PatternVtg Set 4 Pyrex Amish Butterprint Mixing Cinderella Bowls Excellent Condition (14 Pcs) Waterford Crystal Nativity Collection Set W/ Donkey Camel ~excellentAbp Cut Glass Libbey Empress Pattern Large Flower Center Vase