Posted 3 years ago
Japan started making glass in volume from about 1880, although it was nearly always for practical use. Things like oil lamps, thermometers, jars, floats, mirrors, and basic serving ware were the type of items that kicked off production. They had developed equipment and skills from a range of places, but primarily it was the British that really got their pressed glass production moving.
The ink well here dates from about 1920 according to my source, and is made from uranium glass. The moulding on it is of reasonable standard, with mould lines apparent but finished well.
The small blue dish is earlier, and may be around turn of the century. It is poorly made. The glass is not clean, the moulding is very obvious, and the outer edge retains dags.
The child's breakfast set dates from just before WW2. It is of reasonable quality, well moulded and finished.
One of the few books in English that provides information on this era, A History of Glass in Japan, ( Dorothy Blair, Corning Museum of Glass monograph, pub. 1973) shows pressed glass of much higher quality than these items. I suggest that the demand for cheap pressed glass within Japan was such that some companies bypassed quality to produce quickly, but were more than capable of producing good quality glass.
There seems to be very little of this glass remaining in Japan, and it is not easy to source..