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Victorian UV reactive white satin glass vase with applied decoration

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    Posted 1 month ago

    IronLace
    (555 items)

    A recent arrival, this interesting Victorian glass vase is made from a single layer of opaque white glass that contains uranium & glows green under UV light.
    It measures 14 cm tall, 6 x 7 cm across the crimped, pinched up top rim, & 5 cm across the base, which has a neatly polished out pontil mark.
    The vase has an applied crest in pink, applied leaves & a spray of what looks like wheat or another grain in clear glass, & a silky smooth satin finish.
    I have many items in UV reactive white glass with applied decoration, this one is the first with a satin finish.
    Perhaps Bohemian origin.

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    Comments

    1. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 1 month ago
      Marin, forgive my ignorance on the topic of glass. All I’ve learned has been from CW and I started with zero knowledge...but I am attracted to pretty glass and read all the posts.
      .
      Here’s my dumb question:
      When older glassware was made (many decades ago), were the glass artists aware of the effects of UV light on their work or was it just happenstance that the glass making “ingredients” turned out to look so beautiful under that light condition?
    2. IronLace IronLace, 1 month ago
      Hi Patricia, that's a good question, & I'll do my best to provide an answer.
      To begin, uranium was employed as a colourant for glass well before it's other properties were discovered. It used to create vibrant shades of yellow & green, which then became very popular in art glass from the mid 19th century onwards. It was also used in opaque glass mixes to make a shade known as "custard glass", which has a pale cream appearance (it's also the lower half of Burmese glass). But it was also used in opaque white glass as well, & that's where it gets a bit mysterious. Why would a yellow/green colourant be needed in a white glass? Especially since uranium always was an expensive resource.
      We do experience a natural effect similar to "black light" at sunrise & sunset, when there is more UV light in the spectrum...I have actually seen glass containing uranium "light up" gently if viewed at these times either outside or in front of a window in relation to the rising or setting sun.
      However, I don't think that folks were in the habit of waiting around every morning or afternoon to watch their glassware glow faintly!
      I will say that opaque white glass containing uranium has a slightly warmer tone than that made without. It just looks nicer, & the quality seems better. Sometimes, that can be enough!
    3. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 1 month ago
      Thank you for the education! I appreciate you talking the time to share your knowledge.
    4. IronLace IronLace, 1 month ago
      My pleasure! Always happy to help where I can...

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