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A GLOSSARY OF ANTIQUE GLASS

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Glass has always been a source of delight to collectors throughout the years.The terms used to describe glass are often misleading and innacurate....Glamorgan Antiques has compiled a glossary glass index , to hopefully partially rectify the useage of wrong terminology.The subject of glass however is very extensive,and much can still be added to our limited list...

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


ALEGLASS.. Long narrow flute for serving strong ale.18th century glasses were sometimes engraved with the hop and barley motif.

AIR TWIST. Spiral veins of air formed by extension of air bubbles (tears) usually in stems of drinking glasses and shafts of candlesticks.

AMBERINA Made from a gold ruby compound, and amber glass mixture containing the metal gold.Colours shade from yellow amber to dark red

ANGLO VENETIAN GLASS.. Tableware in fine soda glass made in London from 1570 until 1680.

ARABESQUES Engraved scrollwork of flowers and foliage on hollow ware.

ART GLASS Late 19th century USA glass showing use of new materials and techniques, these include >Peachblow,Burmese,Satin,Tiffany etc.

AVENTURINE A dark brown glass with gold specks,so called from it's accidental discovery at murano,Italy.It was made by mixing copper crystals with the molten vitreous material.The Miotti factory specialised in this.

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BACCARAT. The greatest large scale producer of fine glass in France along with Cristalleries de St Louis throughout the 19th century. Founded in 1778.

BAROQUE PATTERNS. Blown three mould patterns classified as baroque,composed of bold motifs in relief,chosen instead of rococco to distinguish typical English and American designs from contemporary French glass.

BAROVIER. The owners name of the factory at Murano in Italy.

BEAKERS. Stemless drinking glasses are among the earliest specimens of Venetian glass..Many are decorated with engraving or enamelled figures.

BEILBY,WILLIAM. A celebrated enameller of flint glass - Newcastle on tyne c1776

BLANK Uncut vessel before it is decorated

BLOOM...An all over film of opaque dullness.Mainly found on Irish and English glass.Bands of bloom may be found encircling hollow wares a little distant below the rims. This bloom is not to be confused with the milkiness found inside old decanters.

BRISTOL BLUE.. Made at most glass making centres, grouped into 5 basic qualities.
a. 1760-90. Intense dark blue with a faint purple hue.
b. 1790-1805. Harsh dark blue, less intense than the previous.
c. 1805-1820.As above but lacking any purple tint.
d. 1820 -40. A very costly blue known as Kings Blue.Often flawed.
e. King's Blue without any flaws and much more decorative.
f. Later blues of all sorts became known loosely as Bristol Blue.

BOTTLE GLASS> Green Glass

BOTTLE SHAPES .(some)
Calabash >Ovoid body tapering into cylindrical neck with collared tip.
Carboy USA> Large Demi john,usually set into a wooden tub.
Carboy.England.>.A large vessel made of green bottle glass,packed originally in wicker containers.
Chestnut.USA. >Carelessly freeblown bottles with long necks and a fat chestnut shaped body.
Cylinder. England. >Measuring 5 inches in diameter.A distinct bulge encircled the base of the body.Mechanically moulded bottles date from 1840.
Demijohn. USA.> mainly a storage and shipping bottle, ofetn with a wicker jacket,free blown with long neck and lip,holding a quart to 20 gallons.British sizes not more than 10 gallons.
Nursing bottle. >Flattened ovoid shapes.Plain and patterned.
Shaft and globe shapes>Normally used to describe decanters for wine.Dated from 1620 to Mid Victorian.
Swirl USA. >Mid Western type,pattern moulded in vertical ribs or flutes.Colours from Aquamarines to deep greens.citron,amber and blue.

BURMESE > Uranium glass

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CALCEDONIA. A type of glass that imitates the colour and veining of chalcedony.First produced at Murano,Italy.In Victorian times made in Bohemia.

CANE. Rods of coloured glass from which the patterns were formed in many types of paperweights.

CASED GLASS.. Two or more layers of differing colour glass, called OVERLAY when design is cut through to the body colour.Bohemina glass technique.

CLICHY. Factory founded in 1837 by Rouyer and Maes at Billancourt in Paris.,mainly for the production of cheap glass for export.However it slowly rose through the ranks to become a fine producer of paper weights and at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851,Clichy was the only French Cristallerie to be represented.

COLLARS. USA term synonymous with neck rings.

COMPOTE. Bowl on a stem,also on a domed or pedestal foot.

CORDIAL GLASSES. During the 17th century, cordials were taken from miniature wine glasses measuring 4-6 inches in height.The flute cordial is often termed a ratafia glass.

CORK GLASSHOUSE CO. Established in Cork ireland in 1793 as makers of cut Flint,plain and black bottles.Always suffering from financial difficulties.

CRANBERRY GLASS. The colour of wild Cranberries, the pink is subtle but not so deep as Ruby red glass..Very popular with the Victorians for tablewares.Victorian Cranberry glass is often very fine glass, showing faults in the glass,such as trapped air bubbles..Modern Cranberry glass is still produced, the best pink is made in Bohemia...

CRESTING. A term for bridge fluting, an extension of faceting from the stem to the bridge, the junction of the bowl and the stem.

CRIMPING. Dents or flutes impressed by a tool on the handle and the foot.

CRISTAL - CRISTALLERIE -CRYSTAL.. Lead glass of the English type,also fine table glass and decorative glass of all types.

CROWN. Name for a paperweight composed of coloured canes radiating in straight lines from the top.

CUT MOTIFS. Diamond cutting.Deeply incised "V" Shaped grooves or motres crossing each other at right angles to produce a series of 4 sided pyramids each with a sharp apex..Also >Cross cut,Strawberry cut,Hobnail cut,Checkered cut.

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DECANTER STOPPERS. Rarely ground before the 18th century, always ground after 1745.

DRAM GLASSES. Nips, Joeys,Ginettes and gin glasses.

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END OF THE DAY GLASS. Most often implied to mean the glass remnants of the day that were hand blown into various shapes by workmen as a means of making extra money.

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FAVRILE GLASS Hand wrought.Art glass made by Tiffany in the USA.

FILIGREE.Inter weaved spirals of white,coloured and gold threads. Glass of this type first produced in Murano,Italy in the 16th century,remained popular since.

FINGER BOWLS. Wash hand glasses from 1760.

FINIALS. Cover or lid knobs, styles >button,mushroom,ball,chicken,swan,etc.

FIRING GLASSES. Used for thumping the tables as a form of acclamation.Stumpy glass with drawn bowl on a thick stem and a heavy flat foot.

FLASHED GLASS. A thin coating of coloured glass over clear glass, a ruby stain in imitation of Bohemian glass.

FLUTE. A drinking glass with a tall deep conical bowl. Also a vertical groove cut into a stem or bowl.

FREE BLOWN. Glass formed by blowing and manipaulation with hand tools, without the aid of moulds.

FROSTED GLASS .Imitating the texture of ice.First produced in Murnao,Italy in the 16th century.

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GADROON OR GADROONING> Tooled on layer of glass formed from a pearl attached to end of parison and pulled up over it.

GALLE<EMILE. 1846-1904.
Famous producer of art glass on the 19th century.During the 1870's he took over the table glass works owned by his father in Nancy and turned it into an art glass factory.At the Paris exhibition of 1889 his representation showed the poweful impact of Japnese art..The shapes were simple in outline and much of the glass was massive and coloured. The cased glass technique was employed with great mastery, and the decorative patterns showed naturalistic pictures of flowers and insects..Shapes of his art glass are often irregular and suggestive of natural forms such as trees and branches and the flowers in curving lines.Sometimes you will see lines written from famous French poetry in ornamental lettering, having inspired Galle to the particular piece.His own name and " Nancy" also appearing in ornamental lettering...Thankfully there is still a plentiful supply of Galle items available as he was a plorific maker of beautiful objects of art glass.

GJOVIK, VERK..Norwegian glass maker. 1809 - 47.

GOBLET >A drinking glass with the bowl large in relation to the stem height and holding a gill or more of liquor.

GREEN GLASS. This is actually glass in it's natural colour.

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HAND BLOWN.. Free blown,used in contra-distinction to machine blown.

HORN OF PLENTY. Corncupia of fruit or produce; common motif on decorative flasks.

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JACOBITE GLASSES.. Glasses bearing emblems and mottoes of a cryptic character associated with the Jacobite cause.Most common pattern is the 6 petalled Jacobite rose with one or two buds.The rose represents the House of Stuart, the small bud, the Old pretender, the large bud in honour of Prince Charles Edward or after James's proposal to "Abdicate" in favour of his son.Other Jacobite emblems include a stricken Oak, Oak leaf,Bee,Butterfly,Jay bird,Jacob's ladder foliage,Carnation or Gillyflower,Daffodil,Triple ostrich plumes and thistle...

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LACY GLASS.. Type of pressed glass made in intricate relief designs on finely stippled lace like background.Mainly cups,plates and salts, more rarely bases of lamps and candlesticks.

LATTICINIO. Name for the filgree glass of Venetian origin,composed of crossing and interlacing strips of opaque and clear glass.

LAVA GLASS. Type of glass made in imitation of mosaic lava ware pottery.Massachusetts,1878.

LEAD GLASS.. Glass containing lead oxide as a flux.Called flint glass.

LEVEILLE. A French art glass designer.Fine quality and in good taste.

LILY PAD. Decoration formed from a super imposed layer of glass that is a rounded pearl attached to the bottom of a parison,pulled up over it and tooled into the so called lily pad.

LIME GLASS. Glass containing lime,first produced in Birmingham, England.It looks as clear as lead glass but it is not so heavy and resonant.

LOOKING GLASSES OR MIRRORS These were first made in Murano,Italy in the 16th century.The earliset surviving mirror dates from the 18th century.In England, fine and large examples were made from 1773 at Ravenhead in St Helens.

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MARBLE GLASS.. Pressed glass in variegated tints of purple and milk white made in the 19th century under the name of vitro porcelain and now known as slag or marble glass.The makers were Sowerby of Gateshead and the Kilner firm of Wakefield.

MARGARITI. Imitation pearls have been made at Venice since the 13th century.They were exported in the 14th and 15th centuries and when Vasco da Gama reached Calicut in 1497 he found them in use as a currency there.

MARRIAGE CUPS> Venetian glass cups made to commemorate marriages and decorated with portraits of the bride and the groom.

MARY GREGORY GLASS. Normally associated with the enamel paintings in white of children in a woodland scene,sometimes picking or holding flowers.Mary Gregory was an American lady who supposedly was the first artist to design these little landscapes on clear glass..All such decorated glass, now is normally called >Mary Gregory glass.

MILK GLASS Opaque white glass made in imitation of Chinese porcelain,produced by mixing oxide of tin with clear glass.

MILLEFIORI. This is an Italian word meaning >Thousand flowers. The first paper weights were made in Venice.St Louis was next and then they were made at Baccarat and then Clichy.They were also made in England at Birmingham,Stourbridge and London.

MONTEITH. A bowl with a scalloped rim to allow 10 or 12 drinking glasses to hang by the foot into iced water for chilling.Later catalogued as Montiffs.

MOTHER OF PEARL OR SATIN GLASS.Perfected in 1880 by Thomas Webb of Stourbridge.....Purely ornamental glass produced by blowing a core of white opaque glass in a pattern mould.While the glass was still hot the outer surface was dipped into a transparent coloured metal.A transparent crystal glaze was applied over this.Acid vapour then acted on the surface and produced a satin like finish.Several colour combinations were applied sometimes in a single piece.Also made by the Phoenix glass company in Pittsburgh in the USA.

MURRINI.....Otherwise called mosaic glass or Millefiori

MUSHROOM..A paperweight in which the canes are bunched together and raised in a sheaf from the bottom,usually surrounded by a ring of lacework at the foot.

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OPALESCENT DEWDROP. Later called Hobnail.Pressed in full size moulds,the tips of the nodules made in opalescent glass in various colours.

OPALINE. A word created by French Conniosseurs to describe fine colour glass, made during the 19th century mainly on a basis of opal glass.The French glass makers of the period called the glass OPALE or EN COLOURS OPALE.

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PAINTED DECORATIONS> On Venetian glass these were usually carried out in enamel.Two methods of painting were used in England,oil or Japan colours hardened by heat but not burnt in,and enamels muffle fired and permanent..Armorial works were fashionable in vivid colours, also scenes of figures,landscapes,ornaments,birds,flowers and marine views.

PEACH GLASS or PEACHBLOW. Peach like tints shading from cream to rose,red to yellow,or blue to pink made in imitation of Chinese porcelain.Term used in the USA ,,

PILLAR MOULDING and PILLAR RIB. Wide short,heavy ribs forming a band in a geometric pattern...

PONTIL and .PONTIL MARKS.ALSO PUNTY MARK.A scar left on blown glass when the punty is broken off.Generally found on the base of the glass.Ground and polished into a smooth depression from about 1750, and invariably so on very fine glassware. Less frequently ground off on USA wares than on British wares.

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QUILLING. Ribbon of glass applied and pinched into pleats,synonymous with English pinched trailing.

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RETICELLO The name given to glass decorated with a mesh of Opaque white threads beneath it's surface.Also called "vetro di trina" or lace glass.

RIGAREE MARKS. Applied bands of glass tooled in parallel vertical lines to form tiny contiguous ribs,produced by the edge of a small metal wheel.

ROLLING PINS> Glass rolling pins were made as salt containers during the Napoleonic Wars when the salt tax was 30 times higher than the cost of the salt itself.Hanging conspicuously on the kitchen walls, the rolling pin became a field for homely decoration, such as a text painted on a background of opaque white glass. Eventually the rolling pins became regarded more as a lucky mascot, and were inscribed and painted with mottoes,Biblical quotations, name of the recipients,also many were decorated with sea fairing subjects.

ROUSSEAU,EUGENE. The greatest French glass artist of the 19th century.Japanese fashion had a great influence on his work..

RUMMER. Short stemmed drinking glass with capacious thinly blown ovoid bowl and small foot.Later the glass became thicker and the feet heavier to hold the favourite Victorian drink of hot toddy!

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SPANGLED GLASS. Molten glass rolled over flakes of Mica or metal particles which fused when heated.Made in the USA,England and Bohemia

STEP. A flattened glass button connecting the stem of the rummer with the foot.

STONES.. Red and black specks within the fabric of early flint glass.

SULPHIDES. Glass encrusted cameos.Patented by Apsley Pellatt of London.

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TEARS. Bubbles of air enclosed within the metal for decorative purposes.

TIFFANY GLASS. A type of USA art glass.Made by Louis Comfort Tiffany 1848-1933.

TORTOISESHELL. Pale brownish amber glass with dark splotches.

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URANIUM GLASS... Produced in 1857 in Birmingham,England by Lloyd and Summerfield.Colours are Green,rose pink and pale yellow.It can have a dull or glossy finish.

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VENETIAN GLASS... Thinly blown soda glass worked at a low temprature,cooling very quickly and requiring great skills of manipulation.

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WALKING STICKS.. Glass walking sticks were made in England during the 19th century,some came from Bristol and some from Nailsea.Sometimes they had twisted colour glass within the clear glass stick.
WRITHING.. Surface twisting or swirled ribbing or fluting on bowl or stem.

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YARD OF ALE. A yard of ale is a drinking glass measuring 3 feet or more in length.Considering they are very fragile, it is nor surprising that few have survived from the 18th century.They are in the main trick glasses.The flared mouth tapers at length to a bulb at the foot,which ensures that the drinker cannot rest the vessel, and once started the glass must be drained completely or the contents will be spilled

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GLOSSARY OF GLASS

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