There are many types of antique glass – ranging from simple to sophisticated, affordable to extravagant. Antique glass is glassware produced from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s. While we purchase delicate objects for display, vintage glassware can also be functional items for the kitchen.
Antique glass comes in a wide variety of colors, styles, and patterns, making them a fascinating collector’s hobby. The most popular types are pressed glass, cut glass, blown glass, carnival glass, and Depression glass.
We can characterize glass in three different ways, namely:
- Formula or chemical recipe
- How the final shape is formed
- Style or genre
Types of antique glass based on genre
No matter what era or design interests you, there is a collectible antique glass for you.
Among the many types of antique glass, cut glass is the oldest dating back to 2,000 years ago. Cut glass is a reslt of holding a cooled piece against a grinding wheel while carving grooves on it. These streaks then form the design, pattern and decor on the surface of antique glass.
One of the last surviving examples of carved glass is the Portland Vase from the first century. We carve the top layer of white glass to reveal the dark blue glass underneath.
On the other hand, cut glass that contains lead is what we commonly refer to as crystal. This high end glass makes fancy wine glasses, bowls, and chandeliers. Interestingly, lead crystal is so fine that you won’t see any seams.
Another subcategory of this type is the Vintage American cut glass. Also called Brilliant Cut or American Brilliant cut, it appeared from late 19th century to early twenty. Dining tables set with these intricately cut pieces of crystal were often an indication of opulence and class.
Pressed glass is a result of pouring molten glass into a mold to from its shape, pattern and design. The seam is noticeable with a thin line along the edge of the piece.
Early American Pressed Glass (EAPG) is heavy pressed glass that became popular in the mid-1800s to around 1910. Manufacturers known for producing EAPG include New England Glass Company, Cambridge Glass Company, and McKee from Pennsylvania.
This ancient form of glass making involves forming molten glass by blowing it through a tube. There are no seams but the pipe leaves a pontil or rod mark. Blown glass is often characterized by tiny bubbles or shifts with colors that blend together. Several pieces may be assembled to form a single unit.
World War I interrupted the American Brilliant era and introduced cheap glassware of the Great Depression. These affordable Depression glass pieces were designed for budget-conscious consumers.
Often given away as promotional gifts, Depression glass also appeals to modern collectors. They appreciate the challenges and triumphs of that period when families lived on little or nothing.
Depression glass adds a rich history to your collection as it brightened homes back in the day.
This type of iridescent, pressed glass takes its name from carnivals. It was often given away as prizes back in the early 1900s.
Fenton and Northwood led the competition in making carnival glass that was similar to Tiffany Favrile pieces. They featured descriptive names such as thistle, water lily, peacock, cattails, and wreath of roses.
Because of their vibrant and colorful look, carnival glass has become a popular collectible.
Types of antique glass based on formula
Soda lime glass
This chemical makeup of glass is a combination of sodium carbonate and lime. It is hard, clear, and comes in many shapes and designs through pressing, blowing or cutting.
This glass contains 10% lead and is known for its exceptional brilliance that looks like diamond. Apart from chandeliers and fancy dinnerware, laboratories likewise use lead glass. It is valuable for its capability to block ultraviolet and infrared light. Heavier than soda lime, lead glass can also be blown, pressed, or cut.
This glass gets its name from its opaque to translucent appearance. While it is often available in milky white look, there are milky blue, pink, brown, or black. Cups, glasses, and other glassware normally use milk glass.
This is one of the oldest types of antique glass, and uses cobalt salts to create a deep blue color.
Also called Rubino Oro, cranberry glass gets its red color when you mix gold oxide with molten glass. It is very expensive and often used to make high-end glassware.
The addition of uranium salts makes this a highly collectible antique glass. Uranium salts turn glass into yellow or green with appearance ranging from transparent to opaque. As such, figurines, candlestick holders, plates, glasses, cups, saucers, and salt and pepper shakers use uranium glass. Here, radiation under a black light is very minimal.
There are three subcategories for uranium glass: Vaseline, Custard and Jadeite.
- Vaseline glass is transparent with a yellow-green hue that glows green under black light.
- Custard glass gets its name from its opaque yellow look.
- Jadeite glass has an opaque pale green appearance.
Do you need help with glass repair in Chandler AZ? Talk to the experts at Glass King today and let’s see how we can assist.