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Decorative Glassware

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 16 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Decorative Glassware Collecting

Carnival Glass

Carnival Glass was first produced on a large scale by the newly-established Fenton Art Glass Company, of Williamstown, West Virginia, in 1908. Carnival Glass is pressed glass which has an iridised surface. It is made by exposing the newly formed hot pressed glass to sprays, fumes and vapours from heated metallic oxides. These form a lustrous coating at the surface of the glass. The finished glass looks as if it has rainbows on it, like the rainbow colours on the surface of a soap bubble.

Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal traces its roots to Waterford, Ireland in 1873. Waterford Crystal has become almost a synonym for the finest quality crystal sought after by collectors and connoisseurs around the world. Each piece of Waterford can be recognised by the signature on the base with the word "Waterford". Waterford Crystal is the only manufacturer in its class that never discontinues a stemware pattern. Each piece of Waterford crystal is unique. Slight variations of weight and sometimes height are the sign that each piece is individually hand crafted.

Depression Glass

Depression Glass is the type of glassware that was mass-produced in the United States primarily during the years of the Great Depression. It was often used as a premium - an incentive to buy a particular brand of flour, for example. Some movie theatres gave it away to encourage customers to visit the cinema frequently. Depression Glass was manufactured by many different companies; Hazel Atlas, Hocking, Federal Glass, Indiana Glass, and Jeanette, are just a few of them. Depression Glass was generally produced as quickly and inexpensively as was possible. It was made in several bright colours and intricate patterns which often disguise its many flaws.

Collecting Glass Bottles

The oldest bottles are usually made of black glass and date from anywhere between 1640 and 1800. Most of them were free blown and are very crude. They come in various shapes, some of them are bulbous, and others are mallet shaped or cylindrical. Early moulded bottles were made in a three-piece mold and can be recognised by the tell-tale seams up the sides and around the shoulders. Another collectable bottle is pontilled glass, which dates between 1770 and 1870. These bottles have a rough spur on the bottom that was created when the bottle was broken off the pontil rod curing manufacturing. Smooth base or BIMAL bottles have no pontil scar and were usually made in a two piece mould. A skilled glassblower would blow a small blob of molten glass into a metal mold and then blow hard to create an internal air cavity inside the bottle. The mold was then opened to release the bottle which could also be embossed thanks to the metal wall of the mold. That still left the lip which had to be hand applied by the skilled glass workers; hence BIMAL which stands for Blown In Mold Applied Lip. They have a seam or mold mark on both sides of the bottle which stops at the bottle lip.

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