Antique Glass

Some Useful Information About Collecting Antique Glass


Have you ever wondered about that old bottle you found? Antique Glass comes in many forms and that bottle you have laying around with the dirt in the bottom might be well worth keeping. Collecting glass is a fun and fascinating hobby. Even glass that isn’t antique can be worth a lot of money. 18th-century glass and more recently made glass is really not that hard to find. But what do you look for and what is antique glass?


We don’t really know exactly where glass originated but we know it was produced in Rome, Egypt, and in Syria. Early glass can be fragile but as stated earlier it can still be found in good shape. Old glass was made with sand that is heated and fused with something like soda or potash then lime for a stabilizer.


Glass that is 25 years old or older is known by the trade as Antique glass however glass doesn’t have to be old to be antique glass. Because there is a method known as hand blowing glass and then cutting into flattened pieces which gives the same look and quality of glass made centuries ago. The method of mouth blown glass is a very fine example of a craft dating back centuries continuing into the current time period.


What types of glass were there? Well, there were basically three methods or types.

1) A glass made from potash over in northern Europe.

2) Glass made from soda derived by burning seaweed around the 13th century in Venice.

3) Potash glass with lead instead of lime made in the 17th and 18th centuries over in England and Europe.


What would you look for in hand blown glass? The most discernable characteristic feature of this glass is a structure of small bubbles that are round or oval, like seeds maybe, while they are subtle they are still pronounced. This type of glass has a brilliance and transparency that no other glass can imitate. Glass made with an antique hand blown method might have ripples and some unevenness to it. You might think of it as imperfections but it is some of the characteristics of antique hand blown glass.


What is so wonderful about old glass is it is made in many colors and the light refractions set it apart from any other glass. Some places you might have looked at have antique glass used for their windows such as a church or a bank or even private homes.


You probably can picture in your mind the grainy texture and the brilliant mix of colors that some of the glass displays. Just stop and look sometime at the red, silver, green, and yellow that the antique glass throws at you in the warm sunlight. That will give you an idea of what antique glass is like in all its glory.

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