Identification

Collecting antique glass can be a minefield for the inexperienced collector. This is as true of 19th century glass as for that of the century which preceded it as prices for an individual piece of glass can be anything from a few pounds to tens of thousands of pounds or more. This section of the web site is designed to assist the new or relatively inexperienced collector to avoid some of the major pitfalls that might beset them, by helping them identify the major characteristics of good nineteenth century glass. Nothing can replace experience however, so we suggest that you adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Read and study the best books on the subject. Email us for a recommended reading list or take a look at the Links page.
  • Observe and handle as many glasses of the type you wish to collect as you can to familarise yourself with their characteristics. The glass fairs shown in the Links section of this web site are a great place to start. The museums won't allow you to handle the glass but will allow you to become familiar with their forms visually.
  • Buy your first glass, at least, of the type you wish to collect from a reputable dealer. You may then compare future potential purchases with your reference piece.
  • Most importantly, buy what you like. You may or may not make money on your investment in 19th century glass, but if you continue to enjoy the glass you have bought then you will have gained something even better.

So, what to collect? Wine glasses, decanters, jelly glasses, pickle jars, Bohemian glass, lustres, epergnes? Bristol Blue glass, Nailsea, cranberry (ruby glass as it is called in the trade), cut glass, or rummers? It is all a matter of taste and pocket. The options within this section cover the most commonly collected (and therefore, arguably, those with the greatest investment potential) glass types.  We've tried to give you an overview of the major characteristics of each type of glass.

  • Bohemian glass
  • Decanters
  • Jelly glasses and custard cups
  • Pickle jars
  • Rummer glasses
  • Wine glasses

Please let us know if we can improve our assistance in this section by emailing us at contact@theworldismadeofglass.co.uk.

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