Glass Guide
H to M

This section contains definitions for the terms used in glass making and in the description of glassware. There are links to other sections to help expand upon and provide illustrations of the terms used.

This section is not as comprehensive as the source texts that are available and these should be consulted for further details. References are shown in bold and links are in blue.

Happy reading.

H I J - K L M
lace-makers lamp. This is a glass oil lamp. It is probably a misnomer as lace makers would not have been able to afford a glass oil lamp.

lacy glass. This is a form of pressed glass, where the background consists of an all over pattern of raised dots or stippling. This creates a bright and reflective effect. It was first used in USA 1825 to 1850, and it was used initially to cover imperfections in the glass. There was a similar decorative style used in English pressed glass in 1870's and 1890's.

Lalique, Rene. A very famous and collectable French jeweller and glass designer. He began designing jewellery, and had his own jewellery workshop in 1885. He started to experiment with the use of glass in jewellery, and very often used the cire perdu technique. His shop in Paris, was next to Coty. Coty asked him to make perfume bottles. From here he was to go on to design perfume bottles for many other firms including Roget and Gallet, and Worth. Many of his perfume bottles were made for him by Legras. He concentrated on glass design from 1911 and at this time he had his own glassworks. He made his own designs in pressed glass producing a wide range of articles, including vases, bowls, ashtrays, clocks, lighting, paperweights, car mascots (which could be illuminated), animals, birds and figures. He produced glass panels which could be illuminated from behind and were used on board luxury liners. Demi-lead crystal was used because it was more malleable than full lead crystal and would produce a better pressing in a mould. After removal from the mould the glass would be reheated to remove the appearance of the mould lines. The glass produced was predominantly colourless, this showed off the shape and design. He used surface treatments such as acid etching and sand blasting to produce a matt surface. Some of his glass was also opalescent. He died in 1945. Today the company is still family owned, and is run by his granddaughter. They produce art glass, tableware and jewellery for the luxury market.

laminated glass. This was invented by John Wood in England in 1905. It consists of two layers of glass with a layer of material sandwiched in between. When the glass is struck, the glass cracks, and the splinters stick to the layer of material between the two layers. Today used as safety glass.

lampwork. This is the art of working with pieces of glass using a small gas flame to melt the glass and form it and fuse the pieces together to form an object. The objects produced are often artistic, figures or animals, and can be large models of scenes or houses and can also be used for more practicable items such as labware.

Langham glass. This was founded by Ronald Stennet-Wilson in the 1970's. It was first based in Norfolk and then moved to Cambridge

Langley, Siddy. A great contemporary glass artist from Great Britain. She was an apprentice to Peter Layton at the London Glassblowing Workshop, and started Alchemy Glass in Maidenhead before moving to Devon. She continues to produce to her own designs today in art glass, vases, bottles, bowls, goblets and scent bottles. Some designs are influenced by cave paintings, Native American Indian designs, animals and landscapes.

latticino. This description is given to clear glass which has fine threads of white opaque glass embedded within it. The threads may make up a pattern and be twisted around each other. The use of coloured threads would be referred to as filigrana. See also vetro a retorti and vetro a reticello.

lattimo. Opaque white glass.

lava glass. A type of art glass made by Tiffany. It has a mix of surface gold iridescence and a dark blue or grey rough surface finish. This is meant to give an impression of lava.

Le Verre Francais. Commercial art glass from Schneider in the 1920's.

lead glass. Lead glass contains lead oxide instead of calcium oxide. It must contain 24% or more lead oxide to be described as lead glass. In comparison to soda glass, lead glass is heavy, has a high refractive index and is better to cut and grind. Half lead crystal contains 24% lead oxide and full lead contains more than 30%.

Lechevrel, Alphonse. An engraver from Paris who worked for Hodgetts, Richardson and Co between 1877 and 1880 where he designed cameo glass.

Leerdam Glass. This was founded in Holland in 1879. In the beginning they made Bohemian style table ware, which was etched and cut. Berlage famously designed a hexagonal breakfast and dinner service in the early 1920's. This was yellow in pressed glass. However it had solid handles and made it rather impracticable. Frank Lloyd Wright produced sixteen different designs for Leerdam between 1928 and 1931, but they were never made. Cornelius de Lorm produced enamelled and iridescent glass. For a time in the 1920's they also made carnival glass. During the 1920's and 1930's Copier developed the Unica (one off pieces) and Serica (limited edition) series. In the 1930's they made miniature animals in frosted and clear glass. Some are still in production. Today the company produces glasses for large retailers such as Ikea. See mark.

Legras & Cie. This was founded in 1864 by August Legras. The company was very successful making a large amount of tableware. They also made decorative glass, using many techniques including marbled glass, enamelled and gilded glass. They made bottles in unusual shapes including people and boats. At the start of the 20th Century, they began to make cameo glass, some with the addition of coloured enameling. They also made perfume bottles designed by Lalique for Coty. The glass was generally marked either Legras or Mount Joye & Cie. It merged with Pantin in 1906 and was generally marked Pantin or De Vez. See mark.

lehr. An annealing oven for glass. Originally it was a long conveyor belt on which the glass was placed. The conveyor belt moved very slowly, taking the glass from a hot to a cold environment in a controlled manner. Today lehrs are electrically controlled ovens.

Leune. Founded in about 1904, this was a glass decorators. It employed Helligenstein between 1923 and 1926 as the designer. The glass produced was normally multi-coloured enamelled glass on a matt blank, sometimes with holly or landscapes. The blanks were produced by Daum. It closed in around 1935. See mark.

Leveille, Ernest-Baptiste. Leveille had his own glass and ceramic shop in Paris in 1869. He worked with Francois-Eugene Rousseau as his student, and then bought Rousseau's workshop in 1885. Eugene Michel remained as a chief designer. Much of what was produced was designed or inspired by Rousseau such as crackle glass with coloured and metallic inclusions. He also made cameo and intaglio designs. His designs were organic and inspired by the Art Nouveau movement.

Libbey. The New England Glass Company was leased by William L Libbey in 1878. This was based in Massachusetts. A great deal of experimentation was undertaken and Joseph Locke invented several famous types of glass. Included in these, was amberina, pomona, wild rose, peach blow, agata and maize. The company was moved to Toledo Ohio in 1888 by Williams' son, Edward. The company was by then called W L Libbey and Son. From 1890 to 1915 the company became the largest maker of cut glass in the world. Problems came during the First World War when the retail market was poor, so they diversified into making cheap machine made glassware. This was very successful and in 1924 they patented 'safedge' glass, which had a strengthened rim by using a flame to reheat and round the lip of the glasses. The Robinson family took over the company after Edwards death in 1925, as they had been associates, and brought in A Douglas Nash from Tiffany to be their designer in 1931. His designs were strong and bold, almost sculptural. Some glasses had stems in the shape of animals and this was called the Silhouette range. He also was inspired by the Art Nouveau movement and his designs also included glassware with applied glass tears. However this was all very expensive to manufacture, and the company was taken over by Owens-Illinois in 1936. The Nash designs were dropped. The luxury market beckoned them in the late 1930's once again, when Walter Dorwin Teague and Edwin W Fuerst were employed as designers. From here was developed the Modern American range of glassware, which was patriotic and contemporary. One famous series was the Embassy range with ribbed column stems, and on some of these pieces a stylized American Eagle was etched. They made strong and simple designs in keeping with the modern style then prevailing. After the Second World War, they produced machine made boxed sets of glasses, and they continue to produce glass today.

Liberty & Co. Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened his first shop in 1875. He was inspired to sell fabrics and ornaments from Japan and the Orient. The shop began to grow and he incorporated carpets and furniture into what he called the Eastern Bazaar in the basement. The Eastern style influenced the English manufacturers of textiles and cloth and soon he was selling these too at reasonable prices. It became the place to be seen and to shop. In the 1890's Liberty was selling objects by leading Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau designers, such as Butterfield, Dresser and Knox. In 1924, the Tudor House was completed. This was made from the old timbers from two ships, the HMS Impregnable and the HMS Hindustan, and the building is a delight. Liberty wanted to make the clientele feel as though they were at home, so he created lots of small rooms which led off vast atriums. The walls were clad in wood and some rooms had fireplaces. In the 1920, the textile department grew and a floral print has become known as the Liberty Print with the famous Tana Lawn being the best selling fabric. Arthur died in 1917 before his Tudor House was completed. Liberty continued to showcase the best of contemporary design, including Lucienne Day, Vivien Westwood, Venini and Moser. It continues today.

Lindstrand, Vicke. Designer (1904-1983) from Sweden who worked at Orrefors and Kosta.

liner. A glass article which fits inside a metal framework or container. This prevents the contents of the glass vessel touching the metal, thus preventing tarnishing, for instance salt on silver.

lithyalin or lithyaline. see imitation stoneware.

Littleton, Harvey. One of the founders of the studio glass movement, founded in 1962.

Lobmeyr, J & L. This was a glass retail shop in Vienna, which started around 1824. It specialised in cut and engraved glass. From 1837 onwards the Lobmeyrs had their own glassworks. Due to a marriage in 1851 between a daughter of the Lobmeyrs and Wilhelm Kralik, who owned Meyr's Neff, Meyr's Neff then provided much of the glass for Lobmeyr. In 1918 this ended with the separation of Austria from Czechoslovakia. Many famous designers worked for Lobmeyr, including ones from the Wiener Werkstatte such as J. Hoffmann, Prutscher and Powolny. Powolny designs were predominantly made between 1910 and 1914. Hoffmann created the Broncit style of glass. Wilhelm von Eiff designed engraved pieces during the 1920's and 1930's. Since the Second World War all Lobmeyr glass has been made in Austria. Lighting and chandeliers became a focus and they produced chandeliers for the New York Metropolitan Opera House in 1966, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Kremlin in Moscow. Today they also produce cut and engraved table ware in their earlier 19th Century style, and also some of Joseph Hoffmanns' Broncit designs. See mark.

Locke, Joseph. Glass maker, painter, sculptor and engraver from England. Worked in England for Guest and then Hodgett, Richardson & Co, before moving to the USA in 1882 where he worked at the New England Glass Company, and then Libbey and then founded his own art company the Locke Art Glass Company. Invented amberina and other glass types. See Libbey.

Loetz, Lotz-Witwe. (strictly oe is used in place of o umlaut) There had been a glass works on the Loetz site since 1836. This was in Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. After several changes of ownership, in 1851, it was owned by a Dr Franz Gertsner and his wife, Susanna. Susanna had already inherited some other glassworks when a previous husband had died, and now in 1852 she now owned this new site. She changed its' name to Johann Lotz Witwe (Johan Lotz Widow). It was eventually to become Lotz, and at this stage it was commonly used in the Anglicised form, Loetz. Signatures on the glass are found with both forms of the name. In the 1880's it was making streaked glass, which imitated stones such as agate and onyx, often embellished with gilding or enamel. Their Onyx glass, was a streaked brown glass, and Cornelian, a streaked red glass. They went on to produce other imitation stoneware such as chalcedony, aventurine and jasper. Loetz are reputed to have made a form of Intarsia. Max Ritter von Spaun, Susanna's grandson, inherited the factory in 1879. This was to be a time of great expansion and experimentation, and in 1895 was beginning to produce iridescent glassware, which was similar to Tiffany Favrile, but executed in its own very special European style. They started by adding iridescence to Cornelian glass. Loetz glass was now exported and exhibited across the world. Bakalowitz & Sohn were their distributers in Vienna, F. Kraska & Co. in London, Salon Diespeker in Paris, Ludwig Frenkel in Berlin, and Ernst Cordes in Hamburg. They began to develop even more varied techniques. 'Octopus' is sensational. It consists of a glass with an air-trap design and a casing probably in clear glass, and is finely gilded in a continuous wriggle of gold. In 1893, they produced 'Columbia' glass for the World Fair in Chicago. This was an iridescent Venetian style glass with applied medallions of Columbus. The famous 'Papillon' glass in 1899, was an iridescent glass with a concentrated and random spotted effect, often in blue, red or gold. 'Phanomenon' was also iridescent, but this time consisted of fine and concentrated trails of glass embedded into the surface. In 1901 Loetz did a series of shells in the Phanomenon decoration. 'Rusticana' was slightly less exuberant with a plainer colouring, still iridescent, and with a surface moulded to give a feel of bark striations and dimples. 'Formosa' consisted of raised applied glass threads zig-zaging around the main body of the glass vase. But this just scratches at the surface of the range of decoration invented by Loetz. The shapes were predominantly Art Nouveau and there were many thousands of shapes developed at this peak in their output. Shapes included Persian perfume sprinklers, vases with dented and pushed in sides, and many with applied handles. Famous designers who worked for them include Koloman Moser, Marie Kirschner, Joseph Hoffmann, Otto Prutscher, Dagobert Peche, Michel Powolny and Leopold Bauer. Designs by Kirschner and Moser tended to be simple and geometric. Kirschner studied painting and had designed and painted wall hangings before designing for Loetz. Whilst at Loetz she produced more than two hundred designs. Many are in a slightly iridescent translucent purple or cream coloured glass, with applied geometric handles but with no further ornamentation. Koloman Mosers glass was iridescent with strong geometric shapes and many applied handles or loops. While Bauers designs were more figurative and irregular. In 1904 Loetz began to introduce strongly contrasting glass colours, such as orange changing into blue or yellow into purple via trails and spots of very high iridescence splattered randomly around the glass. Adolf Beckert became artistic director in 1911, and began a series of enamelled tableware in clear and frosted glass. Generally the enamels depicted animals and birds. Also a new range of acid cut cameo with birds, flowers and landscapes. It was very different to the earlier iridescent designs. Loetz went bankrupt in 1911, and eventually became a public company after the First World War. Sadly the company suffered a fire in 1930 and then ceased during the Second World War. Signed Loetz was generally made for export. See marks.

Lomonosov. Russian glass works in the mid 18th Century, which specialised in mosaics and beads. Some of the mosaics were very large.

lost wax. See cire perdu

LSA. Lubkowski Saunders & Associates Ltd, based in Sunbury-on-Thames in England. Modern art glass and tableware.

Luce, Jean. In 1931 Luce ran a shop dealing in glass and ceramics in Paris. He began to design simple geometric ceramics and glass. Early designs were enamelled, and then changed into etching and engraving. The designs would rarely cover the entire object. He also made thick vases with mirroring on the surface. He designed matching ceramic tableware and glassware.

Luminarc. From 1960, this name was used for commercial machine made tableware and giftware by JG Durand.

luminescence. The emission of light typically for glass when illuminated by UV radiation.

Lutken, Per. Designer from Denmark who worked for Holmegaard.

Luxton, John. Designer from Great Britain who designed for Stuart. In the late 20th Century, Stuart produced a range of vases and bowls called the Luxton range, which recreated his style of designs which were heavy and sculptural and included strong cut facets.

Not all Lalique is clear or opalescent. This is a 21st Century Lalique perfume bottle.
Legras Acid Etched Cameo and enamel vase early 20th century.
A flower vase for Liberty (1996)
Vicke Lindstrand for Kosta
The stunning lampwork of Vittorio Constantini (late 20th century).
Optically ribbed and gilded Lobmeyer Finger Bowl (late 19th century). Detail of gilding and signature also shown.
A Loetz stylised jug in the Phanomenon decor (probably Creta late 19th Century)
A 19th century Stourbridge trail vase illuminated in natural light (above) and UV radiation (below) showing an example of luminescence.
A Loetz shell in a Papillon decor (probably Candia late 19th Century)