Glass Guide

This is a short guide to finding, identifying and collecting vernacular glass. It is intended that it will be used by new collectors or those who are looking for a quick ready reckoner of glass styles. We will concentrate on decorative glass produced between 1850 - 1950. We shall use these dates as a guide, not a rule, and we will include examples from both later and earlier dates. This guide is an on going project which will be developed with time. Contributions from other authors are always welcome. Although we hope to make this a useful resource it is no substitute for specialist texts on individual glass houses, techniques or period styles. Hopefully it will help you to identify the item and undertake more research yourself.

This guide will not dwell on the master works from the great glass makers but concentrate on items that can be found at reasonable prices on the web, in auction houses, antique fairs, car boot sales, garage sales and friendly antique dealers.

Good Hunting!

How to Use this Guide

One of the great difficulties with glass is the ability to make a positive identification of a piece. This in-part is why marked glass from the famous manufacturers tend to be so much more expensive than those pieces which are unmarked but of equivalent quality. But this also provides an opportunity to own very well made pieces provided you know what you are looking for.

This guide will not solve all your problems but hopefully it will help you to identify the qualities of your glass and suggest possible manufacturers.

To use this guide select a glass style that most closely matches the finish or form of your piece from the window opposite and then click on the image*.

Currently only the encyclopedia is fullly operational. Some other elements will come on line in 2007.

*This page uses CSS features. Some browsers versions, for example Internet Explorer, support these in a somewhat quirky manner. If you have problems use the link on the list to the bottom right of the page marked incompatible browser link.