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Rare Glass At Auctions

Friday, April 8th, 2022
three glass bottles two green one orange

Although glass objects have been manufactured since the Bronze Age, the more modern method of cutting glass dates back about 2,000 years. Glassmakers would carve fine grooves, shapes, and intriguing designs into cooled pieces of glass using a grinding wheel. As they molded glass into luxurious drinking glasses and presented colorless forms of glassware, the Italian city of Venice became a leader in the craft.

Glassmakers made significant advances during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pressed glass had been introduced and gave these companies the chance to mass-produce these pieces. These new emergences resulted in the production of many unique styles of glass that we know today. These styles are milk, crystal, carnival, elegant, and depression glass. 

Decorative Glass

Art glass is the pioneering work of glassmakers who experimented with new techniques and designs at the turn of the twentieth century. Their creativity resulted in a variety of handmade objects such as vases, bowls, bottles, paperweights, and even marbles. After the Art Nouveau era, demand for art glass declined in the United States before experiencing a resurgence in the 1950s and 1960s.

The first carnival glass was introduced in 1907 as a low-cost substitute for Tiffany’s Favrile. Because it was inexpensive to produce, consumers frequently refused to pay high prices, resulting in them being given away as prizes at carnivals (hence its name). Carnival glass had fallen out of favor in the United States by 1925, only to see a revival in the 1950s, when collectors began to seek out its decorative qualities.

Carnival Glass

Carnival glass had a chrome-like look to it. To distinguish this style of glass, you will see a multicolor sheen over the top that changes colors when you turn it or shine a light on it. To achieve this unique look, the glassmakers will spray metallic salts over the hot glass prior to firing. 

The value of carnival glass is affected by factors such as age, item type, size, color, and condition. Complete sets of items and larger objects are more valuable, as are pieces dating before 1940. Colors like ice green (which sells for over $16,000) and marigold are more rare and valuable.

Glassware made of crystal

Crystal, while similar in appearance to standard glassware, is a high-quality glass made with lead. Crystal’s light-reflecting qualities drew wealthy collectors, and it became a popular serving option during the nineteenth century. Collectors regard crystals produced during this era as antique, whereas those produced after World War I are generally regarded as vintage glassware.

Looking for antique glass pieces?

High Plains Auctioneers had many unique antiques at every auction. Whatever you’re looking for, we have something for everyone. Check out all of our upcoming auctions here and get ready to find something amazing.