Notebook, 1993-


GLASS - Glossary - A List of Museums and Galleries

American - Bohemian - Chinese - English - French - Irish - Venetian

Glass Glossary - A-Co - Co-Fl - Fl-K - L-Ro - Ro-T - U-Z

[1] Chestnut. Freeblown and pattern-moulded, rarely blown-three-mould, of the timeless and universal shape resembling a slender chestnut; without uniformity or size, ranging from a few ounces to over a quart capacity, majority of pocket-bottle size, mainly late eighteenth century to early nineteenth century.

[2] Decorative. Blown in full-size two-piece moulds bearing intaglio devices such as the sunburst, urn of fruit, and cornucopia; mainly half-pint and pint sizes; c. 1815-40.

[3] Grandfather. Midwestern chestnut flask of quart or more capacity; pattern-moulded in ribbed designs.

[4] Historical. Moulded like [2]; designs of historical import; commemorative of events and public figures, emblems, slogans, candidates in presidential campaigns; emblems and designs related to economic life; also national and other symbolical emblems; c. 1815-late nineteenth century, majority before 1870.

[5] Masonic. Moulded like [2]; designs with [a] Masonic emblems each side, [b] Masonic emblems one side; reverse, different design, American Eagle most common; c. 1815-30.

[6] Pictorial. Moulded like [2]; designs depicting people and/or flora and fauna; c. 1815-70.

[7] Pitkin. Generic term for pocket bottles or flasks, blown by German half-post method and pattern-moulded in ribbed designs--vertical, swirled, and broken swirl; eighteenth-early nineteenth c.; first identified by tradition with the Pitkins═ glassworks, East Hartford, Connecticut, c. 1790-1830. [p. 272]

In flattened baluster or pear shape of white or coloured glass ornamented with loopings or quillings, these date from early in the nineteenth c. and were made at Nailsea, Birmingham, Stonebridge, and elsewhere. Most of them were sold as vessels for toilet water. The twin flasks with two spouts pointing in opposite directions, known as a gimmel flask, was made in flint glass throughout the eighteenth century and used as a holster flask. It was made in colour from about 1820, and in some a circular crimped or petal foot was added. Flasks were also made in the shape of hand bellows.

In the form of pilgrim bottles, copied from silver patterns, flasks were made in the sixteenth century occasionally of lattimo glass decorated with enamelling.

Flint glass. Now termed lead crystal, developed by George Ravenscroft [1618-81], in England, who was granted a seven-year patent [No. 176] in May 1674 to make a glass in which the silica was derived from calcined flints. In 1675 he first used lead oxide as a flux in place of vegetable potash. This produced a glass denser, heavier, softer, and with greater refractive brilliance than anything previously made. Hollow ware, if flicked with thumb and finger, emits a resonant tone. After improvements to the process had been made during the 1680s, world glass trade became an English monopoly for more than a century and a half. In the United States a trade name for fine glassware, after 1864, including lime glass of William Leighton, Hobbs, Brockunier & Co., Wheeling, West Virginia.

Flip or flip glass. U.S. collector's term for tumblers, usually of pint or more capacity; something of a misnomer, as it was probably rarely used to serve the beverage called flip.

Flowered glasses [1740-80s]. Trade name for tableware engraved with naturalistic flowers on the bowl; [a] 1740, a single flower ornamented one side of the bowl; [b] from early 1750s reverse side of bowl might also be engraved with a bird, butterfly, moth, bee, or other insect.

Flute. A drinking glass with a tall, deep conical bowl. Also a vertical groove cut into a stem or bowl.

Fluting. Used when wider unit of ridged design is concave; fan fluting, short tapering flutes or panels, blown-three-mould motif.

Folded Rim. See Rims.

Folk Art in American glass. See South Jersey type.

On blown and blown-moulded glass. Applied: occasionally square; mainly circular [a] short-stemmed, eighteenth-c. type [1]; [b] flat; [c] sloping; [d] petalled [scalloped]; [e] domed, high and hollow, conical [sloping] or round with flaring plain or folded rim, eighteenth-early nineteenth century; [f] pedestal, high and hollow, cylndrical [eighteenth-c. type] or truncated cone flaring at rim [late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries] [2 and 3]; [g] flaring [low pedestal], found also pressed. Drawn: drawn from the bottom of vessel═s body and fashioned by tooling. [p. 273]

[a] Folded, to about 1750: the rim was folded underneath while hot, forming a selvage, giving extra strength to a part most likely to become chipped in use. Pre-1690 the fold was very narrow: [b] domed, to about 1800: with hemispherical, sloping, or square instep, often surface-moulded from about 1705. Expansive with folded rim until 1750, then smaller and plain-ended, except on sweetmeat and allied glasses. Domed and terraced: the foot tooled in concentric circles rising one above the other; [c] plain, conical foot tapering up towards stem junction, to about 1780: rare in seventeenth c. and infrequent until about 1740. Early examples almost flat beneath: by 1735 concave beneath, resting upon extreme rim. From 1750 instep height gradually decreased, until by 1780 had become almost flat beneath with punty mark ground away; [d] solid square, 1770 to end of period: might be stepped, terrace-domed, or domed.

Freeblown. Glass formed by blowing and manipulation with hand tools, without aid of moulds; called also handblown and off-handblown.

Friggers. A colloquialism used to describe the innumerable minor articles made of glass, of which the principal purpose were to delight and surprise the recipient and beholder, and to exhibit the prowess of the maker. Into this category fall such objects as hand bells, flasks, rolling pins, walking sticks, tobacco pipes, swords, scepters, crowns, and hats, which are dealt with under the appropriate headings.

Less common than the above are model ships with ring and crew, birds on perches, fox hunts with hounds in full cry, and similar tours de force. The latter were perhaps made as suitable table decorations at hunt breakfasts.

It is stated that the glass makers of Nailsea had poleheads of glass in place of the more usual ones of polished brass. These poleheads were used by the village clubs of Somerset, and are fairly common when made of brass, rare in wood, and very scarce indeed in glass.

Friggers were made both at Bristol and at Nailsea, as they were at all the other glassworks in England. Unless such pieces bear a signature or other mark of identification, there is seldom any way by which the productions of one place can be distinguished from those of another. Nor is it usually possible to tell the difference between factory-made articles of these types and those that were made by apprentices to test their skill, or those made by trained craftsmen in their spare time either for their own amusement or for sale on their own behalf.

Frit. A flux of low-temperature melting silicates used in the manufacture of glass before the invention of the high-temperature furnace in 1734. The ingredients forming the frit were fused together, ground to powder when gold, and added to the pot with the remaining ingredients before final melting.

Frosted glass or vetro a ghiaccio. Imitating the texture of ice more nearly than its modern namesake, was produced in Murano, Italy, in the sixteenth century. A handsome bucket of this substance is in the museum at Murano.

Fruit. Of opaque coloured glass, this was made in [p. 274] the Murano, Italy, factories in the eighteenth c. and has frequently been copied.

Full-size mould. Mould composed of two or more hinged pieces [leaves], having inner surface with or without decorative design, and the size and form of an article; glass thus moulded characterized by concavo-convex surfaces.

Furniture. Occasionally decorated with panels of coloured glass in the 18th c. In 1777 Lady Anna Riggs Miller noted at Murano, Italy, a suite of furniture inlaid with pieces of blue glass and looking glass, commissioned by the Sultan of Turkey for his seraglio. Glass imitating marble for inlaying in furniture was patented in the 1840s by G. Newberry, London: the furniture was made by George Shove, Deptford, London. At the Great Exhibition, 1851, Zebedee Jones, Clifton, near Bristol, displayed furniture inlaid with a new style of ornamental glass known as 'vitrilapis'. Stools made entirely of flint glass from gas-fired furnaces were made in the 1860s, and some still exist.

Gadroon or gadrooning. Heavy rounded ribs or flutes: [1] tooled on layer if glass formed from pearl [round gather of metal] attached to end of parison and pulled up over it; [2] dip-moulded on cup-like layer; [3] full-size moulded convex ribs, high relief, tapering from rounded end, forming band.

Gallé, Emile [1846-1904]. The most famous producer of art glass of the nineteenth c. During the 1870s he took over the tableglass works owned by his father in Nancy and turned it into an art-glass factory. His early products were free variations of historic styles of Europe and the Orient, mostly in transparent glass decorated with engraving or enamel-painting. At the Paris Exhibition of 1889 his representation showed the powerful impact of Japanese art. The shapes were simple in outline, and much of the glass was massive and coloured throughout. The cased-glass technique was employed with great mastery, and the decorative patterns showed naturalistic pictures of flowers and insects. Soon after, he must have developed that style of cased glass, which more than anything gave him fame; vases made of differently coloured glass in many layers, cut away into varying thicknesses to naturalistic pictures of flowers and insects. The shapes are often irregular and suggestive of natural forms such as trees and branches, and the flowers clung to the forms in curving lines. The general impression is one of gentle lyricism. Sometimes lines from famous French poets are found written on the vases in ornamental lettering, having allegedly inspired Gallé to the particular piece. His own name and 'Nancy', also in ornamental lettering, are frequently integrated into the composition. Glasses in this style were instrumental in the development of the art nouveau, and the mature examples are among the most typical of the style's manifestations.

Because of their beauty, their novelty and modernity, and to some extent because of Gallé's great talent for publicity [displayed with real genius at the Paris Exhibition in 1900], Gallé's verreries parlantes became fashionable all over the world. In order to answer the enormous new demands for his glasses, he enlarged the factory and engaged a numerous staff of decorators who worked under his supervision. From the 1890s it was really a 'mass-production of individual glasses' that was carried on. Gallé's later years were spent in a constant search for new designs and new technical tricks. The glasses from this period are sometimes very beautiful, though sometimes forced and affected. When he died in 1904 the factory carried on until 1914 in Gallé's spirit and at a respectable level of quality under the artistic leadership of his old friend and associate, the painter Victor Prouvé. The products of this period are signed with Gallé's name preceded by a star. After World War I the production was carried on at Épinay. In 1921 it changed hands, and later products were rather debased.

Great quantities of Gallé's glass still exist. Public collections all over Europe tried to acquire examples of his art at the exhibitions in Paris in 1889 and 1900, and private international patrons also acquired his products. A survey of this vast material is not easy and the individual pieces certainly vary greatly in artistic quality. The early pieces have a genuine charm and exuberance, and the products from about 1890 are particularly fine, original, and of great beauty. The glasses of the last period are sometimes of a staggering technical complexity, but frequently lacking in balance and taste. Cased-glass vases with purple flowers on a grey background must have been made over a fairly long period to satisfy numerous [p. 275] customers everywhere. They exist in great numbers and vary little, though no two pieces are exactly alike. The type may appropriately be labeled 'standard Gallé'.

Much research is still needed on Gallé's complex personality and varied activities. Apart from being a glass maker he had a factory for decorated fa­ence and one for luxury furniture. He was a learned horticulturalist and botanist, a theorist and writer on art, and an enthusiastic champion for the new styles of the day. The uncritical attitude of his contemporaries is apt to obscure our view of him. He was certainly a great and original glass maker and an influential personality in the cultural milieu of the 1890s. Through the great fame he gained for his creations he laid the foundation for the modern conception of glass as a serious artistic medium.

His glass was widely imitated, in France and elsewhere. But as his habit of signing his works was emulated as eagerly as his lyrical flower decorations, problems of identification are comparatively simple. The only factory working in his style, whose glass could compete with the real Gallé' pieces in beauty of texture and design, was Daum in Nancy.

Galleried Rim. See Rims.

Gather. Uninflated and unformed blob of metal taken from the pot on end of blowpipe.

Gauffered Rim. See Rims.

Geometric patterns. [1] Category of blown-three-mould patterns composed of motifs such as ribs, flutes, diamonds, sunburst, circles, ovals; [2] cut-glass patterns composed of ribs, diamonds, and fans on thick blown-moulded glass, called ´imitation cut glass═: [3] cut-glass motifs, strawberry diamond in particular, on mechanical pressed glass.

Gilding. Traces are visible on existing Elizabethan Anglo-Venetian drinking glasses; fashionable as rim decoration 1715-90, the finest bowl ornament in this medium 1760-90; [a] early eighteenth-c. gilding fixed beneath a film of flint glass by a process akin to enamelling; [b] 1715-60; japanned gilding, burnished; [c] 1755-65; honey gilding: the rich brilliance of the gold was destroyed and could not be burnished; [d] 1760-1820: amber-varnish gilding, burnished; [e] 1780 onward: mercury gilding; [f] from 1850: liquid gold of sparkling brilliance.

Little Irish glass is known to have been gilded. That such glass was so decorated is shown by the fact that in 1786 the Dublin Society paid John Grahl thirty-five quineas for disclosing glass-gilding secrets, which were then placed at the disposal of the industry. Such giliding appears to have been impermanent, however, and has worn away, leaving the surface beneath pitted and rough. Careful examination of the lavishly cut piece will sometimes reveal traces of gilding.

Gjövik Verk [1809-47]. Norwegian glass manufactory, started when Hurdals Verk [q.v.] closed down. Gjövik was a much smaller and less ambitious establishment, but some of the glass blowers from Hurdal came on and the tradition was continued.

Goblet. A drinking glass with the bowl large in relation to stem height and holding a gill or more of liquor. Since the fifteenth c. they have been among the most popular products of the Venetian factories. The earliest are based on silver patterns. Those of the earlier sixteenth c. are of clear glass with simple baluster stems and usually very shallow bowls, like those held by the banquetters in Paolo Veronese's Feast in the House of Levi [Accademia, Venice]. Later in the century deeper conic bowls became popular and were often supported on elaborately wrought stems.

Green glass. Glass in its natural colour, neither rendered colourless nor artificially coloured; generally made from coarser and less pure materials than those used for fine wares; soda, potash, or lime the principal alkaline base; many bottles and window glass made from this glass.

Guilloche. See Chain.

Half-post. Second gather forming two-layered body, giving added strength through double wall and terminating below neck of vessel; the post [first gather] given a half-post [second gather] by redipping in pot of metal; in the United States associated with Continental and American case bottles and Pitkin flasks and bottles.

Handbells. Coloured glass handbells were made between 1820 and 1860 at Bristol, Newcastle, Warrington, Stourbridge, and by John Davenport, Longport, Staffordshire, Authentic bells measure from 9-18 inches [22.9-45.8 cm] in height and have clappers of fine flint glass. Colour combinations are: blue-tinted bell, spirally ribbed handle in pale yellow with opalescent triple-knotted finial; bell with pink strands on an opaque white ground, with moulded opaque-white hand as a handle; bell with white stripes on a translucent red ground, opalescent blue handle; red bell with colour-twist spiral handle; green bell with opaque-white twist handle; opaque white throughout and may be ribbed; translucent bell with clear handle; red throughout. Glass bells are still in production.

Handblown. Freeblown; used in contra-distinction to machine-blown.

Handles. On blown glass, applied: [1] Either round in section or strap [flattened], hollow or solid, ending in [a] turned-back-tip, [b] curled tip, [c] crimped end with a or b, [d] leaf [tooled diagonal lines] with a or b, probably after 1825: 1, hollow strap, d; 1, round hollow, c. [3] Principal shapes: [a] 'D', rarely found on 19th-c. glass, [b] loop, [c] semi-ear shaped, [d] swan: long and arching above rim. [p. 276] Commonest, b and c. [3] Principal decoration: [a] medial rib: a centre rib, often on round, occasionally on strap, the English trailed; [b] corrugated, ridged, or ribbed strap; [c] double; paralleled contiguous sections, occasionally round, usually strap; [d] ribbed: hollow handle formed from ribbed or fluted [pattern-moulded] gather, drawn out into a tube, English incised and reeded.

Historical glass. Glass bearing decoration associated with national or local events, heroes, public figures; emblems of agriculture, trade, commerce, transportation, etc.; engraved, rare; in the United States mainly moulded in flasks and pressed in lacy glass.

Horn of plenty. [1] Cornucopia of fruit or produce; common motif on decorative flasks; occasionally in lacy glass; [2] in pressed pattern ware, stylized cornucopia-shaped motif with waffled disc at top, 'horn' with round bosses or vice versa; similar to the peacock eye in lacy glass. See Eye-and-scale.

Hurdals Verk. Norwegian glass manufactory. When, in 1777, Nöstetangen was shut down, the crystal production and most of the glass blowers were moved to Hurdals Verk, farther up in the country, where wood for fuel was more plentiful. In 1809 Hurdals Verk closed down.

Jacobite glasses. Propaganda glasses bearing emblems and mottoes of a cryptic character associated with the Jacobite cause. Most common is the six-petalled Jacobite rose with one or two buds: the rose represents the House of Stuart, the small bud the Old Pretender, the large bud on the right being added later, either in honour of Prince Charles Edward's arrival in Scotland or after James's proposal to 'abdicate' in favour of his son. Other Jacobite emblems include a stricken and burgeoning oak, oak leaf, bee, butterfly, jay, Jacob's ladder foliage, carnation, daffodil, fritillary, triple ostrich plumes, and thistle.

Jacobs, Lazarus and Isaac. Lazarus Jacobs was in business as a glass cutter in Bristol in 1771, and died in 1796. His son, Isaac, styled himself 'Glass Manufacturer to His Majesty' [George III]. Specimens of dark-blue glass with gilt decoration are recorded with the written mark in gold.

Among other pieces, Isaac Jacobs made distinctive blue glass decanters [q.v.]. Michael Edkins was employed by the Jacobs between 1785 and 1787, and it is not improbable that he did work for them like the gilding on these decanters.

An advertisement of 1806 referred to: '. . . Specimens of the Dessert set, which I, Jacobs had the honour of sending to her Majesty in burnished Gold, upon Royal purple colored Glass to be seen at his Manufactory, where several Dessert sets of the same kind are now completed from Fifteen Guineas per set to any amount.'

Jean, A. Originally a potter, but during the 1880s a glass maker in Paris. A small group of audacious and highly original individual pieces are known from his hand.

Jugs. In Ireland were made in large numbers in the nineteenth century. At first they were tall and narrow on a hollow foot, or, more usually, short and wide, thus giving a more shapely field for cutting in diamonds, flutes, leaf designs, prisms, and so on. These at first had the base ground flat; from about 1820 a flanged foot extending outwards was usual. Some jugs were free blown and engraved. In the United States the term is not used synonymously with pitcher. [p. 277]

Keith, James. Newcastle crystal blower who was lured to Nűstetangen, Norway [q.v.] in August 1755. When Nűstetangen was shut down he went on to Hurdals Verk [q.v.], where he was pensioned off in 1787. He left a numerous family, and the name of Keith [Kith, Keth, and other variations] appears in the records of Norwegian and Swedish glass factories right up to the end of the nineteenth century.

Kewblas. Coloured glass over milk glass with coat of clear on top. Union Glass Works, Somerville, Massachusetts, 1890s.

Kick. The conical indentation to be found in the base of an early bottle or decanter. This was essential for proper annealing when glass makers had only limited means of toughening their vessels. Continued in small glass houses to about 1790.

Knob. See Finial.

Knop. A protuberance, other than a baluster, either solid or hollow, breaking the line of a drinking glass or other stem, [a] acorn: a tooled motif in the form of an acorn, sometimes inverted; used also as a lid finial; [b] angular: a rounded-edge, flattened knop, placed horizontally; [c] annulated: a flattened knop sandwiched between two, four, or six thinner flattened knops, each pair progressively less in size; [d] ball: a large, spherical motif often found immediately above a shouldered stem; [e] bladed: a thin, sharp-edged, flattened knop placed horizontally; [f] bullet: a small, spherical knop, sometimes termed the olive button; [g] collar: see merese; [h] cushion: a large, spherical knop flattened top and bottom; [i] cylinder: a knop in the form of a cylinder, often containing a tear; [j] drop: resembling in shape the frustum of an inverted cone, and usually placed half an inch to an inch above the foot; [k] merese: a sharp-edged, flattened glass button connecting bowl and stem, or between foot and stem of a stemmed vessel; [l] multiple: knops of a single shape repeated in a stem; [m] mushroom: usually associated with incurved and funnel bowls; [n] quatrefoil: a short knop pressed into four wings by vertical depressions, the metal being drawn out with pincers. The wings may be upright or twisted; [o] swelling: a slight stem protuberance containing an air tear.

Köhler, Heinrich Gottlieb. German chief engraver and general artistic manager of Nöstetangen, Norway. To judge from his style Köhler had been trained in the Silesian tradition. He came to Copenhagen in 1746, where he became court engraver. He settled at Nöstetangen from 1756-57 to 1770, after which he worked as a freelance in Christiania for a time and returned to Copenhagen about 1780, where he seems to have died soon after.

Kosta. Swedish glass manufactory, founded in 1742 and still in operation. Kosta lies in the district of Sm┼land, and was founded by a member of the local nobility.

Kungsholm Glasbruk [1676-1815]. Swedish glass manufactory founded by an Italian, Giacomo Bernadini Scapitta, in Stockholm. In 1678, however, Scapitta was exposed as an impostor and fled to England, and the factory was carried on under the administration of Swedish noblemen and leading civil servants. [p. 278]


NOTE: References to MARKS may refer to illustrations of these marks which are not included in this document.
NOTE: * represents a configuration not available on the computer

[L. G. G. Ramsey, F.S.A., ed. The Complete Color Encyclopedia of Antiques. Preface by Bevis Hillier, Editor of The Connoisseur. Compiled by The Connoisseur, London. New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc. 1962. Revised and Expanded Edition.]



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