GEORGIAN GLASS: Glassware with Class

A fine set six of opaque twist Georgian wine glasses, 1760 - photo by Butler's Antiques

The antique Georgian glass was astonishing for its variety, beauty, and technical sophistication. This glass keeps on giving pleasure in a lot of modern homes. 

The Georgian glasses are fine expressions of 18th-century English artistic and technical accomplishment. The thickness and weight, as well as the atypical gleam of these glasses, are nothing but the natural features of these vessels. 

Georgian Engraved Dram Glass, 1760s – photo by Pamono

Georgian glasses are available in different shapes appropriate for serving an assortment of beverages and distillations of the period in addition to their fragile engraving and attractively decorated stanches, which enables them to be valued as objects of exceptional splendour. 

Antique Georgian glass had actually endured enough for it to be enthusiastically gathered nowadays, in spite of its fragility of glassware. 

 Although a number of Georgian glasses are uncommon and consequently costly, a lot of stunning and appealing examples can still be bought for reasonable prices. 

The History of Georgian Glass 

Drinking glasses and glassware were costly and regarded as exclusive treats, prior to the end of the 17th century. During this period, cordials, spirits, ale, and wine were drunk from delicate and finely blown glasses either imported made in Venice or somewhere else in Europe, in sophisticated and well-to-do circles.  

A Georgian Glass Patch Stand or Miniature Salver, 1740, possibly earlier – photo by Scottish Antiques

These ancient drinking glasses were manufactured of soda glass – a blend of soda and silica. The resulted glassware had a little dirty tinge. During that period, Italy virtually controlled and dominated its manufacture. 

However, England started competing with Italy from the late 17th century, as they became an important hub of glass manufacturing. In 1674, a new type of glass was patented by an English glass-producer called George Ravenscroft. His glass was referred to as lead glass and comprised of both silica and leadThis glass was extraordinarily clear, particularly when compared with the normal soda glass. 

In addition, it was far less brittle, allowing it to endure engraved adornment without cracking. Nevertheless, the glass producing industry grew fast, and by the 1800s there were more than a few glasshouses available. 

The drinking glasses of yesteryears were hand-blown, similar to all the glassware manufactured prior to 1825. These glasses were manufactured in three different parts of the foot, the stem, and the bowl. 

Georgian Balustroid Wine Glass, 1740s – photo by Pamono

The bowl was first attached to the stem after which the foot was included. The usual early 18th-century drinking glass called baluster featured a conical or funnel-like bowl, a squat, baluster-shaped stem with a pronounced knop or swelling, and a flat, arched or narrowed foot.  

The early balusters developed into lighter forms, having longer smaller knops and finer stems as the 18th century stepped forward. Furthermore, the bowls got a wider assortment of shapes and engraving, while gilding and enamelling were utilised for decoration. 

The ancient or previous practice of putting a bubble of air inside the stem developed into the more intricate air-twist stem.  

As a result, what is Georgian Glass? 

A Georgian glass is nothing but an expression of English technical and artistic attainment of the 18th century. It is noteworthy that the Georgian period covered the years 1714 to 1830 and added the regency era of 1811 to 1820. The first four George’s were in power as Kings of England. The English, however, turned out to be renowned for the excellence of their lead glass during the Georgian period. 

Rare Early 18th Century Georgian Footed Glass Salver – photo by Scottish Antiques

This detailed type of glass was either manufactured in the late 17th century by George Ravenscroft or by him and Seignior Da Costa, who was an Italian glass employee. 

Ravenscroft founded a partnership with da Costa in 1673 with the intention of manufacturing a new glass in a glass factory in London. The launching or beginning of this Georgian lead glass entirely substituted the Venetian soda glass which subjugated the European market for many centuries. 

The collection of Antique Georgian Glass gives uncommon chances to the antique glass seller, buyer or collector today. 

Recognising an Antique Georgian Glass 

A genuine antique Georgian glass will show small inequality and unevenness that was as a result of hand-blowing. Moreover, it will have indiscriminate scratches and other indications of wear and use to the bottom, even though this is not very hard to replicate. 

Damaged and broken Georgian glasses are of little value on the market. But chips to the rim and foot can be ground off easilyA grounded Georgian glass will normally have sharper edges. There is no way of pointing accusing fingers to a particular as these drinking glasses are nearly never marked. The dating of the glass is based on the quality of the glass, decoration and shape of the glass.