Wait! Can you tell whether that is really cut glass?

This is a reminder to myself that may help you or someone else when shopping online for glassware.  I have been selling glassware and collectibles on line for the last 12 years.  I consider myself knowledgeable when it comes to patterns, makers, and whether the glass is pressed or cut.  My problem is I know quite a bit about pressed glass but am not very familiar with cut glass.  When I recently decided to add some cut glass to my online store, I made mistakes many novices make.

First rule: If you like it, buy it but make sure you are not paying too much. Do some research.  Check other sites for similar or the same pattern you are wanting to buy.  You don’t have to spend days doing this.  Just a few quick checks of other sites may help you save $$ so you will have more to spend on something else.  Easier said than done sometimes but most of the time it works.  Although I studied various cut glass patterns I apparently needed more information before starting on this journey.

Second rule:  Don’t take the seller’s word for truth just because the description says a piece is cut glass.  It is entirely possible that the seller knows far less than you about what type of glass is being sold.  Most of the time this is because of a lack of research.  In addition, imitation cut glass can be very convincing in its appearance.

Most of the early Americans in the EAPG era could not afford real cut glass.  The glass manufacturers set about making imitation cut glass that offered a sparkling brilliance in many of the same patterns as the cut glass.  Case in point:  Daisy Button was an imitation of the Russian cut pattern.

Patterns made in cut glass and pressed glass were centered around geometric designs – circles, squares, ovals, diamonds, bars, fans.  You would think that cut glass would be very easy to distinguish from pressed glass.  Trust me, it is not always the case.


Cut Glass Olive Tray


Pressed Glass Relish Tray

As you can see, both of these pieces have some of the same geometric designs.  Both were described as cut glass.  Fortunately, neither one was very expensive or I would have really been mad at myself.  And, of course, if I had tried to research the patterns, I would have found neither.

Next I will be working on information about glassware of the American Brilliant Period.


About tizzyloucat

I'm a retired paralegal and live in sunny SW Florida. I have an online store where I sell animal themed collectibles and vintage and antique glassware.
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