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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Introduction To Crackle Glass

Author: Stan & Arlene Weitman

Glass is the third most popular collectible in the world, preceded only by coins and stamps. We feel crackle glass is the most beautiful. Have you ever seen crackle glass in a window when the sun reflects off the glass? A window decorated with different colored crackle is truly breathtaking.

Crackle glass is known by other names, such as craquelle glass, ice glass, overshot glass.

It was the Venetian glassmakers of the sixteenth century, who invented this marvelous process. The glass was immersed in cold water while it was molten hot, thereby cracking the glass. The glass was then reheated and either mold or hand blown into the shape the glass blower desired. The reheating of the glass sealed the cracks. If you run your hands over crackle glass, you can feel the cracks, but the inside is smooth to touch.

Glassmakers from the nineteenth century and even today are still using the same methods.

Some of the companies that produced crackle glass are Blenko Glass Company, Pilgrim Glass Company, H.C. Fry Glass Company, Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, Hobbs, Bruckunier & Company, Cambridge Glass Company, Kanawha Glass Company. Some of these companies are still operating today, making crackle glass.

In our books on crackle glass, we show the different shapes, sizes, colors of the cruets, miniature vases, miniature pitchers, large vases, large pitchers, decanters, and many other beautiful items. We also include a price guide to show the novice collector or the advanced collector a range of prices in order to assist in the purchasing of crackle glass.

Make sure you check the pieces you are about to buy, to see that they are in good condition; that they are not chipped or cracked (even though it is called crackle glass). We have made the mistake many times in purchasing a piece of glass, being overzealous, not carefully checking the piece, and thinking we have a great buy, only to go home and see the piece is defective.

Any defects will automatically devalue the piece. We suggest you hold up a piece to the light and turn it slowly in all directions to see if there are any imperfections. Make sure your piece is properly wrapped to protect it until you get home.

In closing, please be aware that there is new crackle glass being produced today in Taiwan and China. Blenko Glass Company and Gibson Glass Company are also producing new crackle glass. By using our book as your guide, you will be able to distinguish the new from the old. The older pieces will show more wear marks on the bottom and inside where a stopper may have been. (A cruet or decanter with a stopper or top to it is worth more than a piece without it.) We have noticed that the shapes are more imperfect in the older pieces. You may see that they may lean to one side or you may feel bumps or variations in the glass that you cannot see. The fewer cracks or “crackles” a piece has, the cheaper the piece of crackle should be.

Please visit our homepage for further info: www.crackleglass.com

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