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Early Cut Glass Marks
( Article orginally published July 1952 )
GLASS: Cut Glass Marks and Labels used by 19th Century Makers
AMERICAN Cut Glass of the 19th century of course embraces all cut glass made in the hundred years bracketed between 1801 and the end of the year 1900. Within that span practically all of the cut glass now within the collectors range was produced. Some of it does not fall within the category of factory produced but this much must be remembered: no matter whether cut in a one man shop, or in a factory employing a hundred or more cutters, the cutting was a craftsman's or artist's work and it was done by hand. Certainly, in later years, the "pattern" to be cut was laid on the blank and the workers cut to the marks of the pattern. But this same device was used by the earlier cutters and, in all truth, there is no difference in the transfer of a design for the guidance on one cutter, and the transfering of a design to many pieces of glass for the guidance of many cutters. True cut glass is hand decorated, whether made by McCord and Shiner in their shop at Philadelphia in 1818, or made by Dorflinger in the factory at White Mills, 1898.
THEREFORE a Cut Glass Works, whether large or small, and whether cutting blanks made by the works at its own furnace, or by another glass works, was a hand-work shop and not a mass production plant. The history of cut glass production in the United States embraces many shops, workrooms, studios and factories. The majority of these producers did not mark their glass. They sold it, after c. 1850, through other outlets, often through a wholesaler who, in turn sold to retail stores. The fifteen cut glass producers who did mark their wares are here tabulated and the marks illustrated. These marks were not always indelibly impressed in the glass. Generally the marks were printed on small bits of paper and glued to the ware and, of course, removed by the final retail buyer. The Hawkes mark (No. 5) is etched on many pieces. All of the marks here pictured were in use to at least 1898. Some were in use to 1910 and perhaps even later. Subsequent pages of Antiques Digest dealing with Cut Glass will list the known early makers of this elegancy.
1. J. D. Bergen Company, Meriden, Connecticut
2. T. B. Clark and Company, 860 Broadway, New York City
3. C. Dorflinger and Sons, White Mills, Pennsylvania
New York salesroom: 36 Murray St., and 915 Broadway
4. Empire Cut Glass Company, 35 Warren Street, New York City
5. T. G. Hawlces and Company, Corning, New York
6. Hinsberger Cut Glass Company, 39 Barclay St., New York City
7. J. Hoare and Company, Corning, N.Y. 8. Libbey Glass Company, Toledo, Ohio 9. Meriden Cut Glass Company, Meriden, Connecticut
10. J. S. 0'Connor, Hawley, Pennsylvania
11. Pairpoint Manufacturing Company, New Bedford, Massachusetts
12. Standard Cut Glass Company, 545 West 22nd Street, New York City
13. L. Strauss and Sons, 42 Warren Street, New York City
14. Thatcher Brothers, Fairhaven, Massachusetts
15. E. J- S. Van Houten, 74 Park Place, New York City
The identification of makers with specific patterns, other than the wares marked indelibly with the types of insignia here pictured, is a matter of comparison with the surviving catalogs of the makers. Antiques Digest has access to many of these and will identify patterns in future pages of Cut Glass. The marks here identified are shown by courtesy of The Jewelers Circular Publishing Company, first included in one of their publications in 1898.