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Terms A Glass Collector Should Know
Applied handle or decoration. Formed with a separate gather of hot metal which is applied to the body of the article.
Batch. Ingredients of a glass formula ready for melting.
"Black" glass. Dark glass oŁ great color density. Blanks. Blown or pressed glass articles designed and made for a cut or engraved decoration (also for enameling and staining).
Blowing iron or blowpipe. Hollow iron pipe used to gather and blow glass.
Blown-molded. Glass blown into a mold for pattern or shape or both. Blown Three-mold. Name given to specific patterns of blown-molded glass made during the early 1800s. This glass was blown in full-size pattern molds usually of three sections.
Bottle glass. Glass made from natural materials, no coloring or decolorizing agents added, usually green but also amber.
Cameo glass. A cased glass with the design sculptured in low relief on the outer layer (or layers) of glass.
Cased. Glass containing two or more layers, usually of contrasting colors. See plating.
Crystal. Very clear colorless glass; transparent quartz.
Dip mold. Open-top one-piece mold. Fire-polishing. Removing mold marks or other defects by reheating.
Flint. The term for crystal glass. First used in England when crystal was made of pulverized flint. This was later replaced by ordinary silica with lead.
Free-blown. Hand-blown, made with glassblower's tools, but without molds.
Full-size piece mold. A mold made of two or more parts the same size as the finished article.
Gadroon. Flutes or ribbing on an added layer of glass that is pulled part way over an article.
Gaher. Molten metal (glass) taken from the furnace on the end of blowing iron.
Glory hole. Small furnace used for reheating articles and fire-polishing.
Heat-sensitive opal glass. A kind of glass which becomes opaque in proportion to the degree of heat.
Lacy. Pressed glass with a finely stippled background.
Lampworker. Term used to designate a glassblower who forms articles from rods and tubes of glass by working them over a blast lamp.
Latticinio. An opaque white cane of glass flattened into a network of squares or a ribbon of filigree and cased in clear glass.
Lead glass. Glass containing lead oxide usually in relatively large amounts.
Lily-pad. Name given to a free-blown glass which was decorated with superimposed glass worked into the form of a lily pad (late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries).
Metal. Molten or cold glass.
Millefiori. Italian for "a thousand flowers." The term is used for cased glass which has a mosaic of glass canes with various colored patterns (previously made in molds), enclosed in clear glass.
Molded. Usually refers to glass blown into a mold to give shape, pattern, or both.
Offhand. Glass made outside the general run (usually from tag end of batch), by workers for their own use or pleasure.
Ohio-Stiegel. Blown glass made in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio in the Stiegel traditions (or techniques), usually pattern-molded.
Overlay. This term is popularly applied to a Victorian cased ware in which the outside layer (or layers) was partially cut away to form a pattern. It is also used to describe a glass of more than one layer. See plating.
Pattern-molded. Glass blown into part-size mold (dip or piece molds), to give it a pattern; article is then expanded to full size and finished.
Pillar-molded. Term applied to a blown-molded glass of more than one gather of metal which produced a heavy ware with vertical ribs or "pillars" outside and left the inside of the article smooth (patternless).
Plating, lining, flashing, casing. Putting together two or three layers of glass by one of several methods.
Pontil mark. Scar on bottom of article left when it is cracked off of pontil (puntee or punty) rod which is used to hold glass while it is being finished.
Pressed glass. Articles made by pressing hot metal into molds.
Prunt. A small blob of glass applied to article, left plain or designed; example, leaf prunt.
Quilling. Ribbons of applied glass that are pinched into waves: pincered trailing.
Soda-lime glass. Made from a silica, soda, lime formula. In 1864 Leighton's new formula contained bicarbonate of soda which replaced poor grades of soda ash and made a clearer, more brilliant glass.
Stiegel-type. Glass made and decorated in techniques apparently used at Stiegel's glasshouses in Pennsylvania.
Stippling. In pressed glass, a background of small raised dots close together.
Superimposed decoration. Glass added to the body of the piece and tooled in some manner, such as, lily pad and gadrooning.
Threading. Fine threads of hot glass added as decoration; also done by machine in the late nineteenth century.
Whimseys. Term used by glass collectors to cover odd or unusual pieces and glass toys.
"Witch" balls. A whimsey (reportedly used in England to keep away witches), which displayed the glassblower's skill.