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Glass (B) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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BACCARAT GLASS: A crystal glass made at Baccarat, France, with a leaden composition. The factory was founded in 1765 but it was not until about 1820 that the Baccarat products began to count in the history of glass. Although colored glass in various colors is made, the clear crystal produced is much greater than the colored crystal. At first only blown glass was made but later on they adopted the pressed-glass method of Sandwich. Cutglass was also a Baccarat specialty. Baccarat glass was, and is, turned out in a great variety of forms, but table glass constituted the greater part of their product. See FRENCH GLASS.

BAKEWELL, PEARS & CO.: A glass works at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1808 by two Englishmen, Thomas Bakewell and Benjamin Page, and continued until 1882. The firm name was changed to Bakewell, Pears & Co., in 1836 and this factory is said to have been the first successful flint glass factory in America. The early output included decanters, bottles, pitchers, flasks, vases, drinking glasses and candelabra. In 1810, they made the first crystal chandelier to be made in this country, and the product of their later years was also much diversified. They made glassware for every purpose for which glass was used, and a large part of their product was exported to South America.

BALTIMORE GLASS WORKS: This factory at Baltimore, Maryland, started making glass about 1790 and was continued under various owners and names as the Federal Hill Works, The Patapsco River Glass-House and the Hughes -Street Works. Bottles and flasks in various colors were the principal product.

BALUSTER: The term used for stems of glasses having an outline similar to balusters of wood.


BAY STATE GLASS CO.: Cambridge, Massachusetts, organized in 1849, incorporated in 1857 and in existence until 1874. They made a general assortment of flint glass wares, blown, pressed and cut, of good quality.

BEVELING: Beveling was done in the early days by pressing the glass while molten. The use of the sand wheel for the purpose was not adopted until the 18th century.

BLOBS: Small lumps of molten glass applied as a decoration to the surface of blown glass. Variously known as prunts, seals, mascaroons, etc. See PRUNTS.

BLOWING IRON (or Blow-Pipe): A hollow tube about four feet long employed in making blown glass. It had its origin before the time of the Christian Era.


BOHEMIAN GLASS: Bohemian crystal glass, composed of silicate of potash and lime, is comparatively easy of recognition, but most of it is not so old as we would like to think. Probably very little 18th-century Bohemian glass came to this country. In 1820 and thereafter considerable of this glass came in through Baltimore and it became extremely popular in the Southern states. The roots of Bohemian glass are, perhaps, in the old glass factories of Venice. It was famous in the 16th century and for a long time Bohemia was the center of the crystal glass-making. The range of colors, also, is considerable; reds, blues, ambers and greens, all in various shades. The gold ruby is the most popular. Much of the effectiveness of Bohemian glass lies in its engraving and in the cutting through of an opaque colored outer surface to disclose a clear or a ground-glass pattern beneath. Further embellishment is often added by painting or gilding, and it was in Bohemia that the art of etching on glass was discovered by Henry Schwanhardt about 1670. See GLASS, Etched.

BOSTON CROWN GLASS CO.: The Essex Glass Works began to make "Crown" or window glass of excellent quality in 1792 and continued until about 1825. In 1809 the name of the company was changed to the Boston Glass Manufactory and "Boston Crown" glass became synonymous with the best, the country over. This factory was one of the earliest in this country to make flint glass.


BOTTLES: During the 17th and 18th centuries the manufacture of bottles in England was an important branch of the glass industry. Enormous quantities were made both for home use and for export.

In the history of glass-making in America, glass bottles and flasks played an important part, also. Their production was chiefly from 1808 to 1870. From about 1837 factories were built exclusively for bottle-making, and many of them specialized in flasks, which were in great demand for liquor containers.

There are several hundred varieties of these flasks and bottles. They range in size from half-pint to quart, and they were made in almost every color of glass used at that time. Flasks were blown in two-piece metal molds with patterns cut intaglio on the inner surface of the molds, which produced a corresponding pattern on the surface of the flask. Some of them are to be found with the name of the factory blown in them. All early glass bottles were blown in engraved metal molds and made in several different colors. Bottle glass of the common kinds is composed of a silicate of lime and alumina, with smaller quantities of silicate of potash or soda, iron and manganese. A collection of these old bottles and flasks is novel and attractive.

Booze Bottles. This name was applied to bottles for whiskey, especially those produced in 1860 by the Whitney Glass Works for Edmund G. Booz of Philadelphia, often reproduced at present.

Case Bottles. Four-sided bottles made to fit into the compartment of cases or boxes.

Violin Bottles. Name given to shape of bottles used primarily as containers for whiskey, produced in the glass-works of the Ohio River district, middle of the 19th century. They were made of various sizes and the color range is widest of any American bottle.

BRISTOL GLASS: It is certain that glass was made in Bristol, England, in the 17th century but all records of this early glass have disappeared. However, in 1760 there were fifteen glass factories in Bristol, and the influence of Bristol glass-makers was far reaching. White and colored glass, also cut glass, were produced at Bristol and the list of objects made comprises nearly all the pieces that could be made of glass. Much of their colored glass resembles our American Stiegel glass, and Venetian glass, especially the ruby. The blue glass is of a very rich hue, on the thicker pieces showing a royal purple tinge when held to the light, and on thinner pieces almost a sea blue. There were other colors used and mixed colors are not uncommon. The rarest and most interesting of Bristol glass is the white, opaque milky glass made from 1762 to about 1787. In tint it resembles porcelain or Battersea enamel. The effect was produced by the use of much lead and a small amount of tin in its composition. The color is a solid white and, when held to the light, is translucent to about the same extent as Oriental porcelain. The surface is fine and smooth and soft to the touch. The glass is heavy, owing to the lead used in its manufacture, and it is very brittle. On the white ground the decoration was painted in enamel colors and then fired. Some pieces were decorated in oil gilt. Michael Edkins, noted for his decorations on Bristol pottery.