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Glass (F) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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FIRING GLASSES: These drinking glasses were always short and stumpy, not exceeding four and one-half inches in height, and were called "firing glasses" from their very thick and solid feet (bases) with which the table was rapped in response to a toast, which was supposed to resemble a volley. They were made chiefly from 1740 to 1770, and they are among the most interesting of the old English drinking glasses. See DRINKING GLASSES and RUMMER.




FOOT: The foot or base of a glass is a most important point to consider in judging the period of the glass. The earlier glasses have high feet, sloping up well towards the stem. Flat feet are always a sign of late glass. The "folded" foot is to thicken and strengthen the rim. A number of folded-foot glasses are early, but it is not an infallible sign of age, as it continued to be made until nearly the middle of the 19th century. The English foot was folded over from the top, differing from the Venetian style, which was to fold the foot under. Domed feet, made principally about the middle of the 18th century, are those which rise markedly in the middle. These were difficult to make and the number made was small.

FRAUDS: There is probably no department of antiques in which there is so much room for fraud as in old glass, none in which imitation has been carried to a finer point. The reason for this is that the demand, of course, is much greater than the supply. Glass-works in New Jersey for some time have been making glass in imitation of the shape, color and design of the glass produced in earlier days by the South Jersey glass-makers. Examine at leisure any piece that you contemplate purchasing and by daylight, if possible, so as to make the color test, which is often, but not always, the most reliable. If you can compare the piece with other pieces of whose authenticity there is no doubt, it will be helpful, and do not hesitate to ask the advice of a glass expert if you know of one whose opinion you can seek. Do not be hurried in making your decision, and insist upon a "money back" guarantee in writing if you make the purchase.

FRENCH GLASS: Glass-making in France appears to have been carried on from Roman times to the present day. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the glass made showed a strong Venetian influence, although the shapes are simpler and rather heavier. A French glass-maker rediscovered in 1688 the process of making cast glass plates of almost unlimited size, and the great glass mirrors at Versailles were made by that process. Although there were quantities of glass made all over France through the centuries, there is at the present time no representative gathering of the old glass that can properly be called a collection. A few scattered examples are in the Louvre and in the Musee de Cluny. Modern French glass ranks high among the glass of the world. See BACCARAT GLASS.