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Glass (S) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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SANDWICH GLASS: The glass made by the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company at Sandwich, Massachusetts, is everywhere known as Sandwich glass. The factory was established in 1825 by Deming Jarves, who continued with the company until 1858, when he was succeeded by Lafayette Fessenden, as manager. The factory was located at Sandwich because of abundance of local fuel (wood) and easy transportation. The sand used was from New Jersey and from the Berkshires in Massachusetts. The glass made here was for every purpose for which glass was suitable. The grade was flint glass of the best quality, the designs were equal to those of any other factory in the country, and the output grew steadily to enormous proportions. Pressed glass was introduced here about 1828 and became one of the principal products. Many of the conventional patterns of this flint glass had a stippled background producing an effect of old lace the so-called "lacy" glass, so much desired by collectors. The making of colored glass and opal glass began about 1830 and the ruby glass of Sandwich was especially noteworthy. Later, cut and etched glassware in great variety was made.

From 1843 to 1867 the factory was in operation twenty hours of the day, four days to the week. Four shifts of men were used. A large proportion of this product at that time was in glass lamps. At one time the factory employed more than five hundred workmen and their weekly melts were more than one hundred thousand pounds. Their export business was also very large. Genuine Sandwich glass of the earlier days is much sought for by collectors. The historical cup plates (q.v.) of that period are especially prized, but nearly all Sandwich glass now in existence, that can be identified as such, is desirable. The works closed down in 1888.

SARATOGA (New York) GLASS: A factory was erected here in 1844 by Oscar Granger who had earlier been making glass at Mt. Vernon, New York. In 1854 Granger sold the factory and it became known then as the Congressville Works. The product of this factory was chiefly bottles, but the "offhand" glass of the workmen, consisting of tableware and decorative objects, is eagerly sought by collectors. This glass, with many of the characteristics of early South Jersey glass, was made in light and dark green, amber and aquamarine colors and their shapes are marked by a fine feeling for form.

SCONCES: Glass sconces as a support for candles with mirror backs were in use in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

SILVERED GLASS: See GLASS, Silvered.

SLAG GLASS: See GLASS, Agate.

SNUFF-BOTTLES: Glass or crystal Chinese snuff bottles are about two and one-half inches high, decorated on the outside or inside with inscriptions or with painting, and with a stopper to which is attached the tiny spoon for removing the snuff (or medicine, as they are also used by the Chinese for medicines). Snuff bottles were also made from Jade, porcelain and rock crystal with carved and incised surfaces. Those of the Ch'ien Lung reign (1736-1795) are considered the best. They make a desirable addition to any collection.

SOUTH FERRY GLASS: WORKS (Brooklyn) Established about 1823 by John Gillerland who had formerly been connected with the New England Glass Co. at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Much of our fine cut glass of the "Forties" and "Fifties" came from these works. See CORNING GLASS WORKS.

SOUTH JERSEY GLASS: Under this general heading may be grouped the products of a number of glass factories which were located in various places in Southern New Jersey, late 18th and early 19th centuries. Several of them were operated by former Wistar workmen and those who followed the methods and designs of the product of that factory. On this account, the attempt to differentiate between true Wistarberg and these other South Jersey products is futile.

The commercial output of these factories consisted of window glass, bottles, and other similar hollow ware. Bowls, pitchers, mugs and other similar articles were not a commercial product, but were individually blown pieces, generally cherished and handed down in the families of the workmen who made them or for the friends and relatives for whom they were made, and this practice continued for more than one hundred years. Probably most of the existing South Jersey glass was produced after 1800. Despite the bulbous body, South Jersey type of glass is never top-heavy; plain, crimped or uneven of foot, its base remains sturdy; ample of mouth, its pitchers pour without dripping; the handles are made for hands, not for two fingers. A variety of color combinations and various methods of decoration add to the charm of this glass.

SPANISH GLASS: During the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries choice glass was made at Barcelona and glass factories were located in various other places in Spain. Early records show that common glass and a pure white glass, more like rock crystal, were made. The Catalans early became the rivals of the workers at Murano (Venice), in form, design and excellence of workmanship. All sorts of glass for everyday use were made, but Spanish glass is not often met with, the manufacture having been mainly for home use. The glass of Southern Spain was blue, green and dark olive in color and the shapes are of Oriental or native form.

STAINED GLASS: See GLASS, Stained.

STEMS: The stem of a drinking glass may be either a plain rod or cylinder or of baluster shape. This last is a modification of the double knops of some 17 th-century glass. The plain stem is varied by opaque white or colored twists or clear air-twist. In a general way a loose, widely twisted spiral is indicative of the earlier glass, while the tightly twisted specimens are of a later make. This type of stem, if not an English invention, was more commonly used there than elsewhere. See DRINKING GLASSES.

STIEGEL GLASS: This, perhaps the most famous of all early American glass, was made at Manheim, Pennsylvania, between 1765 and 1774 by Henry William Stiegel. It was a flint glass, the first in America made for tableware, possessing the clear resonant ring of the finest Bohemian glass, with clear and even colors. This was due to the skill and methods of the English, German, Irish, and possibly Italian workmen brought from Europe by Stiegel for employment at Manheim. Although Stiegel made window glass and bottles, it is to the articles for domestic use that Stiegel glass owes its fame. This is the most beautiful glass ever blown in the American colonies, and in quality it frequently excelled the finest of European glass. Besides clear white, the colors include a rich blue, Stiegel's favorite color, green, amber,amethyst and opaque white. The surface of many of his pieces was engraved or enameled in colors.

Stiegel competed with English factories for the trade of the colonies and his product was sold in Philadelphia, New York and even so far away as in Boston. At the present time few collectors will attribute any glass to Stiegel unless it is well authenticated, although genuine examples of this glass are the gems of any collection. Examples are to be seen in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Pennsylvania Museum at Philadelphia, the Garvan collection at Yale and at Andover, and in some other of our larger museums.

STODDARD (New Hampshire) GLASS WORKS: There were three or four glass factories here between 1842 and 1873 making bottles and flasks, chiefly coarse in quality and of a dark amber-green in color. A considerable variety of "offhand" specimens, including pitchers, bowls, jars, salts and a number of other shapes, were made by the glass-blowers for home use and for presentation to others. The introduction of clear glass for bottles at a lower price than the colored glass compelled the owners of the works to discontinue operations.