Monday, May 16, 2011

Cut to Clear Glassware

Cut to clear glassware is glass with an overlay of colored glass.  The overlay is cut to reveal the clear glass, hence the name.  There are two forms of cut to clear glass: cased (overlay), and flashed (stained).  Cased glass is a layer of colored glass blown onto an often molded primary layer of glass, this creates a thick layer of colored glass.  Flashed glass has a very thin layer of glass over the base glass.  Flashed glass is a cost effective alternative to cased glass, however after many years of using this glass the thin outer layer of glass can become scratched and damaged.  Flashed glass also cannot be cut in high relief (deep cuts pictured below on left), normally flashed glass is seen etched (a process using acid to etch the surface of the glass creating a satin finish pictured below on right).  Bohemian glass (pictured below in both cased and flashed) is an intricately etched or cut glass originating in Bohemia, Czech Republic.  Bohemian glass can be found in both cased and flashed forms.
Cut to clear glass can be highly collectable depending on the maker, place of origin, and/or quality and clarity of the glass.  Many pieces are marked with their makers mark (trade mark) etched into the glass (usually on the bottom) or a paper label and can be identified.  Unfortunately most cut to clear glass is not marked and paper labels tend to fall off or be washed off so the glass must be identified according to the characteristics of the glass.  I myself have a few nice pieces from the early 18th century.  So there you have it cut to clear glass!