Ah Well These Glasses Are Old But Not That Old! Sometimes Things Are Just Too Good To Be True And These Repro Glasses From Czechoslovakia Were Made In The 1920s And Are Worth Hundreds Not Thousands According To #AntiquesRoadshow Expert Andy McConnell @BBCOne

Cut Glass or Pressed Glass? 5 Top Tips to Spot Quality

Cut-Glass or Pressed Glass? 5 Top Tips to Spot Quality – Well, how old are we talking?  Because first came lightning strikes and erupting volcanoes melting sand and ash and making glass. Around 3000 B.C, man created objects by blowing glass.The Romans (first century A.D), introduced a crude form of cut-glass by faceting and relief-cutting into glass surface. In the 17th century, glass objects were created by blowing, drawing and pouring the glass until, Germany, with the production of heavy glass that could withstand carving into, developed cut-glass techniques  into the way it is practiced today by modern glassmakers.

The English and Irish glassmakers also adopted the decorative cut – glass technique and have been manufacturing fine – cut crystal since, we have all heard of the famous  – Irish glasshouse,  Waterford.

So which is better?

Cut Glass Pressed Glass Top Tips Spot Quality

How much?? 5p really? Well, glass expert Andy McConnell thinks this 70s cast crystal Swedish sculpture is worth between £2-300 #AntiquesRoadshow

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Cut Glass or Pressed Glass?

  • Glassware that has embellishments by a series of facets cut into its surface. Wet sand or artificial abrasives coat a revolving spinning steel wheel (typically flat, convex, or V-shaped) and used to make ‘rough-cuts’ of a marked pattern into the glass surface.

  • The incision in the glass is then smoothed by a sandstone wheel and then polished with a wooden wheel. Acid dipping usually provides the final polish.

  • In the 19th century, the pressed glass technique evolved to resemble the cut-glass appearance but at a lower cost, diminishing the demand for cut-glass ware. Even today much cut-glass is “rough-cut” by partly moulding first, omitting the expense of marking out the design and then finished at the wheel.

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Cut Glass Pressed Glass Top Tips Spot Quality
Cut Glass Pressed Glass Top Tips Spot Quality
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 5 Top Tips to Spot Quality

Step One

Check for seams. Is it design cut or moulded? 

Moulded glass often has seams where mould joins in construction.  However, lines may vary with age.

With poured glass, the seam may run all around the edge like a ring. This is when the is has a ‘faceted drop’.

Step Two

Study the interior. Slight dimples inside of the item, that mimic the exterior can be a signature poured or pressed glass.

Step Three

Examine the design.

The glass facets will reflect rainbow, prism-like refractions of high clarity light and the more brilliant. Fine striations from glass maker’s tools can be seen, especially on facets, perhaps more apparent on the older glass when hand polishing was undertaken, but not as apparent on the modern chemically smoothed glass.

On the older cut glass, you may see the craftsman’s variations in the shape & spacing of the pattern

In an expensive mould pressed glass, however, variations may have been perfected before use.

Step Four

UV light, shined on the glass, will show a bluish-purple if the glass is lead glass & more likely to be cut. If it is dull green it is cheaper soda glass.

Step Five

Finally, things like weight can suggest a leaded glass. Cut-glass will ring like crystal however avoid tapping if you do not own it, it may still shatter!

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ECut Glass Pressed Glass Top Tips Spot Quality