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Antique Glass

As delicate as it is dynamic, antique glassware includes a tantalizing array of designs. Antique glassware for sale today reveal this brilliance, from the smooth curves of Lalique to the organic brilliance of Daum Crystal.

The 1st-century Roman historian Pliny suggested in his writings that glassmaking was discovered not by experiment but by accident. According to his account, merchants from the ancient Phoenician culture took shelter on a coastal beach and set up camp in the sand. They placed nitrate blocks near their cooking fire, and when the nitrite melted with the heat of the flames and blended with the sand, it formed rudimentary glass.

From this earliest moment of discovery, glass rapidly evolved into one of the world's most celebrated art forms. The pinnacle of this history was the 19th and 20th centuries, when glassmaking companies explored new techniques in response to contemporary tastes and trends.

Quick Facts

  • The earliest manual on glassmaking was written in the 7th century B.C. It was composed on a series of tablets contained in an Assyrian king's personal collection
  • The first glassmaking company in the United States opened in 1608 in Jamestown, Virginia
  • Production of glassware became more efficient in the late 19th century with the creation of the "tank furnace" by Freidrich Siemens. Patented in 1872, this new machine allowed for the creation of greater quantities of molten glass

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