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Cobalt Glass

The deep brilliant blue of cobalt comes to life when it is used to color glassware. The realization of this fantastic connection resulted in the field of cobalt glass, which developed in Europe in the 16th century.

The oldest examples of cobalt glass date to the late third millennium and the days of ancient Mesopotamia, yet the pigment disappears from glassmaking following this point for generations. Though cobalt was used with increasingly frequency in painting ceramics from the ancient world on, it was not until the 16th century that pioneering glassmakers in Bohemia experimented with cobalt glass once more.

As time progressed, glassmakers came to enjoy the richness of color, as the cobalt itself filters out the inherent yellow cast of glass. Resulting by the 19th century was a wide variety of cobalt glass producers both in Europe and in North America, with a particular surge in American demand following the Depression era.


Quick Facts

  • Cobalt, which is made from the chemical compound of potassium cobalt silicate, is also called smalt. Its chemical relative, cobalt aluminate, or cobalt blue, proved essential in painting. So prevalent was it in Maxfield Parrish's paintings, for example, that it became known as Parrish Blue
  • In painted instances where the original smalt was used, such as in "The Portrait of Sir William Butts" by 16th-century German artist Hans Holbein the Younger, these zones of blue have typically oxidized and discolored over time
  • Bristol blue glass, originating in Bristol, England, is one of the most popular and historic production regions of cobalt glass. Their glass makers created the iconic blue bottle still used to house Bristol Cream Sherry

Recommended Items at Auction

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Pair of Pairpoint Cobalt Blue Glass Candlesticks, H: 16 in
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Pair of Pairpoint Cobalt Blue Glass Candlesticks, H: 16 in
by Weschler's
Est: $30- $50
$554 Bids
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PETER BRAMHALL COBALT BLUE ART GLASS BOWL
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
PETER BRAMHALL COBALT BLUE ART GLASS BOWL
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$303 Bids
Vintage Hand Blown Cobalt Blue Glass Pitcher,8"H, 52 oz., EC
Jan 22, 1:00 PM EST
Vintage Hand Blown Cobalt Blue Glass Pitcher,8"H, 52 oz., EC
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
VINTAGE COBALT BLUE GEORGE WASHINGTON BOTTLE
Nov 07, 1:00 PM EDT
VINTAGE COBALT BLUE GEORGE WASHINGTON BOTTLE
by Simonetta Auction Service
Est: $10- $30
$41 Bid
12in Cut To Clear Cobalt Vase
Oct 30, 10:00 AM MST
12in Cut To Clear Cobalt Vase
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
AN ORMOLU AND COBALT-BLUE CUT-GLASS VASE
Nov 04, 10:00 AM CET
AN ORMOLU AND COBALT-BLUE CUT-GLASS VASE
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €800- €1,600
€8000 Bids
Vintage Cobalt Blue Sparkling Seltzer Bottle Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 13"H, EC
Jan 08, 1:00 PM EST
Vintage Cobalt Blue Sparkling Seltzer Bottle Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 13"H, EC
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
(3 Pc) Bohemian Cobalt Blue Water Glasses
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
(3 Pc) Bohemian Cobalt Blue Water Glasses
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $20- $200
$200 Bids
Glass cobalt blue oval scarabs
Nov 17, 6:00 PM EST
Glass cobalt blue oval scarabs
by Captain Ahab's Antiques
Est: $25- $60
$200 Bids
Kobaltblaues Kelchglas.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM CEST
Kobaltblaues Kelchglas.
by Auktionshaus Wendl
Est: €0- €0
€200 Bids
VINTAGE COBALT BLUE PAUL REVERE BOTTLE
Nov 07, 1:00 PM EDT
VINTAGE COBALT BLUE PAUL REVERE BOTTLE
by Simonetta Auction Service
Est: $10- $20
$40 Bids
Venetian Cobalt Glass Religious Painted Chalice
Oct 30, 11:30 AM EDT
Venetian Cobalt Glass Religious Painted Chalice
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $100- $200
$250 Bids
Lapis graduated princess suite
Nov 17, 6:00 PM EST
Lapis graduated princess suite
by Captain Ahab's Antiques
Est: $60- $125
$500 Bids
Handblown Cobalt Blue Glass Stand
Oct 24, 1:00 PM EDT
Handblown Cobalt Blue Glass Stand
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $40- $400
$400 Bids
A Cobalt Blue Glass Leaf Dish
Oct 24, 1:00 PM EDT
A Cobalt Blue Glass Leaf Dish
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $15- $150
$150 Bids
A Satin Cobalt Blue Glass Single Candlestick
Oct 24, 1:00 PM EDT
A Satin Cobalt Blue Glass Single Candlestick
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids
A Vintage Cobalt Blue Ceramic Pitcher
Oct 24, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage Cobalt Blue Ceramic Pitcher
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
A Ceramic Cobalt Blue Vessel
Oct 24, 1:00 PM EDT
A Ceramic Cobalt Blue Vessel
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids
A Cobalt Blue Cylinder Vase
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Cobalt Blue Cylinder Vase
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
COBALT BLUE/CLEAR GLASS PENGUIN W/BABIES
Oct 29, 6:00 PM EDT
COBALT BLUE/CLEAR GLASS PENGUIN W/BABIES
by Auctions by Daum
Est: $40- $60
$300 Bids
A Cobalt Blue Cut Glass Bowl
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Cobalt Blue Cut Glass Bowl
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids
A Cobalt Blue Glass Vase
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Cobalt Blue Glass Vase
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
A Cobalt Blue Cut Glass Mug
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Cobalt Blue Cut Glass Mug
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids
A Cobalt Blue Toothpick Holder
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
A Cobalt Blue Toothpick Holder
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Cobalt Glass


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Homestead Auctions

Homestead Auctions

Theodore Bruce

Theodore Bruce

Captain Ahab's Antiques

Captain Ahab's Antiques