Loading Spinner

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

See all items

Beautiful Cut Glass Cobalt Two Piece Punch Bowl
Dec 02, 10:00 AM EST
Beautiful Cut Glass Cobalt Two Piece Punch Bowl
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$552 Bids
Orient and Flume Cobalt Blue Art Glass Vase
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Orient and Flume Cobalt Blue Art Glass Vase
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Group of Retro Mid Century Glassware
Nov 27, 10:30 AM AEDT
Group of Retro Mid Century Glassware
by Kerleys Auctions
Est: AUD50- AUD90
AUD251 Bid
Fußschale
Dec 02, 10:00 AM CET
Fußschale
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €180- €360
€1800 Bids
VTG SET OF 6 COBALT BLUE WINE GOBLET GLASSES
Nov 28, 4:00 PM EST
VTG SET OF 6 COBALT BLUE WINE GOBLET GLASSES
by DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions
Est: $20- $30
$100 Bids
19th C German Cobalt Glass Silver Urn
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
19th C German Cobalt Glass Silver Urn
by Blackwell Auctions LLC
Est: $300- $600
$1500 Bids
(3) Group of Cobalt Blue Glass Vases and Vessels
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
(3) Group of Cobalt Blue Glass Vases and Vessels
by Atlanta Auction Gallery, ltd
Est: $75- $150
$300 Bids
Austrian Cobalt Blue Iridescent Glass Vase
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Austrian Cobalt Blue Iridescent Glass Vase
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
Hand-Painted Floral Daisy Cobalt Blue Glass Jar
Dec 03, 9:00 AM CST
Hand-Painted Floral Daisy Cobalt Blue Glass Jar
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $50- $100
$250 Bids
Kleine Bonbonniere
Dec 02, 10:00 AM CET
Kleine Bonbonniere
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €220- €440
€2200 Bids
Antique Cobalt Blue Cut To Clear Glass Decanter And Glasses
Dec 04, 3:00 PM PST
Antique Cobalt Blue Cut To Clear Glass Decanter And Glasses
by Clark's Auction Company
Est: $225- $350
$1800 Bids
Mid 20th C Studio Art Glass Cobalt Rimmed Vase
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
Mid 20th C Studio Art Glass Cobalt Rimmed Vase
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $300
$100 Bids
MCM Blown glass cobalt blue petal form brass base vase
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
MCM Blown glass cobalt blue petal form brass base vase
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $300
$100 Bids
A Cobalt Blue Cylinder Vase
Nov 27, 1:00 PM EST
A Cobalt Blue Cylinder Vase
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
Heavy Cobalt Blue Peking Glass Covered Urn / Ginger Jar 19th century
Dec 18, 10:00 AM PST
Heavy Cobalt Blue Peking Glass Covered Urn / Ginger Jar 19th century
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $500- $700
$4250 Bids
Lot of 3 Cobalt Blue Glass Bowls
Nov 27, 1:00 PM EST
Lot of 3 Cobalt Blue Glass Bowls
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
A Vintage Cobalt Blue Ceramic Pitcher
Nov 27, 1:00 PM EST
A Vintage Cobalt Blue Ceramic Pitcher
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
A Ceramic Cobalt Blue Vessel
Nov 27, 1:00 PM EST
A Ceramic Cobalt Blue Vessel
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids
A Pair Of Cobalt Blue Gold Painted Glass Goblets
Nov 26, 1:00 PM EST
A Pair Of Cobalt Blue Gold Painted Glass Goblets
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
Lot of 5 Cobalt Blue Glass Articles
Nov 26, 1:00 PM EST
Lot of 5 Cobalt Blue Glass Articles
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $40- $400
$400 Bids
An Anchor Hawking Cobalt Blue Dish
Nov 26, 1:00 PM EST
An Anchor Hawking Cobalt Blue Dish
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $30- $300
$300 Bids
A Cobalt Blue Bottle
Nov 26, 1:00 PM EST
A Cobalt Blue Bottle
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Cobalt Glass


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Matthew Bullock Auctioneers

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Chaville Enchères

Chaville Enchères