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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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XXL VENETIAN COBALT, GILT AND ENAMEL VASE, 52CM H AND SMALLER 26CM H VASE
Apr 18, 9:00 AM AEST
XXL VENETIAN COBALT, GILT AND ENAMEL VASE, 52CM H AND SMALLER 26CM H VASE
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD303 Bids
An Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co, Colbalt Blue Crystal Heart Paperweight
Apr 17, 6:00 PM AEST
An Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co, Colbalt Blue Crystal Heart Paperweight
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD252 Bids
Two blown three-mold cobalt blue glass hat
Apr 19, 9:00 AM EDT
Two blown three-mold cobalt blue glass hat
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $300- $400
$1501 Bid
(7) ITALIAN COBALT & PARCEL GILT FLORAL GLASS LIQUEUR SERVICE
Apr 21, 10:00 AM CDT
(7) ITALIAN COBALT & PARCEL GILT FLORAL GLASS LIQUEUR SERVICE
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $60- $150
$501 Bid
Two blown three-mold cobalt glass hats
Apr 19, 9:00 AM EDT
Two blown three-mold cobalt glass hats
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
A Large Colbalt Oblong Stem Vase
Apr 17, 6:00 PM AEST
A Large Colbalt Oblong Stem Vase
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD201 Bid
A Handblown Cobalt Art Glass Vase with Twin Emerald Handle Detail
Apr 17, 6:00 PM AEST
A Handblown Cobalt Art Glass Vase with Twin Emerald Handle Detail
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD201 Bid
Early Glass
Apr 20, 9:00 AM EDT
Early Glass
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
Vintage Hand Cut Cobalt Blue Crystal Ginger Jar AJKA cut to frosted clea
Apr 21, 10:00 AM PDT
Vintage Hand Cut Cobalt Blue Crystal Ginger Jar AJKA cut to frosted clea
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $150- $200
$1200 Bids
Antique Cobalt Glass Rolling Pin
Apr 27, 9:30 AM EDT
Antique Cobalt Glass Rolling Pin
by Rafael Osona Auctions
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
3 Ajka Cobalt Blue to Clear 10 ounce Water Glass Goblets
May 05, 10:00 AM PDT
3 Ajka Cobalt Blue to Clear 10 ounce Water Glass Goblets
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $150- $250
$1200 Bids
3PC Thames Art Glass Vase & Center Bowl
Apr 24, 10:00 AM EDT
3PC Thames Art Glass Vase & Center Bowl
by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Est: $100- $300
$500 Bids
Glass Lot
Apr 20, 9:00 AM EDT
Glass Lot
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$50 Bids
LOT OF ITALIAN ELECTROFORMING GLASS AND SILVER BOTTLE AND VASE MADE BY LA MERIDIANA
Apr 15, 5:00 PM IDT
LOT OF ITALIAN ELECTROFORMING GLASS AND SILVER BOTTLE AND VASE MADE BY LA MERIDIANA
by The Bidder
Est: $100- $120
$450 Bids
Fußschale
Apr 17, 10:30 AM CEST
Fußschale
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €90- €180
€900 Bids
Robert G. Eickholt (American) Blown Cobalt Glass Vase, 1984, H 6" Dia. 5"
Apr 18, 11:00 AM EDT
Robert G. Eickholt (American) Blown Cobalt Glass Vase, 1984, H 6" Dia. 5"
by DuMouchelles
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
1942 US Daughters of the American Revolution Cobalt Blue Glass Tray
Apr 20, 9:00 AM CDT
1942 US Daughters of the American Revolution Cobalt Blue Glass Tray
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $30- $300
$150 Bids
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ART GLASS BEAKER Dated 1991 Height 15".
Apr 24, 9:30 AM EDT
ART GLASS BEAKER Dated 1991 Height 15".
by Eldred's
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
1990 COBALT BLUE ETCHED GLASS VASE BY BETSY RAY
Apr 20, 10:00 AM EDT
1990 COBALT BLUE ETCHED GLASS VASE BY BETSY RAY
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
Vintage Brides Set Of Art Nouveau Style Silver Plated Repousse Posy Holders With Cobalt Blue Glass,
Apr 24, 10:00 AM BST
Vintage Brides Set Of Art Nouveau Style Silver Plated Repousse Posy Holders With Cobalt Blue Glass,
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£300 Bids
Rare miniature blown three-mold glass creamer
Apr 19, 9:00 AM EDT
Rare miniature blown three-mold glass creamer
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $500- $800
$2500 Bids
French gilt bronze and cobalt center bowl, 19th c.
Apr 19, 9:00 AM EDT
French gilt bronze and cobalt center bowl, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $300- $600
$1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Cobalt Glass


Pook & Pook Inc.

Pook & Pook Inc.

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Lawsons

Lawsons

New England Auctions

New England Auctions