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Crystal Glassware

The distinct glisten of glass crystal is an unmistakable sign of expert craftsmanship. One of the most significant advances in glassmaking in the past several hundred years, crystal glass is coveted both for its clarity and beauty.

Since the dawn of glassmaking, a perennial problem was that the glass itself was not completely transparent. Glass, which is made from melted silica sand along with other minerals and ingredients, was initially relatively opaque. This was not of great concern for smaller decorative objects, but it limited the functional uses of glass such as the creation of lamps and windowpanes.

It was not until the 15th century that Venetian glassmakers perfected the formula for clarity, paving the way for the pursuit of increasingly sparkly glass. The Germans experimented by using potash and lime in place of the traditional soda ash in their glass- making mixture, which resulted in the remarkably clear Bohemian glass. But it was the English who first added lead oxide to their glass formula to yield the characteristics of crystal that are beloved today.

By the end of the 18th century, crystal glass had become the standard of glassmaking sophistication. Great crystal houses such as Waterford and Hoya have ensured its continued status by creating expert designs with utmost clarity and a sparkle that rivals even the glisten of diamonds.


Quick Facts

  • The earliest relatively clear glass on record was produced by the Romans in the first century A.D.
  • Venetian glassmaker Angelo Barovier is often credited with inventing Venetian clear glass, known as "cristallo," around 1450
  • Lead oxide added to the glass mixture renders the glass more pliable, which allows glassmakers to create increasingly intricate designs

Recommended Items at Auction

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Patek Philippe Calatrava Rare Reference 3768 18k Gold Mens Vintage Watch
Oct 23, 12:00 PM EDT
Patek Philippe Calatrava Rare Reference 3768 18k Gold Mens Vintage Watch
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $5,000- $6,000
$1,90010 Bids
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EARLY RENE LALIQUE GUI FROSTED CRYSTAL VASE
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
EARLY RENE LALIQUE GUI FROSTED CRYSTAL VASE
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Est: $0- $0
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(2pc) Crystal & Ethiopian Sky Blue Opals Gemstones
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
(2pc) Crystal & Ethiopian Sky Blue Opals Gemstones
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
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Philippe Audibert, Paris: Three Gold Plated & Crystal Manchette Cuffs
Oct 28, 6:00 PM AEDT
Philippe Audibert, Paris: Three Gold Plated & Crystal Manchette Cuffs
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD1106 Bids
LOT OF 3 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL STANDING KRIS BEARS
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
LOT OF 3 SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL STANDING KRIS BEARS
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Est: $100- $200
$1206 Bids
Assorted Servingware, Crystal Stemware
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
Assorted Servingware, Crystal Stemware
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Est: $0- $0
$956 Bids
(2 Pc) Jay Strongwater Enameled Trinket Boxes
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
(2 Pc) Jay Strongwater Enameled Trinket Boxes
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $20- $200
$1005 Bids
Vintage Crystal Glass Animals
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage Crystal Glass Animals
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$175 Bids
Vintage Crystal Decanter Estate Collection
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage Crystal Decanter Estate Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
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(8pc) Bronzed Crystal Martini Glasses
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
(8pc) Bronzed Crystal Martini Glasses
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$554 Bids
Thomas Sabo: Sterling Silver & Black Crystal Skull Ring
Oct 28, 6:00 PM AEDT
Thomas Sabo: Sterling Silver & Black Crystal Skull Ring
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD100- AUD120
AUD654 Bids
Vintage Fostoria Jamestown Green Crystal Collection
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage Fostoria Jamestown Green Crystal Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$113 Bids
Sterling Silver & Crystal Greek Key Pattern Trivet
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
Sterling Silver & Crystal Greek Key Pattern Trivet
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
5 x Vintage Crystal decanters various sizes all with stoppers 31cm to 22cm
Oct 24, 7:00 PM AEDT
5 x Vintage Crystal decanters various sizes all with stoppers 31cm to 22cm
by The Collector
Est: AUD20- AUD40
AUD253 Bids
Vintage Sèvres "Femme Au Mouton" Crystal Art Glass
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Vintage Sèvres "Femme Au Mouton" Crystal Art Glass
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $20- $200
$402 Bids
Vintage Crystal & Sterling Powder Jar & Clip
Oct 23, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Crystal & Sterling Powder Jar & Clip
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$252 Bids
Vintage Waterford Crystal Colleen Tall (1986-) Single Stem Vase 8" , MIB
Jan 22, 1:00 PM EST
Vintage Waterford Crystal Colleen Tall (1986-) Single Stem Vase 8" , MIB
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
Blue Kosta Boda glass candle holder, hand blown glass vase and cut crystal lidded bowl
Oct 24, 11:00 AM AEST
Blue Kosta Boda glass candle holder, hand blown glass vase and cut crystal lidded bowl
by Pfeffer's Auctions
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD302 Bids
JUDITH LEIBER SWAVORSKI CRYSTAL FLORAL HANDBAG
Oct 25, 4:00 PM EDT
JUDITH LEIBER SWAVORSKI CRYSTAL FLORAL HANDBAG
by DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$602 Bids
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Liao dyn(?) Chinese antique jade small recumbent horse
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
Liao dyn(?) Chinese antique jade small recumbent horse
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $5,000- $10,000
$5001 Bid
Lalique French Art Glass Crystal Hedgehog Figurine
Oct 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Lalique French Art Glass Crystal Hedgehog Figurine
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Crystal Glassware


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Arte Subastas Bilbao

Arte Subastas Bilbao

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Easterly Auction Company

Easterly Auction Company