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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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4PC CHRISTOFLE COLLECTION 3000 CRYSTAL AND SILVER PLATE CHAMPAGNE FLUTES
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Hermes Pouring Jug, jug 18cm, tray 32cm
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BOX LOT: BLUE CRYSTALS
Apr 15, 10:00 AM PDT
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Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
22kt Gold Enameled Hand Painted Austrian Crystal Bull
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Apr 19, 10:00 AM EDT
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Apr 21, 8:00 PM AEST
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Apr 13, 11:00 AM EDT
12- PC. LOT OF ASST. CRYSTAL, NO SHIPPING
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Est: $0- $0
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Apr 17, 12:00 PM EDT
GROUP LOT ESTATE CRYSTAL TABLEWARES: 8 PCS
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Sellers Who Sell Crystal Glassware


Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden

O'Gallerie

O'Gallerie

Gulfcoast Coin and Jewelry

Gulfcoast Coin and Jewelry