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Custard Glass

So named for its creamy ivory color, custard glass was a variety developed in England in the closing years of the 19th century. In production for only a few decades, custard glass epitomized turn-of-the-century innovation and is today among the most coveted of collectibles.

First appearing in England around 1880, custard glass began as a medium for small novelty items and tablewares. Soon, it became a prominent presence, so much so that companies in America picked up the style only a few years later. Dithridge, a glassmaking company out of Pennsylvania, is considered by many as the first to have created American custard glass, and soon, many other companies followed Northwood's lead.

Custard glass was celebrated into the '30s for its milky finish as well as its expanded color line that introduced a range from soft pastels to more vibrant shades. As seasoned collectors know, these colors along with the milky opacity of the glass, were caused by the addition of uranium salts to the initial glass mixture. This means that authentic custard glass comes with an added bonus: a luminous glow when placed under a black light.

Quick Facts

  • Prominent glass producer Fenton created several custard glass pieces, as did Cambridge and A.H. Heisley
  • Blue custard glass is some of the most difficult to find
  • While Dithridge first produced custard glass in America in the late 1880s, it was Northwood, a glassmaking company based in Indiana, that is often credited as the first to create an entire line of custard glass tableware

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