Tuesday, February 2, 2010

American Brilliant Cut Glass - Daryle Lambert's Antiques and Collectibles Blog – Close to Diamonds.

Doctor Wall and His Wife - Thanks for the Cut

What an education I received last week on American Brilliant Cut Glass. Attending the Sohn's Auction was a lady from the American Cut Glass Association [ ACGA ] and she was so nice to take her time to discuss cut glass with me. I just had to ask her about an old wives tale I had heard about cut glass. Does it break if exposed to heat or cold? Her answer surprised me a little. “Yes it does.” If you really want to know more about cut glass, you may want to join the ACGA at www.cutglass.com.

Just a little history about cut glass. Most of the artists that produced this wonderful glass came from Europe and brought their skills with them. However by the Brilliant Period from 1876-1906, Americans were making glass superior to the Europeans.

One of the companies that really thrived in America was Dorflinger and Co. Pieces that can be identified as being produced by them bring huge dollars. There was never a time when cut glass was inexpensive and usually it could only be owned by the wealthy patrons who could afford it.

The companies that produced the glass blanks weren't necessarily the ones that cut the patterns that we recognize today. In fact, not all great cut glass is signed by the company but if you are fortune enough to find signed pieces, that is even better. The best book that I have found on cut glass is Collecting American Brilliant Cut Glass by Bill and Louise Boggess. You should be able to find it on Amazon and if it is used, so much the better.

What makes the glass in cut glass so appealing, you may ask. The Americans found that if you used lead in the mix, the glass would have a clearer look and when cut would reflect the light like a diamond. This glass was cut with steel discs and often as many as 10 to 12 discs would be used on a single piece. I hesitate to give you this piece of information but only men were used as cutters.

There is no limit that a true collector will stop at in obtaining that piece of cut glass he desires and the lady that was a member of the ACGA said that it becomes almost an addiction once you get started collecting cut glass. Condition is paramount in valuing cut glass and any damage will seriously devalue a piece. This is probably one area of collecting that you won't find me in because as my wife, Vickie, says I am just too big of a klutz.

Join us here www.darylelambert.com for Fun and Profit.


  1. personally I love the stuff! LOL
    But, I can't seem to get very good prices for it, sadly.
    I have attempted selling it at the antique mall and on ebay to no avail. Or it goes way too cheap. Alas, I have stopped buying it because of this. :(
    I do have several myself of course being the serious glasshound that I am, 6 signed hawks, and 2 signed Libby's.Anyone else have this problem? Vicki H.

  2. Hi Vicki

    I have to admit that the auctions seem to be bringing the most money today. Ebay is dead and the vultures are the only buyers there it seems but I hope this changes and the malls just aren't getting the traffic.

    God Bless


  3. Daryle,
    This is a very good story except for the recommedation of the boggess's book as it is an awful refrence guide. Try any book by Michael J. Pearson in this field and you will be amazed!