Speaking of Antiquing – October 2017

If you live in or are visiting this region, chances are that you will visit our award-winning, top quality wineries that this beautiful valley offers. At home, you will want to serve your guests our local wines in quality stemware.

American glass companies from the early 20th century, such as Cambridge Glass Co., Heisey, Imperial, and Fostoria, have stood the test of time for beautiful fine quality, elegant glassware. The workmanship of stemware that was hand-blown, hand-etched, and hand-polished are examples of the most beautiful stemware on the American market. Brilliant cut glass stemware has never gone out of style and is truly a pleasure to use.

Waterford crystal from Waterford, Ireland, crafted by hand since the late 1700’s, is marked, and very likely will include the designer’s name also. The mark is typically found on the foot of a piece, sometimes deep in the cuts. The quality of cut glass from Waterford is world famous and there is a distinct ring to it that is sweet and melodious.

Bohemian crystal, produced in the regions of Bohemia, now recognized as part of the Czech Republic, is some of the most beautiful in the world, in my opinion. Bohemian crystal became famous for its excellent cut and engraving. Bohemian glass started with the abundant natural resources found in the countryside. With copious amounts of limestone, silica, and potash, combined with chalk, workmen created a clear, colorless glass that was more stable than the glass from Italy. Bohemian colored-glass came later and is stunning in pastels or in deep ruby red to clear.

German glass makers such as Nachtmann, has been in continuous production since mid-1800’s, producing fine quality crystal glassware in many shapes and functions. Not inexpensive, their stemware is rare and highly collectible. They also produced a line of colored cut crystal stemware that is stunning.

Murano, Italy, a Venetian island, has been making glass since 1291. I think that they have their craft well-honed. There are two examples of Vintage custom-made Murano stemware on my shelf. They are both tall and decorated with purple grapes and crystal leaves. One is a wine glass and one is a martini glass.

The French are famous for Baccarat crystal that was so vibrant that kings and emperors around the world commissioned glassware for their castles and estates. We do have a few pieces of this stunning glassware from time to time.

These companies produced stemware not only for wine, champagne, cordials and whiskey, but for water, iced tea and sherbet. So, even if you do not drink wine, there is no reason to not enjoy the beauty and quality stemware.

Clink a glass of sparkling cider with your family, serve the milk or juice in something elegant and let the family enjoy the feel and beauty of quality glassware. With that comes the teaching of gentle hand washing and drying so water spots don’t ruin the crystal.