Mary Gregory glass

above: Mary Gregory
glass barber bottle.

Mary Gregory jug

above: Mary Gregory
cranberry glass jug.





Mary Gregory Glass

from the Glass Encyclopedia

"Mary Gregory" glass can be divided into old Mary Gregory (made between 1879 to 1939) which was mostly mouth blown and appears to have come primarily from central Europe; and new Mary Gregory glass made after the second world war all over the world, and still made today.

The distinguishing feature of Mary Gregory glass is the stylised white enamel painting usually of a child in an outdoor setting, playing with such things as butterfly nets, bubbles, fishing rods, or hoops. The trees and foliage often have a typical "feathered" style, the figure is oddly old-fashioned in its proportions, and the enamel is fired onto the glass.

This kind of decoration developed from the "painted cameo" glass produced in Europe after about 1870 which itself was developed to compete with the very popular carved cameo from England. Some very beautiful classical scenes in white enamel on Victorian glass are sometimes called "Mary Gregory" glass as the alternative "painted cameo" is not a popular name.

Old Mary Gregory glass is often in the characteristic Victorian colours of cranberry, or bottle green (like the two examples on the left) or clear. The quality of the painting is often higher than modern versions, with "double fired" highlights on key features and around the edges of the clothing. The quality of the glass may be thinner and poorer than some of today's Mary Gregory glass, and it is almost always mouth blown. There is rarely any colour other than white in the painting, although some post-war Mary Gregory pieces have crude dark lines to emphasise mouth, nose and eyes, and dark hair. There are even Mary Gregory pieces with flesh-coloured faces.

Once you have seen a few pieces of Mary Gregory glass you will recognise it easily. It can be difficult to date (see our list of tips below). The easy part is defining what Mary Gregory glass looks like and how to recognise it. The hard part is saying who made it and where.

For a long time it was believed that Mary Gregory glass was produced by the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, USA, and painted by a decorator called Mary Gregory who was employed by the company in the 1880's. This story began in the 1920's when the name Mary Gregory Glass was first coined. Extensive research has revealed that although there was a decorator of this name working for the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company at that time, Mary Gregory glass was never made by that company.

The "Mary Gregory" designs originated in Europe, probably in Bohemia some time before 1880. Old catalogues of some Bohemian and German glassworks show these designs.

New Mary Gregory glass is still being made in Europe and in the USA and possibly in other glass producing countries.The Westmoreland Glass Company in the USA introduced "Mary Gregory" designs on pressed glass from 1957 until they closed in 1984. The Jeanette Company in the USA has been producing "Mary Gregory" glass since 1982. Their pieces are also pressed glass. Fenton Art Glass Company in the USA has also produced some fine pieces with painted cameo decoration, some of it in Mary Gregory style.

Mary Gregory-style decoration is no guarantee that a piece is old. It can be very difficult to be sure that a piece is old, so we have put together the following list of tips for dating Mary Gregory glass. There are even cases of genuine Victorian glass having a Mary Gregory decoration added later with the aim of increasing it's value, and these are very difficult to detect.

If you are looking for Mary Gregory glass you can usually find items on offer on ebay - click here to see the Mary Gregory glass listings currently offered on ebay.

Tips for deciding if Mary Gregory glass is old or new/post World War 2
- provenance:
a reliable history of who owned the piece and when it was bought, supported by documents
- wear: genuine wear on the base of a piece indicates age (but not scratches that could have been added deliberately)
- colour: certain colours are very typical of Victorian pieces, like the bottle green colour of the barber bottle above left. Cranberry (pink) and turquoise blue and clear glass are also fairly typical colours for old Mary Gregory glass

Glass Encyclopedia

Click here for the full
list of latest topics

or click on any of
the following links:

Advertising glass
Akro Agate glass
Amberina glass
American glass
Apothecary glass
Apsley Pellatt glass
Art Deco glass
Art nouveau glass
Arts and Crafts glass
Baccarat glass
Bagley glass
Barolac glass
Beads (glass)
Bimini glass
Blenko glass
Books on glass
Bottles (glass)
Boyd's Crystal Glass
Brierley Crystal glass
E O Brody glass
Bubble glass
Burtles Tate glass
Caithness glass
Cameo glass
Cameo incrustations
Carnival glass
Cast glass
Chance glass
Charder glass
Cire Perdue glass
Cloud glass
Cobalt blue glass
Consolidated
Contemporary glass
Coralene glass
Coudersport glass
Crackle glass
Cranberry glass
Custard glass
Cut crystal glass
Daum glass
Davidson's glass
Depression glass
Dew drop glass
Dorothy Thorpe glass
Drinking glasses
Dumps
EAPG glassware
End-of-day glass
Etling glass
European glass
Fairy Lights
Federal glass
Fenton glass
Fire-King glass
Flygsfors glass
Fostoria glass
French glass
Fry Glass
Galle Glass
Glass hand vases
Glass-working
Glass Dumps
Gold ruby glass
Goofus Glass
Gray-stan glass
Greeners glass
Hand vases
Hazel Atlas glass
Heisey glass
Historismus glass
Hobnail glass
Hunebelle glass
Imperial glass
Intaglio glass
Irradiated glass
Italian glass
Jack-in-Pulpit glass
Jade glass
James Derbyshire
Jeannette Glass
Joblings glass
Joe Rice glass
John Derbyshire
J Walsh Walsh glass
Kemple glass
King's Lynn glass
Lalique glass
Leerdam glass
Le Verre Francais
L G Wright glass
Libbey glass
Libensky glass
Lobmeyr glass
Loetz or Lotz glass
Lost wax technique
Malachite glass
Manchester glass
Marbles (glass)
Marqueterie de Verre
Mary Gregory glass
Mdina glass
Mercury glass
Milk glass
Molineux Webb glass
Monart glass
Murano glass
Nailsea glass
New Zealand glass
Northwood glass
Opalescent glass
Orient & Flume glass
Orplid glass
Orrefors glass
Pallme-Konig glass
Paperweights
Pate de Verre
Peachblow glass
Pearline glass
Percival Yates & Vickers
Perthshire Paperw'ts
Phoenix glass
Pictures on glass
Pilgrim glass
Pirelli glass
Powell glass
Riverside glass
Reverse paint on glass
Rose bowls
Royal Brierley glass
Sabino glass
Scandinavian glass
Schneider glass
Shoes in glass
Silhouettes on glass
Silvered glass
Silver overlay glass
Slag glass
Sowerby glass
Spatter glass
Stained glass
St Clair glass
Steuben Glass
Stevens & Williams
Strathearn glass
Stretch glass
Sulphides in glass
Sun changed glass
Thomas Webb glass
Tiara glass
Tiffany glass
Toothpick Holders
Tortoiseshell glass
Tudor Crystal glass
Uranium glass
Val St Lambert glass
Vasart glass
Vaseline glass
Venetian glass
Venini glass
Verlys glass
Videos on Glass
Vistosi Glass
Vitro Porcelain Glass
Waterford Crystal
Webb Corbett glass
Webb, Thomas glass
Wedgwood glass
Westmoreland glass
Whitefriars glass
WMF glass
Ysart glass

Useful glass links

Glass Message Board

Glass Museum on Line
- figures: Victorian Mary Gregory figures of children are distinctive and unlike a modern picture of a child. They have large heads and short arms. Modern Mary Gregory glass often has the same style of figures, but if the painting looks modern or realistic, then it is inlikely to be old Mary Gregory glass.
- shape: sometimes the shape of a piece or other design features like the rim suggest a Victorian origin, but these have been copied
- pressed or blown glass: Mary Gregory decoration on pressed glass was introduced in the 1950's; virtually all old Mary Gregory glass is blown glass and has a pontil mark on the bottom
- quality of enamelling: some old Mary Gregory glass had high quality enamelling which is rare on post-war pieces. This included double firing or even multiple firing the enamel so that greater variation in the thickness was acheived. This made it more similar to cameo glass. Double firing was often used on old Mary Gregory glass to apply highlights to key points and to add emphasis to the edges of clothing.
- quality of the glass: modern glass tends to be higher quality, more perfect, than old glass.
- colour in the enamel: there was a source of post-war Mary Gregory which produced enamelling with colour added, either as dark lines for emphasis or flesh colours for faces or dark coloured hair. These features are unlikely to be found on old Mary Gregory glass.

It will be clear that you need to take all of these things into consideration when making your judgement, and even then it is very easy to make a mistake because the old features are copied on contemporary pieces, largely because of the high prices paid for Mary Gregory glass by collectors.


The items below are for sale right now on eBay - we thought you would like to see these examples.




Sources:
1: Mary Gregory Glassware: 1880 - 1990, by Robert and Deborah Truitt, 1998.
2: Popular Collectables: Glass,
by Muriel M. Miller, Guiness Publishing, 1990.
3: Collectible Bohemian Glass: 1880-1940, by Robert and Deborah Truitt, 1995.
4: Westmoreland Glass: 1950-1984 by Lorraine Kovar, Antique Publications, 1991.
5: Warman's Glass 3rd edition, by Ellen T. Schroy, Krause Publications, 1999.
6: Westmoreland Glass : Identification and Value Guide by Charles West Wilson, 1996.


Here are some books which include Mary Gregory glass that you may find helpful. Click on any book cover on this page to read more about a particular book, including price and any available discounts for buying on-line.
Westmoreland glass book Westmoreland glass book Lalique catalogue book




Click here if you would like to receive
the Glass Encyclopedia monthly
GLASS NEWSLETTER




Looking for a book? You can search the whole amazon.com site from here:
 Amazon.com logo
Enter keywords...





If you have never tried an on-line auction,
explore ebay, - still the best!
Type what you are searching for in this box:



OR

FIND GLASS on ebay!
Take a quick look at your kind of glass in Angela's Designer Searches - save time and don't miss an opportunity even when you are busy! - CLICK HERE



INFORMATION about Bagley Glass!
At last a book on Bagley Glass. The first edition of this book sold out very quickly.

The 2nd Edition is now available and has received a rave response - more information, more and better pictures, new items identified as Bagley for the first time, a helpful index, and more compehensive coverage; - so much so that there is no need for a supporting CD, which brings the price lower! A truly comprehensive guide to help you identify Bagley Glass.
Click on picture for more details.
2nd Edition US$33.90 plus pp.


New Zealand Glass book
INFORMATION about New Zealand Glass !
Including many original catalog pictures and dozens of photographs.
NOW available - this is the first paperback edition of the book
and it covers many contemporary New Zealand glass artists as well as
the history of glass in New Zealand, Crown Crystal Glass and New Zealand bottles.

Price US$29.90 plus pp.




Tiara Glass Collectors' INFORMATION


Click on the picture for more details.
This CD includes original catalogs and advertising leaflets.

There are now at least seven full catalogs, five leaflets, and the 1995 Tiara Product Information Manual.





You may often find a bargain on half.com.
Click on this logo to try.



Copyright (c) 1998 - 2008 Angela M. Bowey.
All rights reserved. Copying material from this page for
reproduction in any format is expressly forbidden.
Web site designed by: Angela M. Bowey.
URL to this page:
http://www.glassencyclopedia.com/Marygregoryglass.html