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Cut Crystal Glass from
The Glass Encyclopedia

A short explanation of Cut Crystal Glass:

The process of cutting glass involves pressing the completed glass object against a large rotating wheel usually made of iron or stone. The wheel cuts grooves into the glass, which have straight sharp angles, and the effect is to greatly increase the sparkle of the glass, by adding more light-reflecting surfaces.

The best effect is obtained by using glass with a high lead oxide content, usually called "crystal glass" or "lead crystal glass". This kind of glass has a very high brilliance, and shows the cutting to greatest effect. It was "invented" by George Ravenscroft in England around 1676 and independently by the St-Louis Glass Factory in France around 1781, although the use of lead oxide to enhance the brilliance of glass had been known in Mesopotamia in ancient times.

From the mid-eighteenth century for about a hundred years, cut crystal glass was the predominent form of decorated glass in England and Ireland, and was also produced in large quantities on the European continent, particularly in France. In the USA the 19th century "Brilliant Period" lasted through the second half of the 19th century.

The popularity of cut crystal glass has never really died, and today there are major glassworks specialising in high-quality hand-cut crystal, such as Baccarat in France, Waterford in Ireland, and Webb Corbett in England.



Here are some books on cut and crystal glass that you may find helpful. Click on any book cover or title to read more about a particular book. We have included recent books as well as favourite classics. Good hunting.


American cut and engraved glass 2000 Engraved glass: International artists American Brilt cut glass 2009 Seneca glass Steuben glass book Steuben glass book 2003 Candlewick Crystal 2012 Millersburg Crystal 2001 Handbook cut glass book cut glass book Cut Glass of Tuthill Reflections on Brilliant Cut Glass Cut glass book Brilliant Cut Glass Crystal stemware book Baccarat book Baccarat book English & Irish Cut Glass 1955




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