Glass in the 18th Century 1 2 3
The rapid social and political changes taking place throughout Europe during the eighteenth century led to increasing affluence, which generated a demand for luxury products including fine tablewarte and ornamented glass on a prodigious scale. During the first three quarters of the century, dozens of different glass styles were produced by the 350 or so glasshoused in the eleven main glass-producing countries. An interplay of artistic, technical, social, political and economic influences generated this abundance of output and wealth of style, and most of the glass that was produced was of high artistc and technical merit. A wide variety of attractive pieces has survived from all the major glass-making centres. The huge demand for quality glass led to greater competition between different manufacturers, which was to result in the final eclipse of the soda-based, pre-Renaissance forest glass and Vewnetian cristallo, developed in the fifteenth century. In there place came Ravenscroft's 'glass of lead', perfected in the last three decades if the seventeenth century, and potash-lime glass, which had been developed throughout the previous century in Germany and Bohemia. These new metals caused tremendous changes in the actual forms of the glass produced. Other influences were also at work, which were to mould amd temper the art of glass-making.
Glass Information from The History of Glass by Dan Klein and Ward LLoyd