Glass in the 19th Century 1 2 3
At its best, nineteenth-century glass is both technically and artistically brilliant. Marked by innovations which followed one another in quick succession, the glass-makers produced an enormous diversity og colours and ornamental effects during the course of the century. Improved communications led to increased exchanges of artistic ideas which resulted in greater variety and decoration and style than ever before.
Meanwhile Venice, under the leadership of Antonio Salviati, was rediscovering something of its former glory, and enamelling enjoyed a revival as a result of renewed interst in ancient Islamic glass. Stained glass also became popular again, with the revival Gothic styles in art and architecture and the whole medieval cult to which the Pre-Raphaelites lent their talents, but on the whole the output was medicre as there were too few craftsmen capable of making more than second-rate copies of early work. From the 1870s onwards, however, standards improved as better-quality glass was made in richer colours. The nineteenth century also marked the beginning of mass produced glass, made by press-moulding. Pressed glass was an American invention of the 1820's, and America was to play an increasingly important role in events as the century progressed.
Cut glass was the dominant style of glassware made in England and Ireland during the first half of the nineteenth century, and the style also had a tremendous impact on the Continent, particularly in France. Although factories at St-Louis and Le Creusor had been producing cut crystal in the English manner since the 1780s
Glass Information from The History of Glass by Dan Klein and Ward LLoyd