How To Identify Vintage Cut Crystal

Cut crystals, aside from being expensive, are considered as the favorite heirloom to pass down from generation to generation. It has been that way for a long long while. Many who have manufactured clear cut crystals over the years have created wondrous designs that captured the hearts of many. These vintage cut crystals can be found in several forms. For example, these can be in the form of glasses for wine and water, and some are decanters and bowls. Still, others are made into plates and many other items.

The cut crystals in the form of glasses peaked during the late 19th century to the early 1900s. For this reason, this time was called the “Brilliant” period. That time, the glass was very detailed. It has intricate geometric patterns and designs. These were perfect wedding gifts during that time. Aside from clear cut glass crystals as perfect wedding gifts, these define your status--at least that was the case during the American Brilliant period. Those who are in the higher or upper class in society have cut crystals that have intricate designs, and you could probably say that their crystals show the extent of the wealth of the person.

Known glass companies either make or design cut glass crystals. Some of the famous manufacturers of cut glass are Dorflinger Glass Company, Hawkes, Strauss, and J. Hoare and Company. Each of them have their signature patent patterns. These patterns were made from motifs which were part of a series like strawberry diamond. The patterns that are rarest and most expensive are the Aztec patterns, Panel and Trellis.

Cut crystal or glass is very fragile so you should always handle these things with care. It is also sensitive to heat, so it’s best to secure the place too. But, before you worry about the proper handling of the glass, you must first make sure that it is authentic. Usually, the best way to test the glass’ authenticity is through the black light test.

Here are the steps on how to identify whether the cut crystal is vintage or not:

  • First thing to do is to look a the manufacturer’s signature, more like a patent that will help identify the crystal’s authenticity. Usually, this is acid-etched. This can be usually found on the bottom of the piece. However, there are also vintage cut crystals with marks that aren’t too recognizable anymore because of its age. Meaning, those very old items have some patterns that cannot be traced back to a manufacturer.
  • Second, you have to examine the pattern. Cut crystals have intricate patterns, more like geometric designs and prisms that were cut into glass. These patterns define the time the crystal was created. For example, the elegant patterns that are very distinct are made during the Victorian period.
  • Third, try to flick the tip of your finger against the crystal. The sound that should be produced should be somewhat like an echoing musical tone which was achieved through vibration.
  • If you have a microscope with you, try looking at the glass under the microscope. A fine cut crystal glass has a fairly coarse and uneven surface.

Vintage cut crystals have been one of the most common collectibles. These are also pretty expensive. But, these crystals are very elegant to look at. Aside from that, the history that dates back even during the Victorian era makes it even more captivating because it isn’t just ordinary cut glass--it’s vintage and has witnessed many things that shaped the world today. So, if history and elegance suit you, you could try collecting vintage cut crystals yourself.


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