Historical Reproduction Glass
It is very common for us to receive a phone call or an email requesting wavy or restoration glass quotes. These requests are impossible to answer without further details as we stock seven types of reproduction glass. Photos may help, but unfortunately, it is very difficult to get take a photo that does not over- or under-exaggerate the level of distortion. Many times, we engage in discussion with you before we will offer a quote. This is especially true if we are matching a pane that has been broken. Should the wrong type of glass be selected and it does not match, then it does not matter how beautiful the glass is or how historically accurate it is.
When trying to match wavy type glass in your home it is important to understand a few things.
- Glass making is a skill and glass makers had a variety of skill, conditions, and material available to them. So while there are age-related characteristics and some basic methods, the finished product that you have may fluctuate quite a bit from another pane of glass from the same era.
- While age is a great starting point for determining the era of your glass, it is not always accurate. We live in a very fast-paced world today and turnaround is almost immediate. That was not necessarily so in the past. You may have a house built in 1925 but a local glass maker may have been slow to update his methods. In addition, the local supply house had a lot of old glass in inventory. You may have glass that predates an era. You may also have glass newer than the age of the house that was replaced for one reason or another.
Let’s get started by sharing three terms of importance.
Mouth-blown Wavy Glass
This is glass generally with truly discernible lines. These lines may be curled or straight. This glass is still manufactured today using the old-fashioned method of swinging cylinder glass. Because of this, the largest piece we have is approximately 37” X 37”.
Distorted Machine Glass
Most people call this glass wavy as well, but we call it “distorted” to differentiate it from mouth-blown glass. Distorted glass does not have a lot, if any, true division lines and only very infrequently will you find an air bubble. This glass does have a very nice “distortion” to it. Manufactured using the Fourcault Process from the early 1900s, this very popular glass was used in buildings and furniture up until the 1950s.
Reamy is a term used to describe an uneven surface on a pane of glass. Historic glass may be reamy on both sides or just one.
Types of Mouthblown Reproduction Glass
This glass is manufactured today using historic cylinder glass methods in Eastern Europe. Because it is a handmade product, the largest sheets tend to be 37 inches square. Below are the three versions of mouth-blown glass we sell
This glass is reamy on both sides and has very discernible wavy lines slightly curved. It generally is a good replacement for Crown Glass. This glass covers 1700s to mid 1800s. Bold with its wave and reaminess, this is clearly a statement glass piece.
This glass is moderately reamy with differently sized air bubbles. Made with cylinder glass methods (slightly curved waves), it's a good match for the extremely popular Crown glass of the early and mid 1800’s. Crown glass is considered a step up from cylinder glass and a must have for finer homes. Please note that this is a handmade product and each pane will have differences just like the original glass.
This glass covers mid- to late-1800s until the early 1900s. With some distortion and slight wavy lines this glass only has occasional air bubbles and some slight pitting – very common from this era.This glass is slightly reamy.
Machined Fourcault Glass
Leading the glass movement into the industrial age in Europe was Emile Fourcault who developed a method called the Fourcault process. This machined glass method along with similar methods in America soon took over the glassmaking process. While still having some distortion, these inventions led to major gains in quantity and pane size to supply the burgeoning glass market. This machined glass is still widely seen in older buildings and homes in America. These types of restoration glass can be adapted into present-day applications where double-paned or tempered glass may be needed.
Far and away our most popular glass. This has an irregular surface structure and resembles mouth-blown glass. This is an excellent choice for the general time frame of 1860 through 1920 and can be tempered. A great application for antique clocks and cupboards, as well as its more traditional window glass use.
With more of a flat surface, Restover® (called by some Restover Light) has the slight distortion very common from 1920 into the 1950s. This glass is still in use pretty much everywhere. The look of Restover matches the most common wavy reflections in the glass you see when walking through American and European cities. With its somewhat limited distortion, it is perfect for matching the period era. It is also very well suited to making double pane windows.
A slightly thicker glass at 3/16”, Goetheglass is a tougher glass to describe. It's colorless and drawn with the irregular surface characteristic of 18th and 19th centry glass. To me, this glass serves as a showpiece glass that I describe as “dreamy.” It does not match a specific glass era like the ones above, but rather has combined features of different types of gorgeous European glass.
Architectural Decorative Glass
A machined drawn glass known for it’s beauty, Artista® has a sparkly appearance reminiscent of an old frosted window, yet without any obscurity. It's made from the finest low-iron sheet glass available. The crystal-clear clarity showcases the interior and makes spaces appear larger. The subtle pattern brings life and sparkle to the room. The stunning beauty and clarity make Schott Artista® a fabulous choice for cabinet glass.