Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Interesting Bargain

Despite my myriad collection of antique wine glasses, I have one in particular for everyday use. It's used for wine drinking while cooking, reading, or sampling home made wine as it's bottled up. 
My last one was nothing special. Small, clear, and with a stubby base, it felt good in the hand. I bought it from a local antiques market some years ago for £2, and it was in regular use until it broke in the washing up bowl a couple of days ago.

Amanda suggested that we return to the indoor market for a replacement, if they had one, and so yesterday, in the pouring rain, we headed back to 'Molly's Den'. Situated in a somewhat run down trading estate, and tucked away in a damp and pot holey corner, it's full of treasures.

I couldn't wait to get in and see what they had. Amanda beat me to it though. That's her going through the inner door!

First things first though, beans on toast and a cup of coffee in the small cafe upstairs. A good place to look down on the lower sales area.

After two hours, I didn't find a replacement for my broken glass, but I did find these two beauties tucked away. They were advertised as Victorian, but are in fact Georgian, and only a fiver each! I couldn't believe my luck. They normally sell for around £70 - £80 each. But it isn't necessarily their value that attracted me to them, it was firstly their colour. Georgian glass has a wonderful deep colour, and with techniques in England nowhere near as refined as say the Venetians, the glass is quite thick, and contains striatians and bubbles, which in my mind add to the beauty. 

But why two of them? The answer was on the bases. Although they looked very similar, there's about a ten year gap between their manufacture, and quite a significant gap in English glass making.
It's around this time that the ability to grind glass came about, with the introduction of using diamond grinding for the first time. In the picture below is the pontil mark on the earlier glass from about 1800. It's where the rod was snapped off during production when made and blown by hand. This one had just been polished smooth, which is very common.

The later one from about 1810 has the pontil mark ground out. I like them both as individual glasses, and as a statement pair. Not sure where they are going to go though, as the house is getting a little full now.


  1. What a find! I love the color and shape of the glasses.

    Have a nice week ~ FlowerLady

    1. Hi Lorraine,
      They are a lovely deep green aren't they. The shape is quite unique as well.

  2. I don't know a lot about antique wine glasses, but I like these! Have a great day, Gary!

  3. I was chuffed to get such beauties. Thanks, right back at you.

  4. Knowing the details of how they are made so that you can tell when the technique changed is amazing. You know your stuff. They're great glasses. Enjoy!

    1. Good morning Sherlock,
      Glass is quite difficult to date sometime. One has to take into account several factors, and it's still possible to get it wrong if not careful.