Vintage Glass Keywords

Whether you are looking to buy, sell, or just identify a piece of glass inherited from grandma, sometimes it can be a challenge. If you do not have much experience with glass, the first place to begin is knowing different terms that can help you.

Remember, if you are using the net to identify a piece, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Once you think you have the maker, Google it and see if you can find your piece listed.  In other words, don't assume everything you find to be correct.

Let's begin with some basic terms that can help you in your search...

An iridescent finish applied to the surface of colored pressed glass

a bowl of glass, porcelain, or metal usually with a base and stem from which compotes, fruits, nuts, or sweets are served

porcelain compote amber compote

Raised pattern associated with pressed glass

vintage embossed pink glass vintage embossed floral blue glass

Can refer to an item with individual 'feet' or a pedestal

Footed glass bowl footed pedestal bowl

A frosted white finish is achieved by sandblasting or chemically etching the surface of the glass. Although originally the term did not refer to colors, many people today also refer to it as being frosted.  Used loosely but when searching, don't overlook it.

Lalique frosted glass Orange frosted drinkware

When blown glass is still hot it can be pulled and results in what looks like a handkerchief.  

Handkerchief bowl vintage handkerchief bowl

Conical bumps in a tight organized pattern

White milk glass hobnail aqua hobnail salt and pepper

Refers to white glass

milk glass seasoning bottles milk glass pitcher

Blown glass is in a patterned variation of thickness to create a pattern.  The differences in thickness can be felt.  The surface of the glass feels flat but by placing a finger on both sides of the glass you can feel the variations in thickness.

green quilted optic glass amber swirled ribbed compote

Flat panels of glass which often make a hexagon or octagon shape but can also be used to make a multi panel item. These can stretch vertically either in part or total height.

milk glass panel glass pitcher

This can be used to describe some optic glass but it refers to any piece whose lines create a vertical or horizontal ribbing effect

Ribbed Glass wide ribbed glass cake plate

Convex rounded projections around the edge of an item

scalloped white milk glass plate blue scalloped compote

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Daye is an avid collector and researcher of all things vintage.

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