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Beginning with Glass Ingredients and Clear Glass
Rare Steuben Clear Glass Candlesticks, 10 1/2" tall, sold for $2,040 at Morphy Auctions in October, 2011
- Morphy Auctions
Glass was made, whether pressed
or mouth blown
, with three primary ingredients: sand, soda (also referred to as potash), and lime. Uncolored glass is made similarly to colored glass. Metallic oxides such as lead are added to remove impurities yielding clear glass, according to The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum
in Winter Park, Florida.
When clear glass is referred to as “lead crystal,” this indicates that lead oxide was added to the glass during manufacture to improve the quality. Glass made in the early 1800s had flint added to it to improve clarity and durability. The term "flint glass" continues to be used to describe antique glass of good quality made through the early 1900s, even though lead replaced flint as a clarifying additive in the mid-1800s.
Continue to page 2 to learn about BLUE glass.