Carnival Glass: Beautiful And Valuable

By: Menachem Green


Introduced as Iridescent Ware in 1907, carnival glass acquired that name unofficially from collectors in the 1950s. This marvelous glassware acquired its nickname from the metallic layer on its outside, which constantly changed colors. Iridescent Ware was made in ornately patterned molds, and was sprayed with a mixture of metallic salts before it had started to cool, which allowed for the color-changing effects that gave the glass its fame.
Made as both functional and ornamental objects and found in a wide array of colors, carnival glass is an inexpensive pressed glass, often called dope glass by glass factory workers because of the process of applying the iridescent coloring, which is known as doping. Its production can be traced back to as early as 1907, with many, many different pieces in over 150 distinct patterns. It did not, however, command the expected prices, and was subsequently discounted heavily.
This glass is made in many translucent colors like primarily amethyst, marigold, cobalt, green, and red. It is also made in opaque white, which is referred to as milk glass. Before the hazards of radiation were well known, the glass was also made in semi-transparent or translucent pale green and was named as Vaseline or uranium glass. Vaseline glass and uranium glass contain traces of uranium salts in the glass which can make a faint green glass glow in reaction to UV light.
Millersburg glass Company is one of the largest producers of this kind of glass. Crystals were the first glass products of the company. But they decided to go for iridescent glassware to ride the wave of enthusiasm. So, during the early 1910, the line of Radium Glassware was brought out by Millersburg glass Company.
Carnival glass is highly collectable item. Prices vary widely, with some of the pieces worth very little, while other, rarer items command thousands of dollars. It has become an antique glass collectible and there is a very active market for it.
It is very hard to identify carnival glass. Most of the time, the makers didn't mark their work, others only marked them part of the time. To figure out who made the glass one has to match, patterns, colors, sheen, edges, thickness and some other factures from old trade catalogs, examples of prior work or a reference material. Many manufacturers made dlose copies of rivals popular works to. So even for an experienced expert this is a hard task.

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Carnival glass or Iridescent Ware was introduced in 1907 and had a metallic sheen from a spray of salts when hot. This inexpensive pressed glass, also known as dope glass is made for functional/ornamental objects. Due to lack of demand price was discounted. Available colors are primarily amethyst/marigold/cobalt/green/red. Vaseline or uranium glass had uranium salts and hence was discontinued.

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