Bohemian Ruby to Clear Bedside Water Pitcher

This example is new decorative Bohemian-type glass similar to antique glass generally described as 'ruby cut to clear.' Its coloring and cut surface pattern makes it seem like it could be an older bedside tumbler/water carafe set. Decorative glass sets were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But the similarity to older glassware is only an illusion achieved by design. This glass set is brand new. At the time of this writing in 2009 it was still available for purchase from the reproduction wholesale source that imports it.

Present-day Bohemian manufacturers of this and other similar types of 'antique-look' glassware make no attempt to pass off as 'old' the new items they make today in their modern factories. It can be helpful to know, however, that each new generation of skilled workers receive training in old glass-making techniques, as well as modern, and that the same designs made a hundred or more years ago can still be made today. Unfortunately, most modern Bohemian color stained glass newly made today with engraved or cut designs exits the factory bearing only a removable foil or paper label. Once these pieces reach the secondary market this removable label that helps to easily identify them as modern is often removed. This means new glass can then be confused with (or overtly misrepresented by the seller, who knows better) as 19th century glass to inflate value.

Because of the fact that any type of glass made in the modern era can at first glance seem to have the characteristics of antique glass, when an item is being represented to be old it is always wise to look for features which older glass can logically be expected bear.

Look for patterns of wear in areas where silverware would logically have rested, fingers rubbed, or where two separate sections might be expected to have met each other repetitively over the years, like the interiors of decanter necks with stoppers, lids and their bases. Check underneath on foot rims and bottoms, too. Wear should be random, not uniform in nature. Uniform scratches to mimic wear can be added artificially and may indicate an attempt to 'age' the piece. Sandpaper or an emery board may have been used to produce them. If all wear seems to go only in one direction, rather than being haphazard, this is a very good sign that what you are seeing may be an imitation of age marks.

If you don't already know what true surface wear should look like, a good way to learn is to use a magnifying glass or loupe to examine likely areas on family items you own that you know are of a certain age, beyond any doubt. Then examine the same areas on a similar piece of glass that you know to be brand new. Using familiar items to make comparisons like this can help you to train your eye to more surely identify the wear on glass that can come with age.

When joined this set measures 8 1/2 inches high with a 4 1/2 inch diameter.

Item ID: 2007RP000148

Modern Reproductions, Fakes and Fantasies


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