I have a question about identifying glass. How can you tell if a piece is cut or pressed glass and which is worth more?
Thanks for the help.
PS -- Great site by the way!
Many people are confused about the difference between cut and pressed glass!
Cut glass is usually higher quality glass. Held to the light you will see a refraction of light that breaks into a prism color effect. However, there were some pieces of pressed glass that were very high quality and made to imitate cut glass. They may be mistaken for cut glass at first, but close inspection will reveal the difference…
Pressed glass is also sometimes referred to as Pattern glass, as it was a method that could be used to manufacture many pieces in the same style (pattern) in various colors. Pressed glass has the pattern pressed into the glass when it is molded. Pressed or Pattern glass will nearly always show the mold marks, a very thin raised line caused by glass filling the very small gap where the mold parts come together. Most pressed glass were made with three or four part molds, few were two. In other words, if you see two to four - or any - thin raised lines on your piece, it is pressed or pattern glass. Look closely, some pressed glass may have the mold mark disguised by part of the pattern.
Cut glass has the pattern cut after the basic shape has been molded. Cut glass will not show any mold marks, as they are cut away or polished off during the process of cutting the pattern.
Generally, even on the small intricate patterns, cut glass will have very well defined patterns, whereas pressed glass nearly always has a slight blurring on the details.
When you run your fingers over pressed or pattern glass the edges feel rounded. The feel of cut glass is sharper, as the glass was actually cut with a wheel to make the pattern.
As far as value, though cut tends to be slightly higher, there are significant collectors of each. As always, the maker, quality and demand determine the value!
Other Glass Notes:
EAPG is Early American Pattern Glass. EAPG period was about 1850 to 1915. Before that, most glass was not grouped into families with shared design (known as a pattern!). EAPG implies that the item belongs to one family or pattern. You can search for matching patterns online using maryantiques resources and links page
ABC is American Brilliant Cut glass. ABC is usually referred to as ABP, American Brilliant Period was about 1875-80 to 1920.
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