Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How To Identify Vintage Milk Glass

By Michelle of Evie's Tool Emporium

The Etsy Supply Street Team - ESST - is very lucky to have a very diversified group of sellers. Each seller brings a level of expertise to our team with their unique business backgrounds. I'm excited to share with you today the expertise of Amanda, of 32NorthSupplies. Her shop is filled with amazing Dresden trims from Germany, fancy fabric trims and other delightful finds. Today Amanda is sharing with us how to identify vintage milk glass. So many people love and collect milk glass and either dabble in or are full on collectors of vintage, she thought it might be interesting to tell a bit about identifying vintage milk glass.

Identifying Vintage Milk Glass:
First produced in Venice, Italy in the 16th century, milk glass is made white by adding an opacifier - either tin dioxide or bone ash. In the United States, one of the premier manufacturers was the Westmoreland Specialty Company, founded in Pennsylvania by two brothers in 1889. Their focus was pressed glass and, in 1921, the name changed to Westmoreland Glass Company.
Milk glass of many colors was mass produced beginning in the 1940s. Pieces from the Victorian era are lighter and more finely detailed. The best way to tell the difference between an earlier piece and a mid 20th century piece is to hold the piece up to the sun. An older piece will glow pinkish at the edges and a new piece will show blue. I've tried to show you the pink glow in the photo below, but seeing it for yourself in real life is most illustrative. Once you compare two pieces, you'll be able to spot the difference easily.
Thank you Amanda for sharing your expertise with us!


Christine Burgess said...

Thanks for the information on milk glass. I love vintage dishes and enjoy learning about how to tell the new from the old.