News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - Blown glass orbs coated on the inside with a mysterious silvering liquid first appeared in the late 17th century, but mercury glass as we know it was first made around 1840. Appearing almost simultaneously in Bohemia, England and the U.S., it created an instant sensation.
Author Diane Lytwyn writes,"Created in a wide variety of shapes and styles, silvered mercury glass was crafted into beakers, compotes, curtain tie-backs, figures, gazing globes, goblets, pitchers, salts, tableware and vases. Many pieces were subject to an astonishing variety of decorating techniques, including hand painting, acid-vapor matting, enameling, etching, engraving, overlay casing cut to silver and even the application of glass “jewels.” Mercury glass can be colorful and elegant or simple and austere, depending on the maker, and collectors may focus on a particular shape or decorative style.
"For most collectors, mercury glass made in Bohemia is most often found since great quantities were produced there from about 1840 to at least 1920. Silvered glass was made in the United States for about 30 years, from approximately1851 to around 1880. The production of English silvered glass, however, lasted only about six years, from 1849 to 1855, and examples are difficult to find. Edward Varnish and Fredrick Hale Thomson of England were granted a joint patent for silvering glass, issued in 1849. These signed pieces are extremely rare, and therefore, highly sought after."
Read a sensational article about this mysterious glass on Southeastern Antiquing Magazine’s website at www.go-star.com/antiquing.