Antique Green Glassware

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Antique Green Glassware

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German Krautstrunk green glass cup with prunts

Polished opaque antique green glass with swirling colors to simulate agate, c1830

20th century Green Glass Collectible Bubble Pitcher

Collectors abound in their search for pieces of antique green glassware. Green is a classic color that is easily incorporated into most any decor and appeals to many collectors. Collections of antique green glass range from the beautifully enameled early pieces of German and Bohemian glasswares to the more spectacular pieces of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Bohemian glassware refers to the area east of Bavaria, but this label is often used to describe antique green glassware from the Germanic regions as well. Surprisingly, many pieces of early green glassware have survived and can be found for a relatively small price.

The extensive forests of Bavaria, the Alps and Fichtel mountains were home to many green glassware producers because of the extensive iron and potash in the area, and was made in these areas until the late seventeenth century. The majority of early green glassware created here was primarily functional items, such as glass beakers, ink pots, alchemist and apothecary jars. 

The characteristic pale green Waldglas or 'forest glass' was made in these woodland regions. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries many pieces of glassware were decorated with prunts, small blobs of glass fused to the glass body, which appeared in a variety of stamped, spiked, or curled shapes. These prunts provided decoration as well as a firm grip. Most of the early antique green glass pieces are small in size with larger glassware pieces not produced until the sixteenth century. 

Germans produced a distinctive style of glassware known as Romer or Roemer glass. This glass with a green stem used to serve Rhine wine was popular from the late seventeenth century to about 1825. The Romer generally has a swelling bowl with incurving at the rim, a wide, hollow cylindrical stem with applied prunts and spun glass foot. 

The enameling techniques on German green glassware were adapted from the French techniques to suit the German taste. Designs included coats of arms, religious allegories, and hunting scenes.

German Krautstrunk (or cabbage stalk) is a type of antique green glassware that is barrel-shaped with a low foot and prunts, and always in a particular shade of green glass due to the naturally occurring materials of the region.

Many contemporary American pieces of green glassware are highly collectible, especially from the Depression Era glass producers. Some of the well known glassware producers from the early 1920's to late 1950's include Hocking Glass Company, Fenton Glass Company, Jeanette Glass Company, McKee Glass Company, Imperial Glass Company, and Federal Glass Company. Collectors of American green glassware of the 20th century are particularly fond of wares from these companies. 

And the ever popular Jadite, known for its beauty and intensely green color, is collected by many today. However, due to the high demand for jadite, antique collectors should beware of the many reproductions, fakes and fantasy items that exist across the markets. As with any area of antique collecting, it is always advisable that much research be done in order to recognize quality and authenticity of the pieces of antique green glassware before purchasing.

In the second half of the nineteenth century marks on glassware became more widely used, but in general, very little green glass of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is marked, and many of the factories are unknown. Experienced dealers or collectors will most likely only be able to surmise the area of manufacture.






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