During MARKET WARRIORS' antiquing adventure in, our pickers are tasked with finding a piece of unique art glass that will sparkle at auction.
From bottles to light bulbs, to windows and windshields — though we might not always notice, we're surrounded by glass. So, how does something we're so used to overlooking, or at least looking through, ever become recognized as art in its own right?
There's no clear-cut definition of the term "art glass" and the meaning has evolved over time. But, in the broadest sense, glass becomes "art glass" simply when it is made to be noticed.
Art glass began taking shape in the mid-nineteenth century, as glassblowers started to experiment with new materials, colors, patterns and textures solely for aesthetic purposes. This glass wasn't crafted to fulfill a functional destiny. Instead it was to be appreciated in its own right for its craftsmanship and decorative excellence. These vases, bottles, inkwells and lamps were made to be seen and not just seen through. Some of the most recognizable brands of art glass, such as Tiffany, Steuben, Galle, and Webb, began in this time period and this new way of looking at glass.
So, how can you recognize a piece of art glass today? Consider how you see the piece. Would you display that glass vase prominently in your home, even if it weren't filled with a beautiful bouquet? Do you think that lamp would light up your living room, even if it weren't turned on? Can you imagine that glass perfume bottle filling your bathroom with an air of elegance even if it doesn't contain any fragrance? If the answer to those questions is yes, then you're arguably looking at a piece of art glass that would add sparkle to any home or art glass collection. However, if the answer is no, you'll probably want to let whatever is on the other side of that glass piece shine through.
Written by MARKET WARRIORS production coordinator Margaret Aery.