Early glass was about two-thirds


the balance, lime and soda ash


It is said that c5000 BC, the first glass was produced accidentally,

when heat from a fire melted rocks, mixed them with 'sand', and voila :


Early glassmaking, though costly, existed throughout the Eastern and

Mid East cultures, in Africa, Greece - and flourishing in Rome.

With the fall of the Roman Empire, glassmaking, particularly glass-blowing, waned in Europe.

Venice was the exception,

their glassmaking continuing as a major industry,

which they transferred - along with its 'secrets' -

in 1291 to the island of Murano.

In the 1400s Murano developed 'cristallo' (in imitation of rock crystal),

nearly colorless, superb as a 'drinking glass', and prizedthroughout Europe.

Above, a 15th century Venetian 'Cristallo' Wineglass, with a contemporary German Roemer.



In the 1500s, glass began to regain importance

throughout Europe, particularly in Germany.

And in the late 1500s, England hired

Venetian glassblowers

to make glassware, in England,

including small mirrors, window glass

and a few 'drinking glasses'.



Right : "Glass-blowers", from a 15th century

Italian Manuscript, British Library, Sloane Collection


Around 1663, England's glassmaker George Ravenscroft developed

a colorless translucent glass with many properties

desirable for working the 'drinking glass'.

This process was perfected by 1676,

and by 1700, 'lead glass' - particularly as 'drinking glasses'

helped to propel England to the front of the glass industry –

 even superior to Murano.

Below are a few examples of British 'lead glass' from our stock,

( which dates from c1700 to c1820 )

including drinking glasses, accessories and other fineries.

William III / Queen Anne Heavy Baluster Goblet, England, c1700-1710

England, c1700-1710, 7.5" High

An almost identical goblet is illustrated, "Investing in Georgian Glass", (Ward Lloyd, p.38) :

"A good early baluster goblet dating from about 1700.

 The round funnel bowl has a slight extrusion in the base,

the stem is an inverted baluster and the foot is domed and folded."

George I / II Baluster Cordial or Gin Glass

England, c1720-30, 5.5" High

With good grey color, the bell bowl with solid base above a solid stem

headed by a 3-ringed annular knop over a central ball knop and flattened basal knop,

raised on a round and folded foot; these small glasses are "uncommon"

George I Two-Teared Baluster Wine Glass, c1720

England, c1720, 6.5" High

with teared inverted baluster stem, considered the 'most comfortable' to hold in the hand.

Provenance : 'The Harding Collection', Sotheby's London



George II 'Kit-Cat' Type Wineglass, England, c1730, 6-5/8' High

Glasses of this form - with plain stem and central or lower baluster

are often referred to as 'Kit-Cat' glasses,

referring to glasses depicted in Sir Godfrey Kneller's c1721 painting of two members of the 'Kit-Cat Club',

London dining society which began meeting in the 1690s. (See 'Footnotes' for more).


'WHEEL ENGRAVING' on British drinking glasses

 became established in the second quarter of the 18th century.

The 17th century baroque formalism of Continental engraving gave way to a 'decorative naturalism',

depicting almost anything from the English garden, and sometimes referred to as 'flowered glasses'.

Evidence suggests that the early English wheel engraving emanated from London,

spreading to the provinces about 1750.

It is into this 'naturalistic' fashion, c1740-60,

that the floral and insect engraving of 'Jacobite' drinking glasses emerged :

'Jacobite' engraving featuring cryptic 6-petaled roses, daffodils, carnations, tulips and sunflowers,

as well as symbolic moths, birds and bees.

George II 'Jacobite' Drawn Trumpet Wine Glass, England, c1750 Rare George III Large Engraved Jacobite Interest Beaker Glass, England, c1770 George II Engraved Pan-Topped 'Mercury Twist' Wine, England, c1750

George II Engraved Pan-Topped 'Mercury Twist' Wine Glass, England, c1750

each side with a 4- and 6-petalled flowers and fern-like foliage (possibly a Scottish rose)

Rare Large George III 'Jacobite' Interest Engraved Glass Beaker, England, c1765-75,

 with 2 multi-petaled Stuart roses, each issuing two rosebuds, the reverse with three bees in flight

George II 'Jacobite' Drawn Trumpet Wine Glass, England, c1750,

a Stuart Rose sided by an open bud, and a closed bud


Following closely on the heels of the early baluster 'drinking glass' was


Late 17th and early 18th century 'serving bottles' were made from dark heavy mould-blown glass.

A parchment label, attached with string, identified the 'mysterious' contents.

Between 1720 and 1730, a group of carafes were introduced,

known as "cruciform decanters".

They were followed by labels in silver, bearing the names of the contents.

the earliest in a cartouche or 'escutcheon' form.


Byzantine Cruciform Floor Plan,

St. Mark’s Basilica,

Venice, Italy


George II Cruciform Glass Decanter, England, c1730, 9.5" High

Shown with a

Rare George II Silver 'Escutcheon' Bottle Ticket, 'WHITE WINE'

William Cripps, London, 1743-50

(Rounded decanters with fitted stoppers - that we all now know - emerged about 1750).


The dark moulded bottles of the 17th and early 18th century

continued in use well into the 19th century, existing in various shapes and sizes.

Among the most collectible of these colored bottles is the


The English practice of adding 'seals' to glass bottles dates to the 17th century.

In 1622, a law was passed prohibiting the sale of wine by the bottle.

Thus 'gentlemen of wealth', taverns, universities and organizations

would necessarily take their bottles to the merchant to be filled.

The process of adding a seal to a bottle was quite expensive.

It involved attaching a small blob of glass whilst it was warm,

then stamping it with a metal or ceramic die.

Due to these seals, it is possible to track many back to their original owners.

Two Dark Green Glass ‘Sealed’ Cylinder Wine Bottles

England, c1800 & c1820, Both 'Cornwall Interest'

With Seals for 'Trelaske', Lewannick, Cornwall, 10.75" High (left)

and the 'Edgcumbe Family', Cornwall and Devon. 11.5" High (right)


'LIGHTING' : Candlesticks and Tapersticks



Below : Edward Collier, active 1662-1708:

"Trompe-l'œil" of a letter rack,

including a writing quill, and a stick of

vermillion sealing-wax for sealing letters

Rare George I Glass Taperstick

England, c1720, 4.25" High

The heavy walled bowl over a 'tapering baluster' stem,

applied terraced folded foot and rough pontil

A rare and early example, intended for heating sealing wax for letters


Pair of George III Flat Cut Glass Candlesticks, England, c1760-70

England, c1760-70, 10.5" High

Of fine quality, flat-cutting and weight, 52.4 oz (4 lbs. 4.4 oz.)



In the 1500s, Murano had also made, in 'Cristallo', shallow-bowled 'tazzas',

so frequently shown in 16th Netherlandish century paintings.

The British Isles introduced 'glass tazzas,'

or 'footed salvers', c1730, with a flatter rimmed dish.


George III Glass Tazza with Domed Foot and Twist Stem, 12" Wide, Mid 18th Century

George III Small Glass Tazza with Pedestal Stem, 6" Wide, Mid-Late 18th Century

George II Glass Sweetmeat Dish, Twist Stem and Oversewn Foot, c1750

All awaiting the 'Christmas Cherry Pie'!




"Then Mary spoke to Joseph

So meek and so mild :

'Joseph, gather me some cherries,

For I am with child'"


From this ancient earth, its skies, seas and sand

Comes all that we know - even made by man's hand.

It is with awe, on this surface, I stand.


Millicent Creech


Footnotes, Referenced in Order of Appearance :

Top : "Glass Furnace, with Workers", c1580, Georg Agricola (German, 1494–1555).

Carnegie Museum of Glass; Creative Commons

"Glass Blowers" (above), 15th Century Italian Manuscript, British Library Sloane Collection

To British ceramic collectors, Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) is well known for his botanical gardens

in Chelsea, and the prized Chelsea porcelains painted from the many specimens therein.

Sloane also amassed a vast collection of manuscripts, covering a wide range of subject matter: medicine,

chemistry, botany and horticulture, exploration and travel, mathematics and natural history, magic and religion.

This collection was purchased at Sloane's death by the Act of Parliament

which also established the British Museum.

The collection represents one of the three foundation collections of the British Library.

For more and an enlargement of the illumination page, click here

( MS 4016, f. 101v DQ8LFB3XkAAkyF8 ), Public Domain

'Kit-Cat Club' - the  London dining society owned by Christopher Cat :

Cat purportedly gave his name to the mutton pies known as "Kit Cats",

from which the name of the club is possibly derived.

Between 1700 and 1720, member and portraitist Godfrey Kneller painted each of the 42 members,

these portraits now hanging in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Byzantine Cruciform Floor Plan, St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Public Domain

"Trompe L'oiel with Writing Materials", Edward Collier, active 1662-1708 ;"

Trompe-l'œil" is French meaning "deceive the eye".

 It is a painting technique so expertly executed that the objects appear real and three-dimensional.

Creative Commons

"Tacuinum Sanitatis", Manuscript, 14th Century, 'Tart Cherry' (Prunus cerasis) folio 12r.

Unknown author, Wikimedia, Public Domain

 The 'original' version of the "Cherry Tree Carol" dates to the Middle Ages.

It appears in a set of Bible-based "Mystery Plays" knowntoday as the "N-Town Plays",

performed in the English Midlands around 1500.

(Below : "Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas"

(Perito Moreno, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina)

Image : Creative Commons


Inventory Photography : Millicent F. Creech



Part I of 'Transformations From The Earth & Sands'

Ceramics & Glass

please click here or the image below

Part I of 'Transformations From The Earth & Sands', Ceramics



'From The Forests' (Timber) :

Christmas, 2022, Transformations, From The Forests

'From The Mountains' (Silver) :


'From The Human Spirit' (Fine Art) :

'From The Human Spirit' , Fine Art,(Santa Crux _Cueva Manos




901.761.1163 (gallery) or 901.827.4668 (cell)





The Gallery Is Currently Open Friday & Saturday, 12-6.

All Other Days By Appointment, or  Simply By Chance

The Website is Always Open

mfcreech@bellsouth.net or mfordcreech@gmail.com



To receive our periodic email catalogs, please click here




Home     Accessories    Ceramics    Early Asian Ceramics    Fine Art    Furniture   Glassware    Silver



© The concept and inventory images herein are our own productions, or by permission.

They appear here for your information and enjoyment.

We are delighted should you wish to reproduce part or all of our posts.

However, please do apply for permission, & attribute properly.


Christmas, 2022, "Transformations, From The Sands, Glass" ; M. Ford Creech Antiques