History

The twentieth century saw a dramatic change in the availability and abundance of glass objects. In the 18th century, and to a lesser extent the 19th century, beautiful glass was only available to the rich. The advent of mass production techniques in the early part of the 20th century resulted in even the humblest home being able to use glass vessels for everyday use. To differentiate themselves the manufacturers turned towards the designers, relying on their visions to differentiate their own products from those of their competitors. Towards the end of the century, as more and more manufacturing was moved offfshore, traditional European and American manufacturers became at risk and remain so unless innovation in design can triumph.

The century also saw a massive improvement in communications technologies so that by the end of the century an innovation in one country could be seen across the world the same day. The rate and speed of innovation therefore accelerated as the century moved on and no previous century saw as much change as in the last. The designs of glass followed the general design trends of Art Noveau, Art Deco, Arts and Crafts, Modernism etc. and it is estimated that several thousand glass designers produced hundreds of thousands of designs that were made by over a thousand glass manufacturers worldwide.

Not all these manufacturers produced iconic designs of course. Most glass produced was utilitarian. However, a number of true artists applied their art to the medium of glass, and in combination with the skilled craftspeople who produced their designs, they produced works at which we marvel. There are the famous designers of course; Galle, Lalique, the Daum brothers, Loetz, Powell etc. but there are also a number of others who made collectible glass that is within a price range affordable to most.

In this section of this web site we attempt to give you an overview of the history of the glass forms and designers featured in our catalogues. We also try to give you details of reference books and specialist web sites where you might further your knowledge of a particular designer or gendre.

If you think that we can improve our service in this area then please let us know.

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