Learning how to identify antique glassware from reproduction takes some time but it can keep you from making costly mistakes. Since many vintage patterns have been reissued it is easy for even the most experienced collector to mistake new for old.
Don’t let that stop you from picking up beautiful antique glassware! There are several ways that you can reduce the possibility of making a mistake. A good identification and price guide to antique glassware is probably the single best investment that you can make. Get a current guide so that the values will be up to date and it is helpful to choose one that will fit in your pocket or purse. When you are in an antique store or at a garage sale you can just whip out the identification guide and read up on the piece right then.
The price guide should tell you if the particular piece was reproduced at a later date. Generally companies would create the new pieces a little differently than the old ones they might be smaller or a different color or some other barely noticeable change. Your price guide should have information about the newer pieces and how each can be identified. Antique and vintage glass will have signs of use. While you certainly don’t want chips and cracks, if you look carefully at old glassware you will notice that the edges are softer and more rounded from years of wear. New pieces have sharp crisp edges. The exception is cut glass, which is just the opposite. Antique cut glass will have sharp, crisp edges while the newer cut glass is more roughly made.
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