Lead crystal is a kind of glass that is made with lead instead of calcium or lime, which is used to make most common drinking glasses. The advantage of leaded glass is that it refracts light more brilliantly because lead changes the molecular structure of the material itself. Leaded glass also stays malleable for longer periods of time when heated, making it easier for artisans to work with.
Most modern glassware that’s manufactured for drinking purposes does not contain any lead, and some of it can have a beautiful, high-end appearance through the use of production techniques that don’t involve lead at all. The term “crystal” in the context of glassware usually refers to antique glass items that contain at least 24% lead. These items would have been used for presenting liquor on special occasions. However, glass is not technically a crystal.
In a scientific sense, the word “crystal” refers to the molecular structure of a material. Some examples of solids that have a microscopic “crystal lattice” structure include diamonds, salt, and ice. Glass is considered a “non-crystalline amorphous solid,” meaning that the structure of its molecules differs from that of a true crystal. Therefore, the material we think of as fine crystal isn’t really crystal at all.
So, although it’s a little bit confusing, crystal simply became the common nomenclature for leaded glass, but not all high end glassware is technically crystal.
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A delightful set of hunting scene hand etched mid 20th century glasses. Two with images of geese in flight and 3 with deer, one with a roaring stag in the rut , one with a leaping hind and one with a standing hind. Five available all in perfect condition. 14.5cm tall.£35.00
A wonderful pair of small crystal jugs with starburst bases, criss cross sides, smooth tapered necks, sturdy smooth handles and topped with diamond prism stoppers. Perfect vessel for a gentlemens bar to adminster bitters, lime juice or cordials or perhaps to hold your favourite bath oil or of course for oil and vinegar in the£24.00
An exquisite set of 6 crystal Brierly tumblers. Royal Brierley is a crystal glass manufacturer, based in Brierley Hill, Dudley, West Midlands. It is one of the oldest crystal glass manufacturers in England. Absolutely the perfect size for sharp G and T or a glass of ice cold milk with crunchy biscuit! H10.5cm x W7cm£75.00
Heavy set, sturdy and tall hand cut crystal jug, with high lead content. Lead oxide added to the molten glass gives lead crystal a much higher index of refraction than normal glass, and consequently much greater “sparkle” by increasing specular reflection and the range of angles of total internal reflection.. Perfect for a warming ginger based cocktail,£45.00
Beautiful example of a hand blown and cut glass jug. Wide and stable with a starburst base, pineapple design on sides with delicate finger etching on neck and small fluted markings on the side of rim. Perfect for homemade lemonade or ice cold water. Excellent condition throughout no chips and slight scuffing to the rim£40.00
An outstanding pair of vintage decanters with matching stoppers, exquisite design, excellent condition for age with no chips and light scuffing to base. The stoppers are most unusual finely cut with a hollow centre and the star burst design refracting through the side cut panels is mesmerising. H29cm x W12cm£98.00
Handsome hand blown vintage smoked glass jug with a strong handle reminiscing of sturdy glassware used in taverns on the continent in early 20th century. Naturally occurring blemish made up of the minerals used to achieve the smoked glass can be seen. H 22cm 14cm£48.00
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