Glass items are among the most popular buys from GB Antiques. It’s hard to believe that a mixture of such mundane elements as sand, soda ash or limestone, could produce the delicate, fragile compound which is glass. The secret of this blend was discovered very early in our history - Glass vessels dating from as early as 1500BC have been found by archaeologists.
Because of its delicacy and the skills involved in making wares, early glass was used for luxury or funerary items like tear glasse, which supposedly held the teardrops of mourners.
By the 4th century BC, glass was more widely used for domestic purposes and the glass makers of Europe were following legions of Romans across the continent making storage containers and bottles.
Originally all glass was blown – a skilled craft still practiced in some parts of the country today. Blown glass can be identified by irregularities like bubbles or swirls in the glass. They are also unlikely to be perfectly shaped. Glass blowers were deservedly proud of their abilities, but did not always feel that making glasses and bowls was an adequate demonstration of their workmanship. As a result, they made “friggars”.
Friggars were made by glass blowers at the end of the working day or at weekends to showcase their special talents. They are often unusual items and so are of great interest to collectors. Their purpose is generally ornamental. They were not intended for practical use!
At the centre we have many wonderful pieces of pressed glass, blown glass, crystal glass and coloured glass including Marigold, Cranberry and Carnival glass wares.