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Author Topic: please can anyone tell me the relevance of etched number on crystal? decanter  (Read 583 times)

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Offline fatlyfurry

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this decanter was given to me by my mum in law, it may be lead crystal but not sure how to tell.the base and stopper are both  etched with this number.looks like maybe a european number one or possibly a seven and a nine . thanks debbie

Offline Sid

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At the factory, the stoppers were hand ground to fit the individual decanters.  Then the decanter and stopper would be separated for packing and shipping in bulk by the dozen or barrels.  They were numbered so the retailer could match them up correctly for final sale.

Offline fatlyfurry

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thanks for that, why didn't i think of that obvious answer.still, you live and learn . does anybody know how i could tell if it is lead crystal ? .and does it mean that it is a good piece as it has been hand finished in regard to the stopper being done by hand.so hard to research articles like this, most i have seen have no markings at all. do you think english or foreign. heres hoping debbie

Offline Jay

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It's very tricky with pictures. Everyone here will say the same: 'I need it in my hands, otherwise I'm blind!'

However...decanters are mostly made with lead in the mixture! It makes the glass clearer, reduces the risk of marks and bubbles, and is prerequisite for any serious cutting or deep engraving. (also takes on a good 'shine' after polishing)

Assuming that the decanter may well be older  than 70 years, you have to think of 'design' in the same  way you would furniture!
Chippendale never made a chair in his life, he just designed them, and his book was used by thousands of small workshops around the country to produce 'Chippendale' furniture. Similarly, glass workers had (have) a library of techniques and styles and often a pile of pattern books to use as reference. Glass  factories often provided 'blanks' to the trade.

This means that an unkown quantity were produced from an unlimited number of design/combinations, and very very little of it is identifiable, or marked.

Square decanters are sometimes part of a 'Tantalus' set (three or four decanters in a lockable  'case').
Dutch 20th Century Factory Glass

Offline Bernard C

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debbie — I've heard those numbers referred to as Tie Numbers, as they tie the stopper to the decanter.   Whether or not it's the correct term, it is self-explanatory, so I use it now all the time.

Bernard C.  8)
Happy New Year to All Glass Makers, Historians, Dealers, and Collectors

Text and Images Copyright 200415 Bernard Cavalot



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