In the last quarter of the 19th Century America was experiencing a period of unprecedented prosperity and growth. Despite increased wealth and a steady stream of European craftsmen entering the country in order to provide goods and services, there was still significant bias for goods fabricated across the Atlantic.
This tide changed after the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, where makers of American cut glass showcased elaborate sets of cut glass in every conceivable shape, and with patterns quite different from their European counterparts. Record numbers of attendants arrived in Chicago by rail and were soon convinced that they should join their affluent neighbors in purchasing sets of cut glass from a domestic maker. True cut glass is hand decorated and consequently very expensive. It took time to make, which created great demand.
By the start of the 20th century, pressed glass copies were flooding the market. Several companies were able to adapt and remain pertinent, but by and large the moment had passed. The Brilliant Period was short lived, therefore true cut glass holds an evocative place for collectors.
Brunk Auctions is holding a timed online only sale featuring the Collection of George Siek of Highlands, NC and the Museum of American Cut & Engraved Glass.
Browse the catalog here and bid now! Bidding closes Thursday, September 22, 2016 starting at 1:00 pm ET.