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YOUR MONEY: TREASURE HUNTERS: FOCUS ON Cranberry glass; TV's JAMES BREESE on the world of antiques and collectables.

Byline: JAMES BREESE

Instant Expert

THIS hugely popular, quite collectable glassware is famous for its bright ruby glow - the colour of wild cranberries - found bursting out from all manner of glass shapes from vases to scent bottles, paperweights to lamps and goblets to sweet baskets to jugs.

Breese's Basics

THE origins of cranberry (or "Ruby Glass") is unclear. Some credit Italian glassmaker Neri with the discovery in 1612, others claim it was made earlier and rediscovered.

It is created by blowing a thin layer of ruby glass inside a layer of clear glass.

The colour comes from the addition of gold chloride, or even copper oxide to molten glass in the glass manufacturing process.

The golden age of cranberry glass production was from between around 1870 to the 1930s.

How Much ?

SOME of the most rare and expensive items take the shape of beautiful lamps and lighting fixtures. Some of the most collectable glass comes from the Stourbridge area and was made by firms like Stevens & Williams and Webb. One of the most popular US makers was the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. I have seen some of the earlier, ornate and more unusual Continental pieces sell for over pounds 3,000. Lighting is another seller. Late Victorian gas wall lights often had cranberry glass shades. Today, a fine set of four will set you back pounds 1,200+ from a good shop.

The Real Deal

A SINGLE item of well- picked cranberry glass really does brighten up a room. Cranberry is still made today by many companies and can easily be bought online. Bowls and vases are the best-sellers and many can be found for under pounds 40. Better still, why not visit an antique fair and find an original Victorian piece for a little more?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 29, 2005
Words:297
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