Slag glass is the name for pressed glass tempered with colored or cream streaks in the manner of the caramel-colored cream and sugar dishes pictured above. The term “slag” refers to the fact that the color in the glass derives from the addition of metal waste product when smelting. Slag is an iron additive that produces the vivid colors of the glass.
In the 19th century, glass companies used a variety of different names for slag glass including brown malachite or marble glass. During the late 1800s, many of the premier glass manufacturers in England (Greeners, Davidson’s and Sowerby) produced large quantities of slag glass. The complexity of tones, ability to create contrast, within the context of pressed glass made the slag variety quite desirable.
Slag glass was most commonly found in purple, whereas pieces in hues of green, blue and brown were less common. Modern glass makers incorporate a brighter arrangement of colors including oranges, pinks and reds.
While the origins of slag glass reside in Great Britain, the production of slag in the United States erupted during the mid-1900s. Famous American glass makers such as Imperial Glass and Westmoreland specialized in slag glass creation. Slag glass is still made today by companies like Summit, and Boyd.
Slag Glass is a beautiful piece that can add a unique flare to any dining room or kitchen. The PAST Antiques Marketplace carries large varieties of glassware including slag glass. To see our full selection, stop by The PAST Antiques on Route 85 in Montville!
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