Cold Decoration Introduction

Cold decoration is decoration on the finished article after it has been annealed and is in its finished form.

Engraving and cutting on glass has been about in a rudimentary form from the earliest glass making days. The skills required were the same as those used by the gem or lapidary carvers. With the invention of a treadle operated lathe, more power was available to cut deeper and to polish the cutting; engraving was able to be done with more precision. With the 17th century Ravenscroft invention of lead crystal it was found that polished cutting was brought to life and reflected light in all shades of the spectrum.

Engraving was much slower to develop in England, but flourished in Bohemia. It was with the influx of Bohemian artisans that the skills in Stourbridge were to develop. However, the top engravers  remained the Bohemians, people like William Fritsche and Frederick Kny.

John Northwood together his brother Joseph and others were responsible for developing the use of acid to decorate glass in the 1860s. Acid was also developed to polish cut and engraved glass; the latter giving rise to Rock Crystal.

With the introduction of steam power a new lathe was developed that enabled engraving with cutters wheels; it was given the name of intaglio cutting, or tag as the cutters called it.

Mastering of all these techniques led to the rebirth of the ancient Roman skills of cameo carving.

Another cold decoration discipline is gilding and enameling. This also flourished after the introduction of French artisans like Jules Barbe and Oscar Pierre Erard.

Each of these specialties will be covered in more detail in the standard membership area.

Roman facet cut

Roman engraved





Cameo Ginger jar. G. Woodall

Dynasty Vase. W. Fritsche

Engraved chalice. W. Muckley c.1851

Engraved Claret

Engraved Claret.

Engraved cased glass.

Rock crystal.
The Fritsche Ewer.

Intaglio and cameo work.



Acid Etched

Cut Stuart Crystal. L.Kny


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