A glass cutter at work, showing the method adopted when cutting glass.

A glass cutter at work, showing the method adopted when cutting glass.

The technique of glass cutting was described by J.M O’Fallon in his article for the Art Journal, entitled “Glass Cutting“,  published in 1885.

Cut,  lead crystal glass was the mainstay of the Stourbridge glass industry. It provided the revenue that enabled decorative art glass to be developed. Although these two streams of production were quite separate a degree of overlap did occur in the form of cut cased crystal. Initially this developed from the tradition of producing Hock glasses with a coloured bowl in a table service of flint glass to producing stand alone cut cased drinking glasses.

With the development of different colours in glass, by people like Frederick Carder at Stevens & Williams, coloured cased glass became more popular and its use spread into articles like toilet bottles and decanters, that were customarily cut crystal. The development of Rock Crystal also embraced the use of cased coloured glass which nurtured the taste for coloured cut crystal.

The possibilities achieved by combining different colours was soon appreciated, with the effects being exploited by cutting and with rock crystal. By the time intaglio cutting came along the use of multi-coloured cased blanks was the norm and became a specialty in which Stevens & Williams excelled.


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