Previously we described what crackle glass was and how it was produced. To the left we have an amber glass mini pitcher and some people would confuse it with crackle glass. Made by Pilgrim Glass, this mini pitcher is actually considered "overshot glass."
Overshot glass was first produced during the Victorian Era and it is glass that was hand blown, taken out of the oven and rolled in other glass shards, put back in the oven to melt the glass shards and then rolled to smooth out the edges.
If you've been to our vintage cranberry glass page already, you will have already seen a picture of the mini pitcher on the left. This is a vintage Pilgrim Glass Cranberry Pitcher in a swirl pattern. It has an applied clear glass handle and a smooth pontil on the bottom.
The example to the right is Cobalt Blue Crackle Glass Mini Pitcher. Usually the mini pitchers do not have a makers mark, if you are a collector you become familiar with names like Fenton, Blenko or Kanahwa.
The smooth pontil on the bottom tells us a couple of things, first the pitcher was blown, but not freeform. The swirls tell us it was blown into a mold, which makes it easy to mass produce. The smooth pontil tells us the maker took the time to grind it down.
Mini pitchers originally had a functional purpose and weren't really manufactured as a collectible. Normally, you would see these on everyday morning tables holding cream for coffee or milk for cereal or for many other uses. As time went on however, people started collecting them and today we see people with hundreds or thousands of mini pitchers..
Although I find the Empress Glass, above, very beautiful, to me there is nothing more beautiful than amberina glass. I have dedicated a whole page to vintage amberina at OutasiteCollectibles.com/amberinaglass. The trouble with these vintage amberina pitchers is that it is difficult to determine their maker.
Based on knowledge and experience, the one on the left was probably made by Fenton glass. It has a lot of detail and probably was a mold. The colors are bright orange/yellow to red and when in sunlight creates an amazing mosaic on the wall.
The middle crackle glass pitcher was probably made by Kanahwa Glass. Reminds me of a rooster with the red crest on top.
The amberina glass pitcher on the right was probably produced by Blenko Glass and was hand blown. It has a very smooth pontil on the bottom and you can tell it is good quality work from one of the major houses.
Crackle glass is produced when the glass blower molds the piece in the oven, they removed it from the oven and dip it in cold water to cause the cracks, lastly, the place it back in the oven to melt the glass into the cracks.
There were many companies that produced crackle glass and crackle glass pitchers, but in my opinion the companies that did it best were Blenko and Kanawha. This mini-blue pitcher in our collection was made by one of those two companies.
On the left is another example of a crackle glass pitcher, this one is a little taller standing 5" tall. Not that on these the handles are not clear blass and were probably pulled from the same glass the blower was working on.
The price of vintage pitchers can vary widely depending on many things including color, shape, style, company and desirability. Most important, like everything else, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay.
In our case, we paid a little bit more the vintage emerald glass mini pitcher to the right for all of the above. You don't see these too often, the color is magical and it is trimmed in gold leaf.
This beauty was made by the Empress Glass company and for me the name says it all. It stands a majestic 5" tall.
The overshot glass pitcher on the right I believe was made by Blenko, just based on the shape. It is unusual in that the bottom of the pitcher is solid.
Note the deep colors of the overshot glass in both of these examples. One would think that they probably used dark glass shards in order to obtain the rich amber color.
I have seen examples in cranberry glass and the result is a very rich almost purple color. As a vintage collector, I prefer glass with more vibrant color and shiny glean. But I make exceptions when I find other glass as well.
Test time... of the above pitchers which are the more expensive and which is the least. It's a trick questions because as we stated earlier, price is based on many things including color, style and most importantly what the buyer is willing to pay for a piece of vintage glass.
The two pieces on the right, the ruby red pitcher and the moonstone were made by Anchor Hocking Glass and are considered part of Depression Glass. Although a lot of people are familiar with the term Depression Glass, most don't know that the worth is pretty low unless you are dealing with an avid Depression Glass collector.
However, do not let that fool you, there are many avid ruby red glass collectors that would pay a pretty penny for a great little vase like the one above. There are also Moonstone Glass collectors that love their vintage glass pitchers. Remember that worth can be determined by any things.
The amber mini pitchers would appeal to Blenko Glass collectors or amber glass collectors but may not appeal to the ruby red glass collector and vice versa.
Recently we purchased a Pitcher and Tumbler set from a local estate sale. Although we have seen these pieces before, we had never seen it in the beautiful lavender color and the price was right so we purchased it. Upon doing some research, we discovered that the pitcher and tumbler were made by the West Virginia Glass Company in the 1950’s.