Glass

The appearance of the first man-made glass objects was before 1500 BC, but it is from this date that containers are attested in both Mesopotamia and Egypt. Glass, remains a rare and precious material, with colors already varied and bright but opaque. The flasks, the beads, the inlaying elements or the sculptures are of small dimensions, linked to the toilet, the jewelery, the decoration or the cult. The two main techniques used are molding and modeling on a clay core, which are sometimes followed by cold operations such as abrasion and polishing. The oldest transparent glass objects that have come down to us date from the 5th century BC; Originating in Persia, they are molded then cut and polished.



The blown glass technique that generates mass production originates in the Syro-Palestinian zone. It appeared shortly before the birth of Christ and spread very quickly thanks to the commercial and migratory networks of the Roman Empire. The medieval period, for its part, will always be marked by the genius of flat glass men and the splendor of their stained glass windows.



In the thirteenth century, when the Grand Council of Venice decided, for reasons of safety and control, the installation of glassworks in the Isle of Murano, the Glass Guild was already important and powerful. If they exported from the end of the fourteenth century to London, it was during the fifteenth century and with the Venetian Renaissance that their productions reached a degree of perfection, a variety rarely reached in the history of the decorative arts. The Venetian authorities, while seeking, sometimes by extreme means, to preserve the monopoly of production, can not prevent the diffusion of techniques and the installation throughout Europe of glassware called "Venice style".



In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries France, whose prestige is so important for the arts, furniture, goldsmithery and ceramics, produces some very beautiful utilitarian objects in glass but very few sumptuous and decorated pieces.



In the nineteenth century, when the continent adopted English lead glass, the French colored it and obtained the opal crystals better known as "Opalines", then the "paperweights" that fascinated a century later the writer Colette and seamstress Jeanne Lanvin. Glass was the first industry in the North American colonies and Europe imported a new technological revolution from the United States in 1840. It was pressed-molded glass, which allowed an acceleration of production rates and reduced learning To the handling of a machine.



Composition of the glass:




  • oxides

  • Soda

  • Lime

  • Silica