crystal decanter 

Hand Blown Decanter

If you happen to come across a hand blown decanter, you'll most probably become enchanted by it, just the way I became enchanted by what I saw at one of my friends' house. And especially if the decanter is a hand blown antique decanter, then you have also a very rare piece of crystal or glass that you should cherish above all - especially if you are a collector of antique glass pieces.

The hand blowing glass process is said to date back in the 1st century BC and it was apparently started by the Romans. They basically blew a molten substance into various shaped molds which then were turned into vessels. A few hundred years after, the Babylonians developed a more modern version of glass blowing, using a metal tube that would blow that molten liquid that is used in glass making.

The next step happened around the 1820s when the pre-molding machine has been invented. With this more modern technology, the molten substances would be automatically pressed into mold. Of course this removed the step of blowing the glass by hand and with the new technology that enabled the pieces to be created much faster, a lot of new glass tableware has been created.

This includes of course decanters, plates, blows, pitchers and glasses. Pressed glass is a technology that pretty much replaced hand glass blowing, however various artisans still use the long lost craft.

If you have a hand blown decanter and you're not sure how old it is, there are various ways to determine it sage. For example you should check the bottle shape and the stopper style. Some of the earliest shapes that date back to the 18th century are the cruciform shapes along with bell shapes and onion shaped decanters. Towards the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century you could find the spire type stopper and the bull's eye stopper, followed by the mushroom style stopper.hand blown decanter

A real hand blown decanter is refreshingly expensive and you can easily assess that you have the real deal in your hands by the price you pay in official online stores such as Amazon. (guess the price of the decanters in the image on the left - hint - click on the image to see the price)

If you are trying to date an antique hand blown drinking glass, you can at times figure it out by its usage. For example, if you have a rummer glass in your possession, it was used in the late 18th century to drink grog from it. Its shape is in the form of a wide bowl and a short stem.

While the antique hand blown crystal decanter types are very expensive and collectors items, you can find nowadays very beautiful and classy reproduction hand blown decanters. They are made by craftsmen and contemporary artists the old fashioned way: by blowing the glass with their hands instead of relying on process automation. They are still much more expensive than the typical decanters, however they are cheaper than the antique decanters. You can also find modern hand blown glass pitchers, sherry glasses, porrons, cruets and others similar glass items.