Collecting Cranberry Glass

About ten years ago I found a small set of cranberry glass at an antique flea market. A few years later my mother-in-law gave me some of her mother’s cranberry glass. A few more pieces here and there and apparently I now have a collection of cranberry glass.

cranberry glass collection

But here’s the problem. Cranberry glass is the only thing I collect that I am afraid to use.

antique cranberry collection

Some of the glasses have a few small chips on the top rim which kind of makes them unusable. Another glass broke the first (and only) time I used it. Unfortunately, I am afraid they are just too fragile to use.

vintage cranberry glass

I have decided that I need to bite the bullet and use it. It’s just too pretty to collect dust in my cabinet. And setting a table for Christmas with cranberry glass would look amazing! I also might hunt for a few more glasses at the flea markets just so I can have a few replacement goblets if I need them.

What is Cranberry Glass?

Cranberry glass or Gold Ruby glass is a red glass made by adding gold salts or colloidal gold to molten glass. Tin, in the form of stannous chloride, is sometimes added in tiny amounts as a reducing agent. The glass is used primarily in expensive decorations.

Most collectors learn to recognize the color of cranberry glass. The most distinguishing feature of any piece of cranberry glass is its color. By adding gold chloride to hot molten glass, crafters can create shades varying from pink to burgundy. The pieces often have a deeper hue by the neck of the vase or near the edge of the bowl, indicating where the glass was blown from.

Where Can you Find Cranberry Glass?

I love to shop flea markets and there is no doubt that you can find it at local vintage flea markets. You can also find it online on eBay and at garage sales and antique shops. I don’t suggest that you get too caught up into patterns and age and color. Just buy what you love. You can’t lose if you always buy what you love.

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2 thoughts on “Collecting Cranberry Glass

  1. You can use a very fine Emory board (nail file)to smooth out chips in your candberry glass. If u are very careful you will not be able to see the chip. For large chips use corse files. Sand paper will work but very hard to be careful.
    Greta

  2. So pretty! I have similar wine goblets and champagne glasses, but in blue glass. They were my grandmother’s and were a wedding gift. I’m also hesitant to use them. Very fragile – but beautiful.

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