Silver deposit glass was a decorative technique primarily used in the late 19th/early 20th century. The manufacturing process involved silver being applied to a glass body which would then be fired and buffed to create a course surface. The next process involved electrolysis whereby the object would be immersed in a plating solution with a low electrical current passing through it for several hours. Finally the object would be polished to achieve a shiny finish. Examples like the ones illustrated would have sections of the silver pierced and then finely engraved with further detail.
The technique which originated in England was first patented in Birmingham by Oscar Pierre Erard in 1889. It was then subsequently registered in the United States by John Scharling in 1893 after which the Americans continued to develop the technique producing many examples of an exceptionally high standard. Hence, silver deposit glass objects are now often referred to as 'American overlay' glass.
The silver deposit technique can be found on nearly all types of glass and are usually manufactured in the form of decanters, vases and silver mounted scent bottles. This glassware continues to remain very collectable with the values usually determined by the maker, quality and condition.
If you have any silver deposit glass that you would like to have valued then contact Robin Newcombe at Grand Auctions, Folkestone, Kent.
- Posted by Robin Newcombe