Lidded Jars, Jugs and Salts
The production of utilitarian wares such as water jugs must have been endlessly frustrating for Victorian glass-makers, as there was little scope to deviate from the tried and tested form of something that was a complete waste of time and effort if not entirely functional.
Whilst decorative vases allowed all manner of creative flights of fancy, the blossoming creativity of the 19th century had to be restricted for the most part to colouration and surface texturing for Victorian glass jugs intended for day to day use.
Hence – within the clearly recognisable forms with their baluster-shaped bodies, single handles and flared, lipped rims – there are still some very striking and creative pieces to be found, using the full array of finishes and materials that were available.
Milk glass, cameo cutting, iridised and uranium glass – cased and cut ruby and cranberry, extravagant Bohemian flashing, gilding, enamelling – all to be found on Victorian jugs, and some very fine examples there are too.
Uncoloured wares were also given the full gamut of moulding, cutting and engraving in order to make them less mundane, with the smaller salts and lidded jars more usually following this route – but do keep an eye out for cranberry or ruby glass salts, which make for particularly eye-catching little additions to any collection.
There are also a number of examples of relatively plain pieces which are enhanced with polychrome enamelling and gilt decoration which – if the usual Victorian excesses have been reined in a little – can make for some very effective and desirable examples, and sit in a collectable niche in their own right; well worth pursuing.