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5180 A Rare Ruby-Red Bohemian Decanter

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This is a very unusual decanter in that the colour is a rich deep red; it is not the pale 'cranberry' colour associated with the closing years of the nineteenth century.

The decanter follows the usual pattern of the late 'prussian' style, having a barrel-shaped body and a neck with a ring of projecting form to enable a good grip to be  taken.  The shoulders and neck are panel cut and there is similar decoration around the base, while the underside is star-cut.  The octagonal mushroom-shaped hollow stopper is panel-cut. Both the star-cut base of this decanter and the hollowness of the stopper suggest a Bohemian origin, although English decanters of that period are remarkably similar in other respects.

Red glass is made by adding gold in very samll amounts to the mix of glass, but the tint is so dark as to look black if used in the solid.  This can be overcome by fusing a very thin layer of red glass with a thicker layer of clear glass - and this is what has been achieved in this decanter.  The inside of the decanter is red while the outside is clear and this can be seen if the base surface is observed through its thickness.  The same can be seen with the neck ring.

Deep red glass is hard to find, but it does have an advantage over most other colours - it can make a delightful Ruby Wedding present!  Surely one of my readers knows someone about to celebrate their 40th Wedding anniversary!

Date: c.1820

Dimensions: 10.3", 26.2 cm high incl. stopper

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