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GEORGIAN REPRODUCTIONS 1900-40

During the period, 1900-40 a fashion existed for using Georgian and Regency style decanters and many manufacturers catered to this fashion by copying the styles of the period. These were not fakes as such, as there is no attempt to disguise what were then modern manufacturing methods. The problem is most of these reproductions now have a certain amount of wear on them, and many antique dealers do not know the difference between glass manufactured in 1800 and 1900, do not know this glass was extensively copied and thus sell 20th century glass as 18th-19th century glass.

Whilst I don't own dozens of these decanters, I thought it important to include them in their own section, explain what to look for and to show how convincing they are. To the end of identification I have added some pictures at the end of this section, highlighting some of those differences.

If you want to have the look of the Georgian period but are scared of using something 200 years old and also have stoppers that actually seal, going for a Georgian copy is a good practical option.

At the bottom of this section are three photographs highlighting differences between the older and newer decanters. The three photographs won't make you an expert in spotting a reproduction decanter, but demonstrate that you need to keeps your wits about you when buying Georgian decanters.

Georgian Reproductions 1900-1940

This is a Prussian shaped Edwardian decanter by Edinburgh and Leith made in the style of Regency glass. It has step cutting around the base with hobnails around the middle and shoulders and three facet cut neck rings. The stopper is a mushroom with a star cut flat top and hobnails cut around the periphery. Made c.1900

Reference: The Decanter, page 493 Reproductions and Fakes.

Height: 10 inches

Width: 5.5 inches

This is a Prussian shaped Edwardian claret Jug by Edinburgh and Leith made in the style of Regency glass. It has step cutting around the base with hobnails around the middle and shoulders and three facet cut neck rings. The stopper is a mushroom with a star cut flat top and hobnails cut around the periphery. The handle is applied top to bottom in the Georgian manner and has a notch at the top to assist grip. Made c.1900

This claret jug is also included in the Claret Jug section, but I wanted to include it here to demonstrate that you are more likely to suites of glass in the copies as they are newer. I have two decanters and the claret jug and I have occasionally seen other decanters being sold as Regency. With real Regency glass like this, pairs and suites of any kind are rare and prices start to accelerate quickly the more original pieces you have.

Reference: The Decanter, page 493 Reproductions and Fakes.

Height: 10.5 inches

Width: 5.5 inches

This is a Regency style cylinder decanter. The base is cut with fine horizontal flutes surmounted by horizontal steps, surmounted by hobnail cutting, and with step cut shoulders. The mushroom stopper has radial grooves cut into the top of it. Made circa. 1900-25.

Packing the full Regency punch in its design, this decanter is almost diamond bright in its clarity and just stands out as a copy amongst a row of decanters that purport to be of that period.

Height: 9.5 inches

Width: 5 inches

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This is a shouldered decanter with comb cutting to the base, and slanted blazes surmounted by panels on the shoulders with three bladed neck rings. It has a lunar cut lozenge stopper. Made circa. 1900-25.

This decanter is fashioned after designs of 1790s, however the glass is too clear, the cutting is too nice, and the stopper would not have been precision fitted as this one is.

I have put the 1900-25 date on it as it hasn't been acid polished and acid polishing was rapidly introduced in glass cutting in the 1920s.

Height: 11.5 inches

Width: 4 inches

This is a Prussian shaped decanter with panels cut around the base and shoulders, a band of hobnails around the middle and three faceted neck rings. It also has a mushroom stopper with radial cutting. Made circa. 1900-25.

This decanter has the usual suspects of copy, really clear glass, a lack of wear, precision cutting, perfectly polished stopper fitting. Elements of styling are not right either with the sharp edge on the stopper and the mushroom stopper with thin pouring lip combination. In Georgian stoppers with a mushroom stopper the pouring lip has a tendency to be wider.

Height: 10.75 inches

Width: 4.5 inches

This is a Prussian shaped decanter with a comb moulded base, three feathered neck rings, and a press molded bull-eye stopper. Impressed underneath are the words Cork Glass Co. Made Circa 1920s.

Not Cork Glass Co. this is an out and out fake. Some aspects of this decanter mark it out as a fake. Against a white background it has a slightly bluish tinge. It used to be said that you could tell Irish glass by its blue tinge. This is not true, but it might have been thought to be true at the time this was faked. Whilst there is some wear to the base, the surface of the decanter is almost pristine, which it shouldn't be after over 200 years. Also the feathered neck rings are not right, they were applied when the glass was hotter than any Georgian neck rings I have seen and consequently the feathering has not taken as it should.

I bought this cheaply off eBay and as soon as I opened the box knew it was fake. The wording in the description didn't say when it was made. I recognised who the dealer was and went back to him. He admitted it was a fake and that it was probably made by Elizabeth Graydon-Stannus, who operated the Graystan glassworks in Battersea, London, in the 1920s-30s. My thoughts on this were, cool I have a piece by a really famous faker.

Height: 11 inches

Width: 4.75 inches

This is a green Prussian shaped decanter with three neck rings. It has a gilded leafy cartouche with the word PORTO in it. It also has a lozenge stopper with the letter P gilded on it. Made circa. 1920-40.

This is one of two (the other said Madeira) really badly made reproduction decanters. The stopper is far too big, the shape is not convincing, the colour is not Bristol green, the gilding is sloppy.

I am afraid these decanters eventually so offended me that they are no longer in my presence. You think you can accept something that isn't quite right, but when the chips are down, you can't.

Height: 10 inches

Width: 4.5 inches

These are a pair of Prussian shaped decanters with three neck rings. The body is profusely cut in bands, with diamonds with star bursts and fine hobnails, lens and flutes, separated by prismatic steps. The umbrella shaped mushroom stoppers are cut with arch shaped fields of fine hobnails. Made circa. 1925-1940.

These are a pair of super fantastic, super quality, super condition decanters. They are too good to be true, and that is what they are. Whilst there is plenty of wear to the base of these decanters they seem never to have lived in a world of grit and dirt, as there is virtually no surface wear on these decanters and the stopper pegs are bright and clean like new.

They are still a pair of super fantastic, super quality, super condition decanters, even if they aren't that old.

Height: 9 inches

Width: 4.25 inches

I have included this shot to show you the difference in colouring between reproductions and the real thing. Do not take what you can see here as a standard measure. Some Georgian and Regency glass can be very clear, but I would put that down to luck more than judgement as measuring techniques for the material quantities were not great, and the chemistry required to achieve clearness was not so well known.

The two decanters shown here are of similar size and weight but as you can see the one on the left is an original and has a much greyer look to it. The one on the left is an Anglo-Irish example from approximately 1820 and the one on the right would be a copy of 1900-25.

The colour differences become more marked when you look through a thickness of glass such as you can see through the base of the decanters, and through the thickness of the pouring lip.

This photograph shows two lunar cut lozenge stoppers, the one on the left being the original from about 1790 and the one on the right being the reproduction from approximately 1900-25.

These photos clearly show the old and now techniques for making stopper pegs. The older peg is made by trying to make the hot glass the right size for the decanter stopper hole. The peg and the stopper hole then hard some rough grinding to get them to fit and the rough ground surface is left that way. For the stopper on the right both the stopper and stopper hole have been ground and polished to fit exactly.

At the time the first stopper was made all cutting, grinding and polishing was done on a treadle powered cutting wheel and it wasn't until the beginning of the 19th century does steam powered cutting comes in and you start to see deeper and more effusive cutting and polished stopper pegs.

This photograph shows two cut mushroom stoppers, the one on the bottom being the original from about 1820 and the one on the top being the reproduction from approximately 1900.

Both of these stoppers were cut using steam power and cut to similar profiles. What I am trying to demonstrate here is some of the patina of the older age. The bottom one has had an extra 70 years of use and proportion of that probably under more adverse conditions.

This photograph shows you need to look at the surface of what you are buying and ask yourself, does this decanter look 200 years old.

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