Glass Guide
N to R

This section contains definitions for the terms used in glass making and in the description of glassware. There are links to other sections to help expand upon and provide illustrations of the terms used.

This section is not as comprehensive as the source texts that are available and these should be consulted for further details. References are shown in bold and links are in blue.

Happy reading.

N - O P - Q R
Pairpont. see Mount Washington Glass Company

Pallme Konig. see Gerbruder Palme Konig

Palmqvist, Sven. see Kraka

Pantin, Crystallerie de. The glass works, already established in 1851 in La Villette near Paris, was moved to Pantin in 1855 and thus changed its name to Crystallerie Pantin. Around this time they made cut glass and ruby glass, and then after the late 1870's they made opaline glass, Venetian style glass, imitation rock crystal and some iridescent glass. In 1900 Berlage designed tableware for them. During the early 1900's much of what they produced was iridescent. Camille Tutre de Varreux joined around 1910, and designed iridescent cameo glass. Vases designed by Varreux are signed de Vez. They also made paperweights with lizards and flowers. It merged with Legras.

paperweights. This is a decorative heavy object which was originally used to hold papers in place on a table. Usually they are made of glass in a spherical dome. Some are cased and then faceted to reveal the decoration inside, some are polygonal. Decoration is very varied, some have millefiori patterns, others have animals, birds, snakes, lizards and all manner of designs inside the glass. They were made in Murano and Bohemia in 1843, and then France in 1845 by Clichy, Baccarat and St Louis. Paperweights were made in England from 1848 and American paperweights were made from 1851. Paperweights are still made in France by Baccarat and St Louis, and in Sweden by Orrefors. Scotland has also been famous for its paperweights by Caithness and William Manson. Paperweights are produced in the USA by Orient and Flume. There are also Indian, Chinese and Japanese paperweights, but these are lighter in weight and decoration. Paperweights are collected for their decoration and also rarity.

Papillon. see Loetz

paraison. Gather of molten glass at the end of the blow pipe when it is first inflated into a small bubble.

Pargeter, Philip. Pargeter was the nephew of Benjamin Richardson and whilst renting the Red House Glass Cone, made the replica of the Portland Vase with John Northwood (his cousin). Pargeter produced cameo glass blanks for carving.

pate de cristal. Examples have been produced by Decorchement, Argy-Rousseau and Walter. This is similar to pate de verre, but uses smaller particles of glass powder. This produces a more translucent glass body when fused.

pate de verre. This refers to glass objects made by placing glass powder in a mould which is then heated to make it fuse together to form a whole object. Layers of different colours of glass can be used, and plaques and objects in relief can be created with different colours for different sections. This was used by Henri Cros, Jean Cros, Dammouse, Decorchement, Galle and Argy-Rousseau. Today Daum produces pate de verre.

Paulin, Ida. A glass enameller from Germany circa 1925.

Peachblow. see Mount Washington and Libbey

Pearce, Daniel. A glass engraver who worked at Webb in the 1880's. He also had his own shop in London where he designed and sold engraved glass, table glass, decorations, chandeliers and flower holders. His son, Lionel became chief designer at Webb. They both worked on cameo glass.

Pearline. This was a glass made by Davidson in 1889. Generally it was in a yellow or blue colour, but occasionally it can be found in clear (called Moonshine). It had white edges, due to the Uranium and Arsenic content which became white and opaque when re-heated. It was often used in pressed glass.

Peche, Dagobert. see Loetz

Peill & Putzler. Table and cut glass was made in Duren in Germany from 1903 by Peill & Sohn. Gebruder Putzler in Silesia made light fittings. After the Second World War, Gebruder Petzler merged with Peill & Sohn to form Peill & Putzler. During the 1950's the company specialised in tableware and pendant lamps. In the 1960's Horst Tuselmann designed art glass for them, which had metallic inclusions within the body of the vases and bowls. They also made knobbly glass and glass with surface patterns in relief. The factory closed in 1997. The trade name exists and some lighting is still produced.

Peking glass. From the second century BC to the fourteenth century AD, there were various small glass workshops throughout China, but they were short lived and random. It was during the 14th Century that two areas of glass making came to prominence. One was in Canton and the other was in Shandong, now known as Peking Glass and which was to produce much glass during the eigthteenth and nineteenth century as an imperial glass workshop. Glass had been attributed with special properties to keep evil spirits away and to provide immortality and healing. It was associated with gemstones and crystals. In general, Chinese glass was of a single colour and would be carved with the inspiration of these natural designs. The Kangxi Emperor established an Imperial workshop in 1696, within the Forbidden City. For a short time the design was influenced by Western visitors, but designs quickly went back to the traditional Chinese designs. There were many designs and techniques and cameo was also produced. After the Cultural Revolution, the artists were stopped from producing snuff bottles and were put to other work. Chinese glass is most valued for its carving, skill and detail, and to Western eyes age is also a factor.

Pellatt IV, Apsley. Pellatt IV, joined his father (Aspley Pellatt III) who owned the Falcon Glass Works in London in 1810. He published various papers and books on glass making, and took out a patent on cameo incrustations. These are also known as sulphides. Silhouettes of famous people or classical scenes were baked in a mould, which were then encased within glass. This was a very difficult technique. It creates a silvery effect on the picture within the glass. He also took out a patent for crystallo engraving, which created an intaglio design on the surface of the glass as it was blown into a mould. Pellatt also produced Ventian style glass, including vetro a retorti, vetro a reticello, millefiore, and crackle glass. The business closed around 1878.

peloton. This was a type of glass patented by Kralik in 1880. It consists of short threads of coloured glass applied to the surface, either through rolling the molten paraison on the threads or throwing the threads onto the surface. The glass is then reheated so that the filaments melt into the surface a little.

Perthshire paperweights. This is a glass house in Crieff in Scotland which was established by Stuart Drysdale in 1970, and it is still working today. Stuart Drysdale left Vasart to begin the new enterprise. They produce a wide range of paperweights from very elaborate limited editions to mass produced simple paperweights. They are normally marked by a cane with a P.

phanomenon. see Loetz

Phoenecian. This is a type of decoration with threads which are combed to produce festoons of coloured trails (Phoenecia is a Maltese glasshouse).

Pilkington Brothers Limited. The company began as St Helens Crown Glass Co, near Liverpool in 1826. After several changes it eventually became Pilkington Brothers Limited in 1849. Pilkington bought British Cast Plate Glass Co at Ravenhead in 1901 and also Chance Brothers in 1945. Today Pilkington is one of the largest producers of plate and industrial glass. They also support a glass museum in St Helens.

plate glass. This refers to flat sheets of glass. They are manufactured by rolling out molten glass on a metal plate.

plique a jour. This is a similar technique to cloisonne, except that once completed, there is no metal backing to the glass within the metal cells. It is very fine and delicate, and one of the famous makers was Fernand Thesmar in the 1870's.

polishing. This is the process of smoothing the surface of glass. It can be achieved by hand, but normally is accomplished by polishing wheels using an abrasive paste.

pomona. see Libbey

pontil. This is the iron rod, onto which a blown piece is transfered from the blow-pipe for completion

pontil mark. This is the mark which remains on the base of the glass once it is broken off the pontil. Sometimes this is ground out to produce a smooth concave or flat surface.

Portieux, Crystalleries de. This is a very old glasshouse, having begun in 1705. It merged with Valerysthal in 1872. It was bought by Groupe Faience Niderwiller in 1996. It has made pressed glass, and cut glass.

Portland Vase. see Northwood

Poschinger, Glashutte Freiherr von. The Poschingers first started glass making when they acquired the Zadlershutte glassworks at Zwieselau in 1568. Later they acquired Frauenau, Buchenau, Oberwieselau, Spiegelutte and Theresienthal. Over the years they have won many awards and their glass has been used by heads of state and on the airship zeppelins and ocean liners. Many designers have worked for Poschinger including Peter Behrens and Joseph Maria Olbrich. Poschinger is famous for its iridescent and beautifully enamelled glass in the Jugendstil style. It is still in operation today at Moosauhutte Fraueneau in Bavaria.

Powell & Sons, James. See Whitefriars

Powolny, Michael. A glass designer for Lobmeyr and Loetz. Developed the tango glass of black and orange which was popular in the 1930's.

pressed glass. Pressed glass is formed by placing some molten glass in a mould and then pressing an inner mould into the glass. The seams where the mould pieces join are often seen on pressed glass. It is different to mould blown glass where a bubble of glass is blown into a casing. It was used in the USA since 1827 by the New England Glass Company and then by the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. It also began to be produced in England during the 1820's. There were many companies making this type of glass. The famous makers of pressed glass include Sowerby, Davidson, Jobling and Greener.

Prouve, Victor. Prouve was a friend and associate of Galle. He was director of the factory after Galle died in 1904 until 1913. He painted a famous painting of Galle in his studio.

prunt. This is a decorative feature, when a small round blob of glass is applied to a glass, and most often it is impressed with a lions head or raspberries.

Prutscher, Otto. An Austrian glass designer. He worked for Loetz, Lobmeyr, Bakalowits and Meyr's Neffe in the 1900's.

Pukeberg. This is a Swedish glassworks which was founded in 1871. It started in pressed domestic glass, and from 1894 specialised in lampshades when it was taken over by a lighting company. During the 1920's they began making tableware, and in the 1930's produced deco style cut glass. Goran Warff joined in 1957, and his designs took made the factory very successful. He designed freeflowing art glass, in the form of animals and also ashtrays and bowls with pitted surface finishes. This was a high point for the company, but later Warff left in 1964, and by 1978 they went bankrupt. It was eventually bought in 1989 by Zero Interior AB, who manufacture lighting. Since the 1990's they have commissioned designers, some of whom have either worked at Kosta, or who went on to fame at Kosta.

punty. Another name for pontil

Pyrex. This was originally created as a heat shock resistant glass to replace railway workers lantern glass which was prone to shatter in the wind and rain. Borax was added to the glass and it is know as borosilicate glass, and Pyrex is the trade name. It was invented in 1912, and began to be licensed all over the world in 1915. Early items were engraved and cut and hand blown teapots were produced. Jobling obtained the license to produce Pyrex in the UK in 1921.

quartz glass. A type of glass produced by Steuben, made by plunging the molten glass into cold water, to produce a crackle affect. This was then reheated to smooth out the crackle edges.

Queen's burmese. Burmese glass was invented in 1885 by Mount Washington Glass Company. It was a heat sensitive glass with the addition of Uranium Oxide and gold. It was coloured from yellow to pink, with either a matt or shiny finish. Queen Victoria ordered a tea-set. Webb was granted a licence, and Webb called it Queen's Burmese Glass. It was painted finely with flowers and birds, and used for all sorts of tableware and lampshades.

Queen's Ivory ware. A type of glass made by Sowerby, which was creamy white and opaque. It was used for the very best and most intricate pressed glass. Thus it was very expensive at the time it was produced in the 1880's.

Quezal. The Quezal Art Glass & Decorating Company was started in 1901. It was located in New York, and founded by an ex-Tiffany batch mixer (Thomas Johnson), and an ex-Saint Louis glass blower (Martin Bach). Together they formed a successful partnership producing iridescent glass. The company was named after a South American bird with iridescent feathers. They produced vases, bowls and lampshades. Much of the glass has a trailed, pulled threads or feathered pattern. The company did well at the start, but then fashion changed and they closed in 1924.

quilling. This is described as either a wavy lip created with a pair of tongs on the molten glass, or a festoon pattern seen on some types of Nailsea glass.

A Caithness Paperweight containing a signature cane and glassworkers tools.
A pate de verre coupe by Daum. Late 20th century
Peking glass. Snowflake glass cut with festoons overlayed with pink and further overlayed with green then carved
Single colour Peloton glass. Dark blue threads (each thread cased over white) on clear glass. Probably Sowerby 19th century.
A pair of enamelled Poschinger vases on deep blue - amethyst. Probably around 1910.
Queens Ivory ware by Sowerby. 19th century pressed glass.
A Perthshire glass vase from the 1990's.