ABP American Brilliant Period Glass

TheAntiqueTrade.co.uk Glossary of Antique Terms

ABP - (Glass, Term) ABP is a shorten term for American Brilliant Period Glass. Brilliant Period Glass is fine quality, hand-cut crystal produced between 1880 and 1925. It has exceptional brilliance from the high lead content of the glass of up to 50%, versus 24% for modern crystal. This gives the glass a high refractive index. ABP pieces are similar to prisms or gemstones because they bend and scatter light into the different colors of the rainbow. In the process of making a piece of ABP glass, the artist would take a “blank” or uncut piece of glass and press it against a series of spinning wheels. This would cut the desired pattern into the surface of the glass. When finished, he or she would polish the design because cutting the glass gave it a milky-white appearance. Polishing restored its clarity and sparkle. ABP pieces were originally designed and manufactured for the upper classes of Victorian society. Pieces of hand-cut crystal were more expensive than most people could afford. A large, highly detailed piece might retail for two to three times the weekly salary of the artist that made it.

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