Glossary of Blown Glass Objects

by Mike Firth Rev. 9/18/93 10/15/93 7/2/94 9/23/94 9/4/95 10/4/96 1/18/97
3/29/99 10/28/99, 2000-6-10, 2001-03-29
2002-10-24, 2003-03-07, -04-23, -06-23, -08-07, -10, -12-04
2004-12-13, 2005-03-28, -08-29, 2006-08-09, -08-21,
2007-05-25, -07-28,-10-04, -10-16, -11-14,  -12-02,
2008-05-07, -05-20, -05-31, -12-15, 2009-04-06, 2010-10-13, 2011-03-26, 2012-03-28
[Search on date pattern to find latest changes, more than one may be found.]

While every blower creates anew while working, there are traditional objects created at the fire, which just listing may stimulate further thinking. Many artists today take the traditional form as a basis for a non-utilitarian art piece.
"Usually" can also be taken to mean either "traditionally" or "frequently."
Some objects in this list are present just for the record, even though they are almost always molded, etc., not blown.

Glossary Center


Added:  2009-04-06 Musical Instruments 2010-10-13 Snuff Bottle
a two-handled ovoid narrow necked vessel used by the ancients for holding wine or other liquids. IGCB Always with a point on the bottom, for sticking in dirt, used with a ring stand on solid surfaces; more often of clay than glass and therefore a shape or style today. MF A visitor, M. Hans Liebert, points out that the shape permitted tight packing in sailing ships, the point fitting snugly in the space between the vessels on the next layer down. 2005-03-31
Animals, General
Most often done in solid glass with general rounded shapes, blown pieces as sculpture. Engraved animals are common. See Glass Animals by Albane Dolez. Also Popular Glass of the 50's & 60's, Leslie Piņa, See Fish Birds. Other common animals are swans, whales, cats and small birds.  Very common in 2003 in Seattle were elaborate jelly fish, perhaps because of exhibit at aquarium. Octopus and shells with pearls also seen.  Animals in Miller's Glass index: boars, deer, dogs, dolphins, dragonflies, elephants, fish, frogs, horses, kangaroos, lions, lizards, mice, pigs, polar bears, rabbits, rams, salamanders, sea horses, serpents, snails, snakes, squirrels, & stoats! 2003-06-25 
Armonica, Ben Franklin's
Amonica played at Tacoma MuseumA set of glass bowls nested on a turning wooden shaft, played by wetting the fingers and touching the rim. Apparently invented by Ben Frankling. Supposedly the music is so eerie that it drives the players mad, but an article in the Dallas Morning News [3/21/01 p.3c] mentions that lead glass was used and the constant rubbing contact may have induced lead poisoning. It also mentions that a lead free version was made in the 1982 by Gerhard Finkenbeiner in Massachusetts. 2001-03-22 The same effect is more cheaply with a Glass Harp "Homer Hoyt's "Glassblowing" has two pages on (and two pictures of) Finkenbeiner and his glass harmonica, and mentions that he uses fused silica for his instruments." .Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans, U of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois [Image shows amonica blown by Finkenbeiner and assembled in Washington, played at Tacoma Museum by William Wilde Zeitler, CD's of Christmas and other songs,, 1-877-ARMONICA 2003-06]
Ash tray
A flat bowl-shaped holder of cigarettes and cigars with their ashes, much out of fashion with the decline in smoking.  With a notch or flat area for supporting the burning tube and sometimes water holding for dousing the end.  See candy dish.
Aquarium pieces, Aquariums, Glass Seascapes
solid reefs, floaters, and shapes fish can swim through. Must be sealed or cleanable for the health of the fish. Less often, the aquarium itself, but even a small aquarium (3-5 gallons) is a serious blowing project as a large vase will hold only about a gallon. An aquarium in the shape of a fish (open back) supported on a bowl ("fish may use upper or lower") 1931 ad shown in Warman's.p.45 [The increasing use of single fish bottles for fighting fish is a smaller alternative. 2003-03-28]  Neck down open floaters will gradually sink as air inside dissolves into the water; fish will swim up into them. Making (lampworked) fish and putting them into settings that look like aquariums or seascapes is a fairly common activity. Making fish of blown glass is common. Glass & Water
Balloon goblet
a very large bowled goblet, usually thin glass, for serving fine brandy designed for only a small amount of liquid that is swirled and warmed by the hands to collect the aroma in the bowl. also called a brandy snifter
Banana Boat
Although sometimes a banana split bowl, otherwise a holder for fruit, like a cake plate with two sides turned up to keep the fruit from falling off. Warman's p.136
Banana Split Bowl or boat or plate
An oval shallow bowl shaped to hold and support a banana split lengthwise on which are traditionally placed 3 scoops of ice cream with 3 sauces (chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch) topped with whipped cream, chopped nuts and cherries. 2007-10-16
Bank (Coin)
Banks usually have a slot for adding coins and a cork or other stopper for removing same. If the bank is intended to be broken to release the accumulated savings, there may be no stopper. Plate 4, GGNJ shows a pitcher/mug shape 5.375" tall with a pinched in top to create the slot for adding money. The same plate includes a clear glass base blown in a jelly mold and "crown" of bands of green glass with spaces between to add money. Mold blown bottles of buildings, etc., have neck openings modified to accept coins.
Barber Bottles
"colorful glass bottles found on shelves and counters in barber hops, held the liquids barbers used daily.  A specific liquid was in a specific bottle which the barber knew by color, design or lettering."  Warman's Those shown have a reduced sized opening/stopper for squirting and a ring at or near the top of the narrow neck for gripping with slippery hands. 2003-08-07
Beads have a long long history with a recent resurgence of the craft of bead decorating and bead making in glass as well as clay, poly-clay, and other substances. Standard glass beads are made on a mandrel, usually working at the torch rather than the furnace. Beads using techniques similar to marble work can be made by blowing a thick hollow tube. Trade beads (as used on American Indian clothing) were made either by blowing and pulling a long thin tube and breaking it into chunks which were smoothed by tumbling or by melting glass on wire and acid removing the wire.
A thin walled bowl with a handle on the outside middle of the bottom and a loop inside for hanging a clapper to make noise when swung so the clapper strikes the bowl.   Lead glass would have the best tone. Fragile MILLER p.297 2003-06-29, 2007-10-16
Bell jar
A cover for food, pies, etc. (and vacuum chamber in labs) normally bell or dome shaped with a knob on top for lifting. see twine holder, clock dome. May be small, as protecting cheese served at room temperature ETG
Glass in the shape of a bellows, flat sides with ridges on edges, handles and nozzle, decorative only until I see one work MILLER p.297 2003-06-29 (e-mail says non-working so just cast)
Bird Feeder
Birdfeeder with drilled seed holes and stopper belowOne design is like a vase with knob foot and a reverse flared lip with holes drilled just below the rim.
The vase is filled with birdseed and the opening stoppered. When turned knob up seed falls out of the drilled holes on the reverse lip and birds can feed. A wire round the knob forms a hanger. (A loop for the knob would also work, being harder to smooth and punty.) See Hummingbird feeder
Birds are a continuing favorite in varying detail. Animals
Bird Fountain
A small necked bottle with a glass "pipe" coming out near the base and bending up so liquid will stand at the end of the pipe, for watering chickens? or other birds. About 5" tall. NEGG p.35  Similarly with metal tube and for rodents like gerbils, etc.
Bobeches  [bo - be - shez]
"Disks serving as a catchall for hot candle wax drippings." Collectors Encycl.of Am.Art.Glass p.225 Disks or small saucers may be separate held by bolt of candle socket mount, made as part of the socket, or hung by chains below it. MF
Glass flowers arranged in a matching (ideally) vase or simply made plant-like. May be one or more stems on a base, colored or not, more or less realistic.
Wide variety of sizes and shapes, flasks, wines, carboys and demijohns. Once all hand (to about 1820) then mold blown (during 19th). The invention of the automatic bottle blower was a major event in glass history.
Bottle Stopper
Glass can be used as a decoration on a chrome or cork bottle stopper being built as a knob or a paperweight.  Suggestions here. 2007-11-25
An object to hold other items placed in from the top, often with a lid to protect the inserted items, with a base to keep the opening upward which may be a simple flat surface, and added ring, a foot, or a stemmed foot. Many shown in ETG
Brandy snifter
A large bowl wine glass designed to hold a small amount of brandy capturing the fumes to enhance the experience of drinking. Balloon goblet
Brick, glass
Not blown, but pressed glass, made in two halves and fused or glued together for architectural purposes.  Also incidentally used to make book ends, vases, etc.  While 80% of light is transmitted in some kinds, visually the image is distorted. 2002-10-06
Bud vase
Usually tall slender vase to hold one stem with unopened flower, see vases.
A musical instrument, when made in glass with a single loop, may be functional. MILLER p.297
Bulb vase
A tall vase with a gallery rim so that the bulbs are supported above the water and the roots can extend down into it, for blooming hyacinths and other bulbs.
Business Card Holder
A paperweight with a slot in the top, or folded glass, of a shape and size to hold standard business cards upright at a slight angle, with most of the front of the card exposed for reading. 2003-12-04
Glass buttons were mostly pressed, but ones have been made in the form of small paperweights (AG-M p.411) and beads have been used as buttons.  May have thru holes or a nub at the back with a sideways hole thru it.


Cage Cup
A cup with a 'cage' of glass surrounding it with posts between, previously thought to be made of thick glass, most which is carved away. Now thought to be fused with much less cutting.  The most famous examples are from in Roman times. 2007-12-02
Cake Stand
most often two plates on a center post which extends to form a loop handle above.  Used for displaying and serving slices of cakes, allowing diner to take a choice.  Post & handle usually metal.  MILLER p.298 2003-06-29
a gourd-shaped flask. IGCB
Candle Holder
Shorter, tumbler-shaped, for stubby (votive) candles, which may have a stub stem below to fit in a wood or metal base. May also, less often, be a weighted base to hold a taper.
Candle Stick
Holder for tall slender candles, often also tall, set in a socket.
Images of candy, where clear glass acts as the cellophane twist wrapper. Lundberg? Candy cane.
Candy bowl
Flattish bowl holding candy in an office or home, shaped for easy removal. One of the few useful glass display pieces often seen in offices. May have lid. See also compote.
Cane, Walking Walking Sticks, Batons
Usually a presentation award to a retiring worker or union president, solid glass with spiraling color, seen in several museums. GGNJ p.203 MILLER p.296
Canning Jar
A jar with a shaped rim or other added features (knobs, neck shape) specifically to permit locking a lid in place to hold liquids and food in place. Usually metal and glass to permit boiling the product to a safe heat level before sealing occurs. Many many designs down through the years, the Mason and Bell jars being the best known.
Carafe from Everyday Things: GlassA container for liquids, most often at the table, tapered in from the bottom then flaring at the top so the neck is a convenient grip for holding and pouring wine, vinegar, or water. Unlike a decanter, does not usually have matching stopper and a flare rather than a lip or rim to catch the hand. The one shown here from ETG is marked with measure lines for use in a bar, according to the book.
a large cylindrical bottle normally holding one to ten gallons of liquid. IGCB
Carnival Glass
Brightly colored glass in fancy shapes, named because it was given as prizes at carnivals (and also movie game nights) in the 20's and 30's.  Often pressed glass with colored layers or iridized surfaces. More a category than an object but much is first identified as Carnival Glass rather than as a vase or platter. 2008-12-05
Card Holder
U shape or small cup to hold business cards on a counter or desk while displaying the face of the card. 2005-03-07
Case Bottle
A decanter (cf.) or other bottle with flat sides so that several fit nicely in a rectangular case (AG-M plate 35)
Celery Vase
Upright cylinder for holding celery at the dinner table. 7" tall, 5" diameter (AG-M pl. 49)
Large link chains are a nuisance to make as the links tend to stick together, not worn, but usually displayed. GGNJ p.203
Usually larger, heavier form of goblet, may have religious connotations.
Chamber Pot
Bowl of reasonable size with handle on side for night toilet use, kept under bed.  Far more often in pottery than glass. MILLER p.298 2003-06-29
A light fixture hung from the ceiling, usually containing a steel structure, which often dominates visually, which supports glass that catches light, which may come from candles or electric bulbs on the fixture or from surrounding sources. Modern chandeliers, such as Dale Chihuly's tend to be massively glass, while older ones are a decorative iron or steel structure holding glass mostly to catch light, Light Fixtures and Lamps
Chime, Wind or Garden Chime
See Wind Chime
See Lamp Chimney
Clock dome
A smooth thin glass cylinder with a hemispherical top that was originally used to cover open work tabletop clocks and is used also for displays of dolls, etc. Rarely done by hand today.
A bowl on a stem, usually flattish with curved in sides as for holding fruit compote.
A small pitcher (cf.) for holding cream at the table when small amounts are added to coffee, tea, or foods (cereal, puddings, deserts)
Double necked cruets from Everyday Thnigs: GlassFor oil & vinegar dressing, often a small decanter, but usually a more specialized pitcher with a tiny spout for spreading the oil on the salad and even more specialized in a double sided bottle with two necks..
Cup Plate
When it was the habit to pour tea or coffee from the cup into the saucer to cool it for drinking, the cup had to be set someplace and a cup plate was provided. Usually small, flat and decorated with pressed images. etc.
Custard Cup
A bowl of small size (2.5-3" diameter by 1.5-2" deep) used for cooking and serving individual portions of custard which is cooked in a shallow water bath.
A rectangular convex curved piece of glass reverse painted and framed. Apparently an Edwardian item with limited recognition on the net.  Seen on FlogIt TV show and on Internet but no definition found.
A container for wine, etc., traditionally with a reduced neck and expanded lip to permit easy grip while pouring. Decanting wine is carefully pouring off the wine from a vintage bottle (or the barrel) to leave the sediment behind. The term has been extended to stoppered bottles with lips that permanently hold brandy and liquor in a sideboard. Acid wines may release lead when stored for long periods in lead crystal. GGNJ fig.196 shows a 16 compartment decanter, 8 sections on each of two levels requiring 16 blown gathers merged into a single bottle shape.
A bottle (glass or pottery) intended to hold 1-10 gallons of liquid, 2-5 being more common apparently, wrapped in wicker for chip/crack protection. Mostly about Revolutionary-Civil War time. This guy collects them and shows a bunch a large bladder-shaped bottle normally holding one to ten gallons of liquid. IGCB
Clock Domes and covers for food. The ends of cylinder glass were used as food covers, GGNJ.
Door handle Door Knob
Glass door handles are less common today, in part because of the liability risk of people being cut by broken glass. Most glass doorknobs are molded or pressed and were particularly popular about 1900. Doorknobs made like paperweights are interesting (OGP P.42) When I attempted to track down a source for brass fittings to hold the glass, I found they were somewhere in India, where the door handle units came from. At least one glassworker has made paperweight style knobs by sawing the glass off the base and gluing the weight to the flat glass surface. Emtek is marketing door knob hardware in glass for modern doors
Form of a paperweight, described as having a rough punty area in vintage versions, green glass with bubbles, vertical oval, 5" tall, mantle ornament, door stop, probably named and roughly made in bottle glass shops Miller p227


Obviously, a small paperweight in the shape of an egg, may have a flat bottom or be worked like a marble to a round bottom and then displayed in a ring holder or even an egg cup. Also may be a small blown shape, usually with considerable color to represent either an Easter Egg or a colored bird's egg.
Egg Cup
Shallow cup to hold a cooked egg upright in the shell or hold poached egg together. ETG shows a double ended cup (p.101) that does both.
Epergne [accent on first e]
An arrangement of narrow tapered vases mounted above a plate or base. Miller p.47 Glass is flute or horn
A tall slender pitcher, commonly with a nearly vertical handle, usually with a distinctive lip, often designated for pouring water for cleaning hands, etc. GAWH fig.27
Eye Glass, Eye Cup
a small stemmed bowl sized to match the eye socket used to apply fluid - water or boric acid solution - to the eye to wash it.  more often molded than blown MILLER p.299 2003-06-29
Fairy Lights
which candle maker Clarke trademarked, are two piece stands: a rather elaborate base and (usually) ovoid dome with a finger-sized hole in the top. Some of the tops were also quite exotic. Clarke made short long-burning candles which were to be placed in windows, etc., to ward off burglars. Seen on PBS show (info source) and in Burmese glass at Texas A&M MSC Galleries. HB18
A small statue of the human form. MILLER p.300 2003-06-29
Glass finials on Rods, from Pottery BarnEncountered in a catalog, glass finials for curtain rods have a metal base and screw to the end of the rod.  Or have a solid rod base that fits in hollow tubing with a set screw. 2007-10-16
Firing Glass
A drinking glass with a heavy base, often a disk extending beyond the base of the glass, presumed to be named from the sound of banging (firing) the glass on the table in celebration. (GGNJ p.241)
Fire grenade
a glass bottle fire extinguisher filled with carbon tetrachloride and designed to be thrown into a fire and broken. IGCB
Inflated body with fins, eyes, etc. added as hot bits; if the mouth is ground, may be done entirely on the pipe, otherwise punty on tail. Common art glass exercise and low cost sales item. See Animals
Glass can be used to produce an reproduction of a flame which picks up light from adjacent sources MF
A flattened bottle more convenient to fit in pocket, often molded with images of people or buildings - presidents and log cabins.
Flat Glass
Window glass, mirrors, and stained glass. Flat glass of quality is harder to make than tableware.  From early times to about 1810, blown window glass was made by the broad glass method, which involved making a large bottle and cutting it open while hot onto a flat surface, which marred the glass.  From about 1700 to 1870, better window glass was made by the Crown Glass method of spinning out a disk 30-54" in diameter. (Fig.48 NEGG) From about 1750 to about 1915, it was made by the Cylinder Method by blowing a large cylinder, cutting off the top and bottom, cutting the side when cold and flattening at sagging temperature which resulted in less damage to the surface of the glass. (Fig.41 NEGG)  At this time, mechanical methods began to take over, including drawn cylinders of great size, drawn flat sheets and finally starting in the mid-twentieth century, floating the molten glass on tin for a nearly perfect surface.
Rarely done by blowers today because of the special glory hole, stand and annealer needs. NEGG Some stained glass is still blown, Genuine Antique Glass, most is poured and rolled, Spectrum Glass Common Terms, or continuous cast sheet.  2006-08-21
Flip (glass)
A large drinking glass, no stem, no handle, often with a lid, perhaps modeled after metal versions, that held the drink 'flip', which the OED defines as cider and brandy with spices or beer and spirits heated with an iron poker, so the lid kept the alcohol and spice fumes in.
A cone/funnel shaped piece about 9" long with a thin layer of glass across the mouth which makes the sound given in the name when blown into. Apparently made in many factories. NEGG p.89-90
Float Bowl
A flat bowl for floating flowers with or without a center decoration or a frog for supporting upright flower arrangements. A picture borrowed from this site. 2000-9-11Floats from Japan, used on fishing nets originally
Floating Candle Bowl
A thin bowl intended to hold a tea light or candle oil with a wire supported wick. Must be thin glass to not float too deep. Especially with tea lights (small candles in a thin metal can) should curve above the flame height to catch light. 2008-05-31

Globular, sometimes spherical, pieces designed to float on water. Commercial net floats from Japan and Chihuly's Niijima Floats may be best known. The former seem to fall in two groups at about 4-6" and about 12". The latter are about 18-21". See aquarium.

Flower Dish

Either long slender shape to hold stemmed flowers almost flat with stems below water or a very flat bowl with near vertical edges in which to float blossoms with little or no stem.  2003-12-04

Flower Vase
see vase
Flowers, Glass
More or less realistic blossoms on stems, or blossoms on objects. Many variations. Roses, lilies. See Bouquet. Lilies of the Furnace GGNJ p.202  Roses, lilies, etc. in paperweights.
Tall slender tapered footed drinking glass. Also the same shape without a foot for insertion in an epergne  2003-08-10
Fly TrapFlytrap in glass
A glass globe with a hole in the bottom shaped to lead flies in and block them from getting out. This image from a site on Canadian glass (click on image to visit site.) but also shown in many books on glass objects. ETG
Pieces made by picking up frit and twisting.My own term (from Victorian architecture) for something with little or no purpose other than appearance. For example, the objects in the image at the right are sealed and glued to the copper post for placing in a garden; they are entirely decorative, like a gazing ball
 "Yes, friggars or friggers are just nonsense bits of glass, produced by the glassblower often just to show off his skill. Don't know where the word comes from, but wonder if it's the same as slang "frigging about", meaning to fool about.
Yours, Margaret Hopkins
MF "on your page there is this line
19th century friggar: pipe in white, green & blue. 21 1/4"/54 cm.
and at the top it says  lacemaker lamps & globes, friggers, patty pans, toddy lifters, stirrup cups "
Also shown in MILLER and "Inferor pieces made by beginners learning glass making techniques"  Collectors Encycl.of Am.Art.Glass p.226 [MF: but I also recall reading that this negative view has been re-evaluated.] 2008-05-21
Fruit, Glass
Individual pieces or arrangements. Pieces may be realistic color and details or shape done in clear white or colored glass. On Antiques Roadshow, a Czech/Bohemian glass lamp (1920's) with the bulb inside the reed base and the fruit pieces wired to an arched cap, the wired arches covered with clear beads to enhance appearance. 3/29/99
Fruit Cup
While it is just a short goblet for holding fruit, a special variation is shown in ETG where the bowl is solid glass, nearly full with a slight rim to hold brandied fruit up above the rim for a bolder appearance.
a long slender glass tube formed by lightning striking sand. natural glass IGCB
Cone or rounded bowl connected to a tube with an opening between to permit pouring liquids or powders thru small openings. Also name of a foot of same shape. 2005-08-29
Garden Folly
Glass garden follies on copper pipesMy name for glass (or metal) on a post for decorative purposes.  At the Cottonwood Arts festival saw fused glass plaques in welded frames and several versions of blown glass on copper pipes. Three shown at right each use different methods of mount - a modified copper adapter to fit large glass stub; neat glass collar with pipe fitted; and, on the twisted ones, insert the copper through the blow hole all the way to the top of the bubble.   I have a blue glass egg shape in my back yard. 2008-05-07
Garden Lamp/Lantern
A source of soft lighting for twilights in the garden, ideally portable (no cord) so battery electric with LED's in the modern mode or votive candles or tea lights in the old fashioned mode.  Made in paper, metal, ceramic (with holes) and glass, should be translucent and protect flame from wind, have a hanger and/or go on a post. Ikea sells Sommar tea light holders in stores. 2007-05-25
Gazing Ball
A mirrored sphere, typically about a foot in diameter that is placed in a stand to reflect the image of the viewer and surroundings. Glass may be colored or clear. I have recently (2001-04) seen unmirrored, clear, slightly colored balls. The neck is left in place and used to support the ball. A real fad in the past year (2001-04) Mirroring Folly
Glass, Drinking
A tubular or bowl shaped fluid holder without stem. Ordinary glasses are rarely blown now because commercial items are so cheap and making matched sets is so difficult, but see goblet. Glasses have been made in a great variety of shapes. In the ultimate, there has been a shape of glass designated for virtually every variation in wine, brandy and liquor. See also: goblet, wine glass, wafer glass
Stemmed glasses, a major category of blowing in which shows and competitions are held. Goblets are made in several styles, the extremes being the gossamer light Italian style with blown foot and heavier pressed foot rooted in German blowing. see chalice, rummer, balloon
Gravy Boat
A long narrow bowl with a spout at one end and a handle at the other and usually with a foot in the shape of a plate to catch drips. Also used for and called a sauce boat.
Greeting Cards, Window
Etched glass rectangles, put in Millville windows at Christmas and Easter, made in multiples for merchants. GGNJ p.202.
The Victorian name for a small paperweight style glass ball carried to cool the hand (no dampness when shaking) now sold both for a lower cost paperweight product and as contemplative product, like a river rock. Egg Weight
Handle (independent)
A handle for a knife, seal, etc., can easily be made from glass, generally following marble or paperweight making techniques or just using the forms for handles on glassware. Normally, a specific size is needed at the end to hold a metal ferule and a hole may be required for a shaft. Not a common object. An attached handle is a hot bit.
Harmonica, Glass
See Armonica
Harp, Glass
A group of thin glass goblets, often lead crystal, arranged  in rows and columns for convenient access and tuned by adding water, so they can be played by rubbing a damp finger tip around the rim. The singing sound is low in volume and a bit eerie and each note must be pulled for a moment.  Any thin glass that rings when struck can be made to "sing" by rubbing to demonstrate the process Wiki Armonica 2011-03-26
Normally a bowl made to look like a hat but upside down so it is still a bowl, it is an exercise in making a flat bottom, vertical or tapered inward sides and a wide rim/brim and matching the appearance of a hat style. (AG-M pl. 47)(NEGG fig.123) Several modern artists have made full sized hats as sculptures, usually sandblasted to better match the appearance of cloth.
Helmet-Shaped Pitcher
Like a Greek or German helmet, with a heavy spout/peak, shape is a cone with no inward necking of glass. GGW, p.48
Horn Vase, Horn
A horizontal vase, looking like a cow horn, with a flat bottom and usually sliced horizontal at the wide end with a solid glass blunt point. Flowers are laid in it, with the blossoms beyond the opening.  Also, the insert for Epergne otherwise called a flute
Hour Glass
A pair of cone shaped bulbs connected by a small neck, usually housed in a wood frame, with fine sand or other material that will smoothly pass through the neck forming a time piece. Usually made with lampworking techniques. Woodcraft is a source [2002-09-06] as is Hourglasses by T. & K. Young [2005-09-05] Also the shape of an hour glass, like a hand drawn figure 8.
Hummingbird Feeder
Blown hummingbird feeder with stopper dripA "bottle" to hold sugar water for hummingbirds, most easily made as a bottle to take a stopper with a glass tube available for converting commercial bottles to feeders. More interesting if made with a flower shaped neck in a shape that hangs right so the fluid doesn't all run out. Cleaning and refilling must be considered in the design. A drilled hole may be a solution.
Hurricane Lamp Chimney
A larger version of a lamp chimney usually symmetrical so top and bottom are same size with bulge in the middle.
Hyacinth vase
Hyacinth vase from Everyday Things: GlassA vase not unlike a decanter, with a raised lip to support a hyacinth bulb above the liquid with the roots in the liquid. ETG






Drip of glass with a loop at the end for hanging to catch light. 4-6" long.  Became popular about 2001 Christmas from what I can tell.  Internet search returns many vertical blown ornaments labeled icicles also. Online examples are often twisted flat glass.
Inkwell, Ink Bottle
Used with quill and steel point pens, the well held ink and some times a stopper kept it from drying out. Inkwells tend to have small openings to reduce evaporation/drying of the ink and to hold the pen upright by its tip. Examples with matching paperweight like bases and stoppers in GGNJ Pl.16,17, OGP P.42, AG-M pl.47
has become synonymous with a glass vase with the back turned up and the sides and front turned down with a long thin neck resembling the flower. The name in itself was coined by Louis C. Tiffany around the turn of the century, but examples had been made earlier. An external link to examples
An upright container with a flat bottom normally equiped at the rim to take a tight lid to keep liquids within or solids air tight. Canning Jar Usually roughly cylindrical, may be pressed or mold blown, with designs or ads on the surface. Jam jar shown in ETG (p.62) is a bowl with an indented rim so "brandied paper covers" could be tied in place.
Jelly Glass
Stemmed bowl, usually deeper than wide, for serving trifle and jelly MILLER p.246 sweetmeat
Knife Rest
As shown in Warman's 144, a cut glass dumbbell for resting a knife so it does not contact the counter.
Most often a cabinet knob, but also a door handle knob. Usually cast glass which may then be facetted. Common pull knobs have a hole through them and are mounted with a bolt, the head showing. Emtek sells knobs that are mounted in a brass base that takes a bolt from behind. Getting bases is not easy. Could be produced as small paperweights, glued or crimped into a base, or as specially shaped beads. Can be made on stainless steel cores - here
Kuttrolf (German)Modern goblet after kuttrolf
A vessel with small tubes, 4 or 5, connecting a bulbous base to a cup shaped top.  The tubes may be twisted and their purpose was to slow dispensing of spirits.  Several variations are basically decanters (the upper part narrows to a neck that can take a stopper) with open tubes at the corners and optionally in the center. Small necks are tubes attached, large are pinched in sides broken through.  GAWH  2005-08-29.
My experience has been that glass tableware and serving utensils are few. However, a glass ladle for a punch bowl seems almost required and glass ladles for gravy are rather common, matched to a gravy boat (sauce boat) Ladles in glass are usually a flat curved handle dropping down to a hemispherical bowl with the rim perpendicular to the handle. view
Lamp Chimney
A cylinder of glass, often bulging near the base, open top and bottom to shield a candle or wick from breezes and reduce flickering. HB15 May be covered with glass shade.
Lamp Globe
A sphere with one large opening lipped to fit in a ceiling fitting, usually commercial, white, thin frosted or thicker lensed glass. HB15
Lamp, Oil
"Oil lamps provided the most reliable light for a couple of hundred years, between candles and electric light. Oil lamps require a chimney to produce the brightest flame, to keep the flame from smoking, and to keep the wind/draft from flickering the flame. A common lamp has a wide footed base supporting a spherical glass fuel container which mounts the burner on the top. The burner usually has prongs which support the chimney and may have another set which support the shade. Although many styles were built, a standard #2 burner is used very, very often and is the only easy to find size today." B&P Lamp, McMinnville TN is a major source of parts and lamps.
'"suspended well" type lamp. I have seen them at the Nature company, it appears as though a molten tube is pressed through the side of a cylinder' Internet Question 9/4/95 Whale oil lamps are built more upright in the examples I have seen (NEGG fig.182)
Lamp Shade
May be a variation on a cylinder, open on both ends, for an oil lamp or a hat shaped spun disk sagged to ripple the edge, neck ground for electric light socket (Dale Battle.) HB15 Light Fixtures and Lamps
Lamp, Table or Floor
Lighting fixture of appropriate height for non-glare lighting for reading or decoration to place on a table (about 30" tall - .75m) or on floor (about 60-72" tall 1.5-.9m). When glass is incorporated, it may be as minor decorations on the shaft, as a frosted bowl to diffuse the glass, as a shade, or in the column of the lamp as decoration. Light Fixtures and Lamps
Lantern glass
A flat of glass to go in a frame around a candle or oil wick light.
Linen smoother
Flat bottomed round of solid glass with a knob on top. ("Rare" Fig.97, NEGG)
A table or mantle decoration, mostly late 19th century, as they have a lot of Victorian clutter to them, with hanging pendants from a bowl shape that holds a candle, usually pairs. MILLER
Mail Box
I saw today (2001-04-28) at the store a Visual Mailbox made of glass. It was clearly mold blown, whether by hand or machine, I don't know. I should have gone and gotten my camera. The top slot was protected with an aluminum cap hinged on a heavy wire around the neck and the surface was ground. The bottom was more aluminum with a catch latch to keep the mail from falling out the bottom. The young lady said it had been on her grandmother's front porch until she died in 1970 ("It's really old", this very young lady said.) When I did a web search this site has a three part tin top with a glass bag (half round) under it. Mail goes in a slot and the top opens to get mail. $35. A box almost identical to the one shown me, the bottom clip being smaller is shown at this site to support a finished eBay auction. $75.
Mantel ornaments
Tapering glass decorations, solid like a paperweight (in GGNJ Pl.14), with internal decorations, matching a candle holder in vertical impression. Weight intended to be viewed from side. (tall foot under paperweight) OGP P.42
Spheres of solid glass, usually with a pattern visible from all sides, traditionally an inch or less in size, but some people are now making 3,4,5, and 6" objects that are effectively marbles. The difference between a marble and a paperweight is that typically a marble is worked from prepared rod (the color twist for example) while the paperweight is built up. Usually a paperweight has a distinct attachment mark which must be ground away and polished or cut, while a marble is formed using tiny weak punties which leave little or no mark. [Although I have seen an article on collecting saying the small punty is considered a sign of a handmade marble.] My page
Marble holder
A clear walled tube, with a cap, for displaying marbles set inside (Mark Matthews). Also a tube smaller than the marble to form a base/stand or a ring of plastic to prevent rolling.
Margarita Glass
Margarita glassGlass for holding the drink, a flattish goblet with a bulb under the bowl.
Match Holder
Small desk device to hold loose matches upright or hold a small box or a book of matches, ideally with a ledge or shelf across the front to lay burned matches on. 2003-12-04
Tiny pitchers, bowls shaped like much larger items. see also animals
Mirrors, Mirror Glass
In ancient times, mirrors were made by making thin spherical bottles, swirling mirroring solution inside, then breaking and cutting apart pieces to make small decorative mirrors for sewing into clothing.  This is still being done in India.  Such mirrors are always curved.  In the period about 1500-1700 mirrors for viewing the face were very expensive as they were made from plate glass which had to poured, rolled, ground and polished.  As sheet glass improved, mirrors became cheaper until today's wall's of mirror are possible.  Telescope mirrors are cast blanks, usually today of Pyrex-type glass for low expansion, which are ground to the specific curve need to make a focus then coated on the front surface with silver solution or aluminum deposit plating. 2006-08-21
Handled drinking glass, usually with heavy walls. Variations are handled goblets and coffee cups. Mugs, having handles, may take chunky decorations that are uncomfortable on glasses/goblets. On the other hand, large German drinking glasses (rohmers) were given glass bumps (prunts) at least partly to provide a grip for greasy hands.
Musical Instruments
A glass organ made of bowls was invented by Ben Franklin. Flutes have been made of glass as have Pan Pipes (single note pipes arranged side by side.) Lead glass "sings" when rubbed with a finger tip and glasses may be tuned by partially filling with water; several glasses making an instrument at least since the 14th Century. A blown glass violin was made in Japan and a laminated glass electric guitar in Milwaukee. Small glass marimbas and gongs are available online 2009-04-06
Newel post (ball is paperweight style)
The knob on the top of the post of the railing of a stairway. Solid glass or blown. Rare. OGP P.42
Night Light
Modern is a small plugin electric fixture with a bracket to which a glass piece is attached, perhaps most often in stained glass. Plug units are available from stained glass supply sources. Modern oil candles can serve the same purpose. Old nightlights were lamps with very small wick and fairly large fluid holders that would provide light all night. NEGG Sparking Lamp, Fairy Lights
Small blobs of glass created by dropping molten glass on a flat surface, used in stained glass work and by florists as support for flowers in clear glass containers. 2007-11-14 Spectrum Glass
Oil Candle
Blown shape to hold plain or colored clear oil made for the purpose with a small diameter wick placed through a small opening. The wick is usually suspended in a small Pyrex tube for heat resistance. The shape should encourage air flow so there is a candle-like rather than a lamp type flame.
Oil Lamp
See Lamp, Oil
Thin walled globe, usually with an applied glass loop for hanging. Can use ordinary Christmas hangers when available. Witch balls are larger. AlBo Glass calls them Festive Orbs.  See also float.


Flat bottomed, often spherical top, glass. See Weight
Patio Light
A vase with a bulbous base curving up and in to wide opening to take candles or burn citronella laced wax on open table. Viking (P5060) made one with taper cut/pulled to four points.
A vertical object with a flat base and flat top intended for supporting another object like a vase or sculpture. Examples 2008-05-31
Pen, Quill
A writing pen made of glass, most often by lampworkers, ribbed glass is used to hold ink.  Link to Making Glass Pens
Pen Holder
Device to hold a pen upright on a desk, with ink for old style pens, tubular holder for ball point. Former is a small vase with a neck size to match the pen.  Latter can be block with a hole or a slab with an attached device.  2005-03-07
Pencil Holder
Basically a glass to hold pencils (and ballpoint pens, etc.) upright for quick recovery.  Straight sided with enough weight for security, could be made with over hanging lips or other shapes to align items. 2005-03-07
Perfume bottle
Usually a very thick walled, highly decorated small bottle with a stopper having an extended stem to apply the small amount of costly scent. Scent Bottle
A footed glass, usually tall and slender, with slightly tapering or flared sides, originally for serving Pilsner beer.
A server of liquid, usually with a pouring spout or lip with a handle opposite. Blowers often design to match a set of goblets.
A flat serving or eating dish, rarely blown because commercial items are so cheap and making matched sets is so difficult. Also color application is tricky as people may wish to avoid eating off color bits they fear may contain lead.
Plate Glass
Flat glass ground and polished in old days, now just large sheets of thick float glass.
A larger plate, often oval, rarely made except as large decorations for table or wall (plaques.) A challenge to work and reheat if any shaping is done after spinning. The shape before spinning is volcano shaped - a flat base, a rounded edge and side in a steep cone that is turned out to form the rim.
A chandelier with cone shaped glass containers for the oil with floating wick and for spreading the light.  2008-05-06
Pond Floats
"Pond Floats are shimmering hand blown glass globes. Beautiful floating in an outdoor pond, in a flower arrangement, or as a sparkling glass centerpiece for your dining room table. Hand blown glass. If you are interested in buying Pond Floats (formerly sold through retail or wholesale, please send email to "
Powder box
Holds powder for wigs (and face powder? and ink dusting powder?) (body is paperweight) OGP P.42
Pressed Glass
Molten glass is pushed (pressed) into a mold by a matching inner core.  Can be used as a technique. Longer on  Pressed Glass and 2nd Def 2008-12-05 edit
Proof Glass or Proof Phial
A thin bottle with a heavy bottom and a lip around the top that takes a string, to be lowered into a cask through a bung hole to test the wine or liquor inside. NEGG p.34
Punch Bowl
A huge hemispherical glass container for mixed fruit punch drink, often without a foot. May hold several gallons. Mostly made of pressed glass. Size makes it a great blowing challenge. see Ladle
Usually an arrangement of other glass objects, such as a pyramid built of champagne glasses. Particularly, a set of salvers of decreasing size for dispensing sweet breads, with a single bread at the top. NEGG.
Rain Chain
A sequence of cups or big chain lengths that is decorative at the corner of a house as well as draining water down while breaking the force of falling, often metal, The Rain 2007-06-25
A flat bowl with dividers so different kinds of relish can be served.
Ring Holder
Looks like an inverted mushroom with finger sized tapering stem for holding rings taken off for the night, etc. 2012-03-28
Rolling Pin
Examples of glass rolling pins from  Forgotten Crafts BookStraight walled cylinder for rolling out pie dough, etc. Glass pins may be hollow or solid. If hollow may have cork stopper to take ice water for a chilled roller. NEGG Fig.116. Originally for holding salt when it was highly taxed, tapered, not a cylinder, which came later. GGNJ Fig.145 MILLER
Rummer (Roemer)
Goblet with bigger bowl and short stem, often with heavy foot. German
S Salt
A container once used when salt was placed on table to be picked up by fingers. May be a small short stemmed bowl or take almost any other form including square, rectangular, boat, etc. Salts do not seem to have lids nearly as often as sugar bowls, which need to keep flies out, but both absorb moisture.
Flat tray-like top on a stem, used for food service and to stack into pyramids. Fig18 NEGG
Sauce Boat
A long narrow bowl with a spout at one end and a handle at the other and usually with a foot in the shape of a plate to catch drips. Also used for and called a gravy boat.
A small plate with an indented center to hold the base of a matching cup to keep it from sliding when the pair were carried by the rim of the saucer. The saucer may catch spills from the cup and for a time it was the fashion to pour from the cup to the saucer to cool the drink, setting the cup on a cup plate.
Scent Bottles
Often double ended, designed for carrying in purse or pocket, with no flat bottom, for carrying a pleasant scent and smelling salts for recovering from a faint.  Common in Victorian times with tight clothing.  Almost any comfortable shape. MILLER includes perfume bottles in this category.
A wall mounted light fixture normally containing a curved fan or shell shaped glass piece mounted in a metal frame. Often found today in hotel hallways and along side mirrors in restrooms. Glass is usually opal or etched to diffuse the glass and not show the bulb. Normally open at the top. Light Fixtures and Lamps
Sheet Glass
See Window Glass, Flat Glass
Shells, Sea Shells
Sea shells are attractive ornaments, made quickly by those with access to good color. Here are some attractive examples, at least at the scale of these pictures.  Producing the white inner surface accurately is more of a challenge.  Recently I have seen shells with glass pearls included.
Shelving, Glass Shelves
Flat pieces of glass used for holding objects, glass having the advantage the light will pass through it allowing overall lighting from above or bottom lighting.  Usually thicker glass with polished rounded edges.  Glass on glass requires careful support as both shelf and objects are heavy.  Usually not tempered because failure would drop everything to the next shelf. 2008-12-15
Shot glass pen holder
A narrow glass with a heavy enough foot to hold pens upright. (foot is paperweight) OGP P.42
Silvered Glass
The glassblowing aspect is that these are double walled so that mercury can be put inside [mercury should not be used today, it is dangerous even in small spilled quantities.]  The silvered glass was to represent true silver for those who could not afford it. MILLER shows salts (p.232) scent bottles (235) tazzas (249), vases (295) 2003-07-11
Slicker stone, smoothing stone
Flat mushroom top shape "to iron and glaze linen" heated. MILLER p.302
See Brandy Snifter
Snuff Bottle
Chinese snuff bottles shown at Crow Collection museum 2010A small bottle to hold ground fermented tobacco powder to pour out and inhale through the nose. Examples from private collection shown at Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas, TX  Carved glass. 2010-10-13
Sparking Lamp
A smaller than average oil lamp, producing a romantic lower level of light. Perhaps, less romantically, with a small oil chamber, a light that would go out after the user fell asleep without being blown out. See Also Night Light NEGG p.249
Spill Vase
Upright short (footed) vase used to hold short pieces of wood or paper (spills) used to light candles and lanterns from each other. (Shown on Antiques Roadshow, pressed glass in blue)
Stained Glass
Although rarely done today in art studios, colored glass pieces for inclusion in stained (leaded) glass work may be made at the fire from clear and colored glasses with stringer, etc., shaped or flattened in the kiln. True stained glass (color in the melt) can be made by anyone who melts glass, but it is usually poured, rolled and annealed with equipment most blowers don't have. (see also Window GlassJim Bowman is making his own roundels for his and his wife's designs.
Sun Catcher
A glass object, more often fused or stained glass, placed or hung in window to show off the transparency and color patterns of the glass.  Nothing prevents making similar furnace worked objects although ornaments are more commonly done. 2007-10-04
Sugar bowl
Like a salt, but usually covered, perhaps with a witch ball, to keep out insects and humidity.
Vase shape on a stem with narrow bottom with slightly flared top so it is easy to reach in to take out candy, dried fruit, etc. NEGG Jelly glass
Swizzle Stick
A stirring stick for drinks, which may be hollow - straw style - and formed into various shapes - a golf club MILLER p.302


Table Lamp
A decorative lamp unit intended for placing on a low side table as room decorations from light through shade and base and also somewhat functional for reading with light below the shade, often too low. When glass is involved it may be part of the lamp base (normally in the form of a vase) or as the shade (usually a bowl form.) Light Fixtures and Lamps
Table ornament (ball with support)
Built like a paperweight, but with a base so that the globe stands up closer to eye level. OGP P.42
Target bottle (ball)
a glass ball designed to be shot at by sportsmen, like clay pigeons. IGCB
Flat bowl on a stem.
Toasting glass
An oversized wine glass that holds enough to allow the host/toastmaster to drink several toasts in succession at a banquet. (spiral stem is paperweight style) OGP P.42
Torpedo bottle Canadian torpedo bottle
a soda or mineral water bottle with a torpedo-shaped bottom. IGCB
A vase for holding tulips where each bloom gets its own opening, so it is multi-necked.  Created in pottery during the tulip craze in Holland.  This site has the form I first saw, but other sites have more rectangular, vases with lids with holes in them, etc.
Twine Holder
a bell jar shape with a hole in the center of the knob to dispense string (GGNJ Fig.182.)
A bottle shape with a proportionally larger neck and flared opening for receiving urine, the female version having an oval opening, male round.
Holders for flowers and water, often V shaped for groups of stems or tubular for a single stem (bud vases.) Can be a major form of expression especially if matched to styles of flower arranging. Vase (ball foot is paperweight) OGP P.42  Epergne, Bulb vase
Violet Goblet
A small pressed glass goblet shape suitable for holding a few blooms and leaves of violets, popularized by the Empress Eugenie ETG
Wafer glass
Although it may mean something else, wafer means to me the thin disks used in a religious communion service. In any case, this looks like a medium wine glass with a flattish bowl where the wafers lay flat and can be removed at the rim. A small candy dish. The source does not clarify this. (Thick foot is paperweight) OGP P.42
Wall Pocket
A flat sided vase shape designed for hanging on a wall or inserting in a car flower holder. Most popular in pottery, pressed glass, and plastic in the 1920's - 60's., Carnival glass. 57 found on recent ebay, '"wall pocket" glass', search; mostly pressed glass, blown violin with metal holder. 2000-9-12
Watering Glass Sphere, Self-Watering
Self watering glass spheres.A glass sphere with a long stem and a stoppered hole to be filled with water for slow watering of plants. Typically 3" in diameter 12.5" overall, 1/2" diameter at the end of the stem.  From the descriptions, ID is about 1/8", which it would have to be for strength. Visible on line: Self-Watering Spheres (3) $29.99 or $9.99 each. Image shows a different brand inset into main image. 2005-03-28
Paper and doorstop. A solid glass object most often having the design near the bottom and using the optical enlarging of the clear glass above for effect with a second major group featuring a body design to be looked at from the sides. The designs include those assembled from many small bits of glass (millefiori), those from pre-twisted shapes, those including lampworked plants and animals, and those built from fluid glass on the punty. The same techniques are used in modern thick walled glass vases and perfume bottles, etc., referred to as paperweight style. Paperweight variations: door handles, cologne bottle (stopper), Mantel ornaments (tall stand), shot glass pen holder (base or foot), ink stand (stopper and thick base), Wine glasses (at bottom of bowl), Wig stand (glass cone footed), vase (ball foot), powder box (body), toasting glass (spiral stem?), newel post (ball), wafer glass (flattish bowl, thick foot), table ornament (ball, support ring) OGP p.42 Eggs, Handcoolers
Wig stand
Probably not much use today, this solid glass cone with a foot is tall enough to support the old full wigs now mostly seen in British court rooms and historic films. OGP P.42
Wind Chime
Any device which makes reasonably pleasant sounds when blown by wind. May be a bell form or pieces of glass struck by a swinging wood piece (rather fragile) or a garden chime in the form of a bell shape set over a glass or metal stake so the wind swings the rim to clang (like a mushroom in appearance.)  2004-12-13
Window glass
Clear Flat Glass intended for looking through and letting in sunlight which may be tinted or frosted for heat control and privacy, Window-Light Workers
Wine glasses
Wine glasses come a great variety of shapes. In the ultimate, there has been a shape of glass designated for virtually every variation in wine, brandy and liquor. (at bottom of bowl is paperweight OGP P.42) see also, wafer glass, brandy snifter
Wine Stopper
See Bottle Stopper
Witch ball
globe, usually about 4", hung in windows or outdoors to keep away demons or simply as an inexpensive colorful decoration. Originally a bottle to hold some holy water (AG-M, GGNJ). Recently things made with glass threads across the inside have been "defined" as witch balls. Not seen in older ones. ornament
A tall glass for beer, typically about 16-18" (Half-Yard) although supposedly 3 feet, often with a bulbous base and long tapered body. May require a stand, being top heavy and may have a rounded base. A full yard is 2.3L (78oz) here Used for drinking challenges, emptying it without setting it down. 


References - Site Bibliography
This list is an older copy, current list maintained in Sources

American Glass. George S and Helen McKearin, Crown Publishers, NY, 1941, 1948 (twelfth printing 1956)
Glass, A World History, Fritz Kampfer and Klaus G. Beyer, translated by Dr.Edmund Launert,New York Graphic Society, 1966
The Glass Gaffers of New Jersey, Adeline Pepper, Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, 1971, ISBN 684-10459-8
Glass and Glassware, George Savage, Octopus Books, London, Dist in US Crescent, div.of Crown 1973, ISBN: 0-7064-0143-3
New England Glass and Glassmaking, Kenneth M. Wilson, Thomas Y. Crowell Co., NY 1972, "An Old Sturbridge Village Book" ISBN 0- 690-58075-4
Oxford English Dictionary, a huge classic old work with specific dated references to virtually all the meanings of all the words in the English language. 23 volumes, or the 2 volume tiny print version I have.
Old Glass Paperweights, Their Art, Construction, and Distinguishing Features, Evangeline H. Bergstrom, Crown Publishers, 1940,47 2nd printing 1948
Popular 50's & 60's Glass, Leslie Piņa, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1995, ISBN 0-88740-829-X
Two Hundred Years of American Blown Glass, Helen & George McKearin, Crown Publishers 1949, 50

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