Engraved Glassware

Written by Shirley Parker
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Engraved glassware has an elegance that's hard to match. It has class, distinction, and often, great beauty from incredible craftsmanship. The Romans were known to engrave glass with a sharp pointed tool, but it is thought the Egyptians had this talent many centuries earlier. By the late 1500s, English and Dutch artisans were using the technique to create beautiful scenes on many amazing shapes that glassmakers had created.

It would be close to the end of the 18th century before American manufacturers produced this kind of stemware for proper occasions. Until then, it had to be imported from England, which must have been galling after the Revolutionary War. Antique glassware from Europe is still greatly sought after by collectors, with engravings from certain time periods being very rare and therefore, very costly.

Engraved glassware today is often used at weddings, with the names and wedding date on the back of crystal toasting flutes, and a choice of images on the front of each. Some brides may choose to order engraved goblets instead. These engraved glasses, which can be lead crystal, range from seven inches to almost 11 inches tall.

Laser Engraved Glassware Is Often a Custom Order

Much engraving today is computer controlled. The text ordered by the customer is set up for placement in the laser engraver and the glassware placed in a rotary attachment. The laser machine controls how fast the glassware rotates as the laser image is engraved. Any number of glasses can be engraved, one at a time, and most sizes up to about eight inches in diameter, depending on the make and model of the engraver.

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