Carnival Glass. Carnival Glass is pressed glass that has been iridised. The glass is firstly pressed into a mould while molten, and being in liquid form, takes on the shape of the mould. After it has been removed from the mould, it is sprayed with a coating of liquid metallic salts. This gives the surface an iridescent lustre, similar to the effect of oil floating water.
Although the technique was known in Roman times, it was not until 1907 that it was revived by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Other manufacturers taking note of their success followed suit and were able to produce a cheaper product by spraying the mixture on the glass, instead of including it in the glass mixture as Tiffany was doing.
Carnival glass was at its peak of popularity from about 1908 to the 1920's and as its popularity declined manufacturers, were left large stocks they were unable to sell. Popular legend has it that it was sold cheaply to travelling showman for prizes at carnivals, from whence came the name by which it is know today, carnival glass.
Prior to this, it went under a variety of names, including Iridill, Imperial Jewels, Imperial Art Glass, taffeta, lustre glass, Aurora and rhodium. more...