Learn about 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...
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Green and black carnival glass nut dish, approx 4 cm high, 14 cm diameter

Black pearl carnival glass fluted vase, approx 28 cm high

Black pearl & cobalt carnival glass vase, approx 24 cm high

Black pearlescent lattice and snake work bowl, approx 5 cm high, 13 cm Dia.

Black Carnival glass mistletoe design bowl, approx 7 cm high, 19 cm diameter

Australian black kangaroo Carnival glass bowl 23 cm diameter approx.

Five black Carnival glass nappy with kingfisher/ kookaburra RD 4184, approx 13 cm dia each (5)

Black Carnival glass style dishes, kookaburra design, 1 has AF (5)

Blue Carnival glass daisy bowl and two black Carnival glass vases

Carnival glass black butterflies circular fruit stand. Height 16 cm, 20 cm diameter

Carnival glass black hobnail Warratah patterned fruit tazza. Height 16 cm x 23 cm dia

A blue/black Carnival glass bowl with three stylized log form legs supporting 19 cm diameter

Carnival glass bowl, decorated with black swan, master bowl by Crown crystal glass Co. (1924-1938)