Sunday, June 1, 2014

collecting...Demijohns

Demijohns....a glass French vessel used to transport wines, have become highly collected, especially the vintage & antique ones. I love to see several grouped together....each one is unique, a collection looks fabulous whether you are an antique lover or have a modern home.
"Demijohn" is an old word that formerly referred to any glass vessel with a large body and small neck, sometimes enclosed in wicker or a woven basket. The word comes from the French  dame-jeanne, literally "Lady Jane." The word, demijohn occurred initially in France in the 17th century, and no earlier trace of it has been found elsewhere.

Regardless of their age, they can be artful, decorative and collectible. The shape, imperfections...and the waviness of old glass can’t help but get your attention. A demijohn may be old enough to qualify as an antique or could be categorized as vintage, dating from as recently as the 1930s. Some are reproductions meant to look antiquated. Since the same techniques and equipment have been used to blow glass since 1750, it often is difficult to determine their age
The buyer needs to consider the following:
 

Is it handblown?
The handmade character of an old bottle is key to its value. An uneven shape is to be expected if a bottle was free-blown and dates before 1860. Bubbles and random strands of color in the glass, a bent neck, lack of a regular pattern, and striations are signs that glass was handmade, whether centuries or decades ago.

Does it have a mold seam?
Blown-into-mold glass is considered handblown. Its shape will be more regular than free-blown glass. Molds—first wood and then glass—were made in two pieces and removed, leaving a seam. The mold line on a bottle can indicate its approximate age to an expert.

Do the lip and bottom of the bottle indicate an older style of manufacturing?
The lips of bottles made before 1870 appear crude and irregular. That’s because they were added after the bottle was blown or removed from its mold. There may be “drippy” areas, as well, under the bands applied around the lip.

Bottles with smooth bases usually date after 1870. Most bottles made before that will have marks on their bottoms where the rod (pontil) used by the maker was broken off.

Is the color consistent with age?
Aqua is the natural color of glass, its shade depending on minerals used in production. Clear glass is treated to become transparent. Shades of green and blue-green characterize most old glass. However, amber, blue, dark olive green and other colors appear from time to time and add value because they are unusual.


Sharing with you a few of my fave demijohns... 
French demijohns..
Just arrived from France, late 1800s demijohn at Rue 27 Maison
Rue 27 Maison
Vintage demijohns in wicker
Demijohns from les pics original...
Beautiful dining setting with demijohns grouped under antique tapestry on sideboard..
Vintage & antique demijohns from Uber Chic Home

Until next time...happy hunting....Cheers

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