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Duncan & Miller Elegant Glassware

Duncan & Miller Elegant Glassware

For 90 years, beginning in 1865, the Duncan & Miller Glass Company created elegant glassware including vases, ashtrays, candleholders, candy dishes, and dinnerware. Some of these pieces were made in solid colors while others featured a specific pattern.

What kinds of glassware does Duncan & Miller make?
  • Opalescent: These Duncan & Miller items are made to have the iridescence of the opal gemstone. They are created by adding the right amount of bone ash to the match. Colors are created by adding metallic oxides. Chromium oxide is added for green, uranium oxide for yellow, gold oxide for pink, and copper oxide for blue.
  • Crystal: This is a very fine type of glass. When lead oxide is added to the batch, it becomes lead crystal, which has more sparkle and strength than regular crystal. You can tell if a piece is made of crystal by lightly snapping your finger against it. It will ring like a bell.
  • Etched: In the 19th and early 20th centuries, patterns were etched into objects by using hydrofluoric acid.
  • Ruby: This deeply red glass is made by adding colloidal gold to the batch. The red color can also be made by adding copper oxide, chrome salts, arsenic, and selenium.
  • Milk: This is white and opaque and made to imitate porcelain or china.
  • Cobalt Blue: A blue color is created by adding cobalt to the batch.
What is sandwich glass?

This elegant glassware created by Duncan & Miller is also called lacy glass because the piece is covered with slightly raised motifs such as flowers, scrolled leaves, and geometric shapes that are reminiscent of a piece of lace. The motifs are supposed to make the piece more refractive and give it a silvery glow. It is mold pressed, which means the batch is poured into a mold.

How do you take care of Duncan & Miller glassware?

Hand wash each piece in warm water with some mild dishwashing detergent, and dry with a soft cotton cloth that hasn’t been washed in a fabric softener. The glassware shouldn’t be left to air dry because that can cause spots on the glass. If the glass does look cloudy after it is washed, rub it with some white vinegar to restore its transparency.

If the glassware is to be used for serving food, clean it immediately after the meal. Certain foods and liquids such as red wine can stain. If the piece is being displayed, make sure to dust it regularly. Make sure the items don’t crowd each other on the shelf, table or china closet because this can lead to chipping. If the color of the piece was added at the fire, it can be placed in direct sunlight. Keep it out of the sun if the colors were painted on.

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