Etched Ruby Glass

Beginning in the mid-19th century, the Victorians loved colored and etched glass and used a lot of it in their homes. It’s hard to beat the rich warmth of etched ruby glass, as seen here.

Where such glass survives, it is characteristic of the time and important to the character of the house. It should be preserved. There are experts who can restore damaged etched glass and reproduce missing pieces.

This entryway with etched ruby glass side lights and transom is on the Harriet Beecher Stowe house in Brunswick, ME. This is the home where she wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” while her husband was teaching at nearby Bowdoin College. In 1855, after the Stowe family had moved on, the Federal style house was renovated in the Greek Revival style with touches of the Italianate. The etched ruby glass was likely installed at that time.

Decorative glass is discussed in Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners. The 720-page hardcover book is now available in bookstores and from online retailers (it is currently 36% off on Amazon! http://ow.ly/N7ba50y4PSL).

Signed copies are available directly from the author on this site.

Your local bookstore can order copies from W.W. Norton.

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