Originally brought on the scene during the 1880s, this type of glass was created in the United States and England. It is unique for its unusual appearance and fine, soft feel to the touch. The glass itself is created using hydrofluoric acid or hydrofluoric acid fumes to create a satin finish. The finish itself is both visible and most certainly recognizable by the touch.
Good pieces of satin glass feel actually like a piece of fine satin cloth. There's almost nothing like it. In addition, the glass is not transparent.
Unfortunately, satin glass hit a new level of popularity in recent history with glassmakers such as Fenton creating new pieces. The market basically got flooded with new pieces, which of course, drove down the price for many of the older samples.
Despite the pricing, satin glass is still loved by collectors. Its unique feel and appearance coupled with its stereotypical pastel coloring make this delicate glass a favorite. And with prices more reasonable, this type of glass is more than affordable to start collecting. Finding specimens from the 1800s and early 1900s might be a little tough still, but they are finds worth keeping when they're come across.
Satin glass was used to make a variety of pieces ranging from candy dishes and compotes to perfume holders and beyond. Older pieces of satin glass may have some of the finish "rubbed" away as the glass' look is very much affected by friction. The imperfection will appear like an oil spot on the glass.
When looking to buy and collect satin glass, it's important to get pieces that are suitable for your collection. Higher priced pieces may in fact be the older ones, but if you're unsure, do some research first. Many glassmakers used distinguishing marks to enable people to tell their work apart from the competition. Learn these marks for the glass you collect and you'll have a better chance of finding authentic pieces.
Satin glass is a beautiful, eye-catching type of glass that's loved by antique collectors. Its appearance is unusual, but its feel is what really makes it stand out.