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Posted by RRC on March 01, 2008 at 18:21:

In Reply to: Cut-glass posted by Victoria S Dennis on March 01, 2008 at 13:11:

: : : I'd like to know the meaning of the expression 'cut-glass'.

: : : I researched and the only definition who keeps coming up it's certainly not the one I need, which is "Glass shaped or decorated by cutting instruments or abrasive wheels".
: : : I read it in a book, and I think it's something closer to refined, classy. I'd really appreciate if you could help me clear this up.

: : Perhaps the following quote may help.

: : "There was a rough stone age and a smooth stone age and a bronze age, and many years afterward a cut-glass age. In the cut-glass age, when young ladies had persuaded young men with long, curly moustaches to marry them, they sat down several months afterwards and wrote thank-you notes for all sorts of cut-glass presents-punch-bowls, finger-bowls, dinner-glasses, wine-glasses, ice-cream dishes, bonbon dishes, decanters, and cases-for, though cut glass was nothing new in the nineties, it was then especially busy reflecting the dazzling light of fashion from the Back Bay to the fastnesses of the Middle West."

: : -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Cut-Glass Bowl, from Flappers and Philosophers, 1920."

: Although I suspect the expression has more to do with the phrase "cut-glass accent"; the image being of someone who was brought up by governesses to speak "properly", with an accent as clear and precise as cut glass, and not to mumble and drop initial H's and terminal G's as the hoi polloi do. (VSD)

Many things that look like they are made of cut glass often turn out to be pressed glass where the hot glass is pressed into a mold which has the shape of cut glass thus removing the labor-intensive process of cutting and grinding each piece. Molded imitation cut glass is cheaper than the "real deal" and can be usually be distinguished from real cut glass by the lines where the two halves of the mold were joined together. In addition to the mold lines, pressed glass has less definition and detail as the mold will not impress such sharp lines and tiny cuts as may be made by hand.