Thursday, November 17, 2011

The care of antique glass

The most usual problem related to the use of period glass is staining of decanters. Stains are of two kinds. If dark, it should be possible to remove them by manipulation of a good bottle brush (perhaps with a tuft at the tip) fed well with warm water and perhaps a little proprietary cleaner such as Cif or Astonish. However this may reveal the presence of a milky stain which is caused by acids in wines and by leaving decanters wet. In this case the decanter needs professional buffing. It is thus imperative that decanters should be dried after use.

Minor chips on wineglasses can be eliminated but only by reduction of the glass; so this practice is restricted to glasses of comparatively low value. Chips on important period glasses can normally be filled with a colourless resin which renders the damage inconspicuous. Again, professional help is required via a specialist dealer.

As to washing: virtually all glass should be washed in water as hot as the hand will stand with the addition of a little detergent such as Fairy Liquid. Rinse in water of the same temperature and dry with lint-free cotton cloth (such as cotton sheeting) while the glass is hot. The heat of the glass will do most of the drying.

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