Monthly Archives: December 2016

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Milk glass has been around since the 16th century, but the term itself was coined in the 20th century to describe the opaque white, pink, and the ever popular green color.

France was the first place milk glass came into vogue, and 19th-century French milk glass is highly collectible today. By the early 1900's, milk glass was a symbol of the style and taste of American households enjoying the fruits of the Gilded Age. These privileged individuals filled their homes with milk glass produced by 19th-century U.S. glass manufacturers.

Milk glass has been in constant production for so long that collectors have many items to choose from. One of the largest producers in the twentieth century was Westmoreland Glass of Grapeville, Pennsylvania; its factory closed in 1985. Only a handful of companies still manufacture milk glass, including the well-known Fenton Art Glass Company of Williamstown, West Virginia.

Prices can range from just a few dollars to several thousand. However, because few American manufacturers marked their glass, it can be difficult to tell when, where, or by whom a piece was made. An old, rare piece of milk glass can fetch several thousand dollars, while a charming hobnailed butter dish can be bought for $10. Some older milk glass contains quantities of lead and will ring like a bell when tapped, and may also display brilliant colors around its edges when held up to the light. But newer milk glass certainly has its selling points: it's plentiful, undervalued, and so sturdy that you can put it in the dishwasher.

At Wishful Living we have reproduction green milk glass available, ranging in price from $10 to $28. Stop in and see our selection! We're open Monday through Saturday in historic downtown Berthoud, Colorado.

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Mercury Glass at Wishful Living

Mercury Glass at Wishful Living

Mercury glass, also known as silvered glass, has been popular throughout Europe and America for nearly 200 years. It contains neither mercury nor silver - it's actually clear glass, mold-blown into double-walled shapes and coated on the inside with a silvering formula, which is inserted though a small hole that is then sealed with a plug. First discovered in early-19th-century Germany, mercury glass was used as an inexpensive and tarnish-free substitute for silver in objects such as candlesticks and doorknobs. It then gained favor in France and England, where it was made into useful household wares like vases and goblets, and in America, where it was turned into glass vases, goblets, tankards, tumblers, and even spittoons. Some critics condemned it for "looking too much like mirror and too little like silver," which is exactly what people liked about it. At worst, mirror attracts a few glances, while genuine silver attracts thieves. Appreciation for the inexpensive baubles rose, until the advent of the light bulb, in "modern" light, no burglar would mistake glass for silver. Known as "poor man's silver" in England, mercury glass provided an inexpensive alternative to the silver that furnished the houses and churches of the wealthy.

At Wishful Living we offer a variety of inexpensive mercury glass pieces. The picture above shows votives ($5.00), jars ($8.00) and the square box with lid ($14.00).

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Timer candles at Wishful Living

"There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle"- Robert Alden

Placing a burning candle in one's window is a common tradition that dates back to colonial times. Candle light often evokes the warmth of home and family. The candle was often placed in the window when a member of the family was away. The lit candle was also placed in the window as a sign of good news or as a beacon to weary travelers. Candles also represented friendship and were seen as a sign of welcome to others. In early America, homes were often miles apart. The sight of a candle in a window from a distance was a sign of "welcome" to those wishing to visit.

At Wishful Living we have "timer" Tapers and Pillars, a battery operated candle that turns itself on for 6 hours, off for 18 hours, and turns itself on again for 6 hours and so on. They are a great addition to any holiday decor, or any time of year.

Stop in and see us in festive Berthoud, Colorado!  We're open daily through Christmas with extended hours.