Owning an antique decanter is something to be proud about, simply because this is a glassware item that not many people get to have in their homes. Maybe you have it from older generations, from a family member who passed away recently, or maybe it was purchased in a forgotten antique shop abroad. However when you really look at the piece, there is no way of knowing whether it is the real deal or a simple glass item.
There are several ways to find out, some easier than others. You will definitely need to research and get familiar with the world of glass or crystal decanters. You need to have at least a basic understanding of what the decanter should do and what types you can find – or no longer find – on the market.
If you want to research your piece, you have a good couple of places to get you started, so don’t despair if you don’t have anyone near you who is a wine connoisseur to help you with it.
The times when decanters were really common were around the 18th and the 19th century, when aristocracy was using them during their many posh parties to pour wine in drinking glasses. A person who owned a very exotic and rare decanter was very popular with the ‘in’ crowd of those times.
To get started learning more about decanters, you will be well served by reading the book Decanters 1760-1930. by David Leigh. With over 80 illustrations and color pictures, this book is a real resource on identifying various decanters of the ancient times. Not only that, but using this book you can learn more about the various stages that the decanters have passed through during the years gone by. For example, you can learn about their styles and the many different materials used for them. I own this book and it has actually helped me with some of my old pieces that I got from my grandparents before they passed away.
You can also learn more about decanters from the book called Decanters by Andy McConnell in 2004. With over 600 pages, this book is a real treat for the eyes. While it describes glass decanters in Europe, it also goes in depth about decanters in the US throughout the history. The books also shows the various stages and changes that decanters have gone through during the years. You might own a strange shaped decanter, and having one of these two books will help you easily identify what you have in your hands. This is when you will easily learn whether what you own is a genuine antique crystal decanter or a regular, mass made piece of glass.
A well known type of decanters today is the Riedel crystal decanter. Visit Crystal decanter to learn more.