For thirty-five hundred years, glass has been made in much the same way—by heating sand with an alkali such as ashes to help it melt and with a stabilizer such as lime to help it resist the attack of moisture. Glass has been valued since ancient times for its ability to capture and reflect light and for the wealth of shapes it can be given as well as for its many utilitarian virtues. Since 1676, the clearest glass, called crystal, has been made with the addition of lead which gives crystal greater brilliance, weight and reflective qualities.
Steuben Glass was founded by the Englishman, Frederick Carder, in 1903 in Corning, NY which is in Steuben (stoo-BEN) County—hence the name of the company. From 1903 until 1933, Steuben produced colored art glass which is referenced as the Carder period. In the late 1920’s—early 1930’s, Carder experimented to perfect the formula for the finest crystal in the world and from 1933 until the closing of the business in 2011, only clear crystal pieces were made.
With its magic formula including approximately 30% lead, Steuben Glass artisans designed and produced a wide range of primarily hand formed pieces ranging from Vases, Bowls, Candlesticks, Serving Pieces, Tableware and Drinking Accessories to the wonderful Animals and Ornamental/Decorative items. Beginning with the introduction of the famous Gazelle Bowl at the World’s Fair in 1939, Steuben Glass began an important tradition of producing copper wheel engraved exhibition pieces which were the most expensive and intricate sculptures in the line. In the late 1960’s under the initial guidance of the incomparable James Houston, the extremely popular Major Ornamental Design Series was introduced with most pieces having either a gold or silver component.
Having been a division of Corning, Inc. since 1918, Steuben Glass was sold to an outside group in August of 2008 and the business was permanently closed in 2011. However, the opportunity to own and collect the best Steuben Glass treasures from the past is still possible through my efforts to find the finest designs and make them available in excellent condition to my customers on this website!!!