Artisans have produced lovely crystal pieces for hundreds of years ranging from wafer thin wine glasses to heavy serving pieces, such as punch bowls. Each artisan develops his own designs and usually puts his name or trademark on the crystal pieces. Collectors have identified hundreds of vintage crystal manufacturers along with a record of the patterns made by each one. Even with so much information, however, collectors cannot identify hundreds of other designs since there are no company records to reference. There are ways, however, that you can identify many crystal patterns that do not have any trademarks.
Take a digital image of the crystal pattern, along with any names or trademarks, and upload it to your computer. Enlarge the pattern and the trademark so you can see the finer details. Save the image for future use and then print it.
Go to the Match Your Crystal website (you will find the link in the Resources section). They have compiled photos or sketches of thousands of crystal patterns. They have categorized the collection by manufacturer names, of which there are several hundred. Compare your pattern to very similar ones on the website by opening the file with your digital photo, right clicking on the task bar, and choosing “tile windows vertically.” This will place the patterns side-by-side.
Visit the library reference section and compare the printout of your crystal pattern to the designs in their reference books. Plan to make several visits if you do not know the manufacturer of your crystal, as it will be a time-consuming process.
Contact a collector in your community for assistance in identifying your pattern. Collectors have extensive knowledge of crystal manufacturers. Even if he does not recognize the design, the collector may be able to offer valuable advice to help you in your search. Some collectors will do the research for you for a fee.
- Rina Summer/Demand Media