Burmese glass

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Burmese glass is a type of opaque colored art glass, shading from yellow to pink, found in either the rare original "shiny" finish or the more common "satin" finish. It is used for table glass and small, ornamental vases and dressing table articles.

It was patented in 1885 by the Mount Washington Glass Company of New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA. Burmese glass found favor with Queen Victoria, and from 1886, the British company of Thomas Webb & Sons was licensed to produce their own version known as Queen's Burmeseware, which was used for tableware and decorative glass, often with painted decoration.

The formula to produce Burmese Glass contains uranium oxide with tincture of gold added. The uranium oxide produced the inherent soft yellow color of Burmese glass. Because of the added gold, the characteristic pink blush of color of Burmese was fashioned by re-heating the object in the furnace (the "Glory Hole"). The length of time in the furnace will determine the intensity of the color. Strangely, if the object is subjected to the heat again, it will return to the original yellow color.

On the queen's visit to the United States, the Mount Washington glass company made for her a tea cup and saucer. When it was presented to her, she exclaimed, "It looks like a Burmese sunset." That is where the name Burmese came from for the glass. The design painted on the cup and saucer by the famous Mt. Washington artist Timothy Canty became known as Queen's Burmese design. The Mount Washington Glass Company patented Queen's design Burmese, not Thomas Webb and Sons.