Milk glass

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Decorative pedestal milk glass bowl

Milk glass is an opaque or translucent,[citation needed] milky white or colored glass, blown or pressed into a wide variety of shapes. First made in Venice in the 16th century, colors include blue, pink, yellow, brown, black, and the white that led to its popular name.


First made in Venice in the 16th century, colors include blue, pink, yellow, brown, black, and white. 19th-century glass makers called milky white opaque glass "opal glass". The name milk glass is relatively recent. The white color is achieved through the addition of an opacifier, e.g. tin dioxide or bone ash.[1]

Milk glass - four pieces

Made into decorative dinnerware, lamps, vases, and costume jewelry, milk glass was highly popular during the fin de siecle. Pieces made for the wealthy of the Gilded Age are known for their delicacy and beauty in color and design, while Depression glass pieces of the 1930s and '40s are less so. Perhaps one of the most famous uses of opal glass (or at least the most viewed example) is for the four faces of the information booth clock at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

Milk glass clock faces at Grand Central Terminal in New York City


Milk glass has a considerable following of collectors.[2] Glass makers continue to produce both original pieces and reproductions of popular collectible pieces and patterns.[3]

Notable manufacturers[edit]

A milk glass collection.


  1. ^ Husfloen, Kyle (2007). Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles 2008 Price Guide (illustrated ed.). 644: Krause Publications. p. 1066. ISBN 9780896895317. 
  2. ^ Belknap, Eugene McCamly (1949). Milk glass. Crown Publishers. p. 327. 
  3. ^ Chiarenza, Frank; James Slater (2007). The Milk Glass Book. A Schiffer book for collectors (illustrated ed.). Schiffer Pub Ltd,. p. 228. ISBN 9780764306617. 

External links[edit]