Glass Collecting for Beginners
Hello and welcome! For those interested in glass collecting then we have some advice for you, whether you have money to invest or are looking to collect glass on a budget or even for free!
For those of you fortunate enough to have money to invest, you will be pleased to know that, as well as having some wonderful pieces of objet d’art to feast your eyes upon, you will have a solid investment that should return around 20% per annum.
The best place to add to your glass collection is, of course, here at Boha Glass (well, we would say that, wouldn’t we! :-). But some other great alternatives include specialist glass fairs, and antique and collectors fairs. These are well worth a visit, and you can enjoy a little trip to another part of the country and see all your favourite glass all in one place.
For those not able or willing to travel to add to their collection, there is a wealth of art glass to be bought online. Ebay often have some great pieces in their online auctions, and you can use software like Auction Sniper to help you place a winning bid.
There are also many other online auctions, from local auction houses that use auction software to post their smaller auctions online to get a bigger audience, to large established online auctions where you can buy glass from the comfort of your living room.
If you don’t have the capital to invest in a glass collection then you can get your hands dirty and find lots of glass for free.
Mudlarking is where you look for glass in the mud of rivers at low tide. Lots of amazing items can be found, not just glass, but you can find some lovely old bottles. More often than not, they will be broken, but just occasionally you can pull a perfect piece out of the soft mud.
I thought I had found a complete 18th Century Rum bottle recently, but as I dug deeper around the edges I realised it was just the bottom half. It still looked beautiful though.
As well as glass, you will likely find a lot of old clay pipes and things like buttons and buckles, but they are all interesting in their own right.
If you live near a city river where there has been human habitation for many centuries, you will do a lot better than on a river bank in the countryside. Also, be safe, only go where the mud is solid and won’t suck you in!
The other free alternative is bottle digging. You need to know where people used to throw away their old bottles (a bottle dump) and ask the landowners permission to dig there. This is where you will find the most unbroken glass bottles in all colours and sizes (though mostly clear and brown ones!)
Do wear gloves, and be careful where you dig. I heard about someone who went digging and caught the Black Death Plague! Luckily, it can be treated easily nowadays with modern antibiotics. Make sure you use sturdy gloves as you will come across a lot of broken glass and you need to protect your hands.
There are plenty of local bottle digging groups you can join, and you will learn a wealth of tips and tricks on how to dig carefully and the best ways to clean the bottles.
My tip is to put them in warm soapy water for a good few hours before attempting to clean them and also to buy one of those bottle cleaners on a wire that you can jam deep into the glass for a thorough clean.
Whether you have a fine collection of glass in a beautiful display cabinet, or you have a bottle collection that you have ‘mudlarked’ or dug up yourself, we would love to see it!. Please do send us your images and add to the comments below.
Thanks for reading!