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How to Determine the Age of a Stained Glass Window

How to Determine the Age of a Stained Glass Window

If your home features a stained glass window, you might be wondering if it’s original to the house or installed at a later date. Alternatively, you might just be interested in the age of the windows in your local religious building or some other beautiful architecture. Of course, a quick Google search will tell you that stained glass was a favourite element of home built in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but you’re probably looking for more specific answers. There are a few clues to look out for, although it can be quite a complicated task.

First of all, assess the style of the window. Art Deco was popular in the 1920s and features geometric patterns, such as triangles. Art Noveau, on the other hand, was around a little earlier (1890 – 1910) and preferred the use of long, curving lines rather than sharp angles. Styles even earlier still were usually far simpler and unrefined. Lots of modern stained glass windows feature bespoke designs, so it should be fairly obvious if the window is a recent addition to the building.

As well as patterns and designs, another giveaway of the age of a stained glass window is the glass itself. Opalescent glass, for example, was usually used after 1880 when it was patented. This type of glass features more than one colour. Another thing to consider is the leading and bevelling. Bevelled accents became more common after 1875 and in the early 1880s manufacturers found ways to assemble windows without the use of lead came.

If you have enough existing information about the windows in question, you may be able to consult public records to determine the age. For more information and assistance with anything stained glass related, don’t be afraid to contact us on 020 8363 9523 and we’ll be more than happy to help.