Whether you’ve purchased a home with stained glass windows already in place or commissioned a special piece for your home, you might be aware already of the intrinsic value which stained glass can bring to your home. Value is dependent on size, style and condition. If you have antique or vintage pieces in your property, then you could be looking at anything from a few thousand pounds to tens of thousands in terms of value.For this reason alone, it can be a good idea to have your stained glass windows valued separately if your property is very old.
Dating your stained glass windows
With a bit of detective work it’s possible to find out the age and even the maker of your home’s stained glass windows. You can start by looking up the date of your home’s build and checking to see if the windows were in situ at the time or if they were a later addition. You can work this out by looking at deeds and if your property is an older one, old newspapers or local history books.
Working out the era in which your window was made is easy if you have some basic knowledge of style. Art Nouveau for example – this style features unmistakable hints such as long, curving lines and dramatically elongated floral designs. The Art Nouveau style was popular between around 1890 through to about 1910. After that, Art Deco takes over and is far more geometric in style – think 1920s flappers and the sorts of images which were popular at the time.This period as a whole saw a regeneration of stained glass in building and it was commonly included in doors and entrance halls. If your home was built between 1880 and 1920 it’s highly likely to have some stained glass present.
Types of glass and bevelling
Notice the type of glass used in the your stained glass window. For example, if opalescent glass is present – glass where more than one colour is apparent – then this will mean the window was made after 1880, which is when this type of glass was patented.
Slag glass which is a type of low-grade glass often amber or green, was often used in the early 1900s.
Look at the bevelling on your window. There are more clues to be seen. Bevelled accents in stained glass windows weren’t usually used prior to 1875. In the early 1880s however, a breakthrough in the construction of stained glass windows allowed very small pieces of glass to be fixed together without using lead.
Very old stained glass has a certain quality to it and is much more delicate than stained glass produced during the 1800s. If you’re unsure, it’s best to have an expert appraise your windows. Cleaning should be done with a soft cloth and a mild soap.