All About Glass

You are here

Desk Set

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes this desk set produced by Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. The problems involved in pressing glass were summarized by a glassmaker in 1849: "If an overplus of metal [glass] be gathered, it thickens the article throughout; but if too little, it fails to fill up the mould, and is spoiled. The chief condition of success, in getting a polished surface on pressed Glass, depends upon the moulds being kept a little short of red heat." In this three-piece desk set, the color is not well mixed, and the surface has fissures from contact with the mold. Nevertheless, the set, which would have graced the desk of a fashionable home, is a very rare and attractive example of the glassmaker's craft. There are two wells for ink and a slot for a pen. The ink containers were blown in a mold rather than pressed. Only six such sets are known.