History of Antique Stained Glass
Stained glass windows are both stunning architectural features and awe-inspiring works of art. Traditionally made by adding metallic salts to molten glass to create colors and then blown or pressed into panels or shapes, these brilliantly colored windows can feature biblical scenes, animals and plants, landscape scenes, historical figures or abstract shapes depending on its intended use.
Throughout its thousand-year history, the term “stained glass” has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches, mosques and other significant buildings (such as government buildings) while a similar style, referred to as leadlight, was used primarily in homes and businesses. The major difference between stained glass and leadlight is largely in the manufacturing process and the more simplistic designs featured in leadlight. Stained glass windows, such as those commonly found in churches, usually include design elements that have been painted onto the glass and fired in a kiln before assembly. The extra time and cost involved in painting and firing the glass usually prevented its use in home or business architecture. Unlike stained glass windows which are traditionally pictorial or of elaborate design, traditional leadlight windows are generally non-pictorial, containing geometric designs and plant motifs.
Stained glass, as an art form, reached its height in the Middle Ages when it became a major pictorial form used to illustrate the stories of the Bible to a largely illiterate population, where it also became known as the Poor Man’s Bible. The use of stained glass continued through the years, gaining and losing popularity as styles changed. It regained popularity again in the late 1800’s, during the Victorian period, as there was a renewed interest in Gothic style architecture. The Arts and Crafts Movement also helped revive interest in stained glass, mostly through its ideas of traditional craftsmanship and the use of medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. Artists such as Louis Comfort Tiffany (of Tiffany & Co.) developed new styles and techniques of stained glass making, elevating the art form to new heights. Today, both leadlight and stained glass are used in commercial and residential properties, helping to create intricately lit rooms with vibrant colors.
Salvaging Antique Stained Glass
Olde Good Things has always enjoyed salvaging stained glass whenever the opportunity arises. These stained glass pieces have come from churches, businesses and homes and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Fanlights, windows, doors with stained glass and more are available in the vast stained glass area at the warehouse at Olde Good Things. We also inquired an extensive stock of large single pieces of replacement antique stained glass, in every color you can think of. (please view this video for more information). These pieces are perfect for any stained glass repair craftsmen or artist, wholesale pricing is available. Please inquire for more details. Our stained glass pieces sell incredibly quick, so be sure to stop by our Scranton, Pennsylvania location or view the Antique Stained Glass currently online.