Though it is known by several names, slag glass is a variety of pressed glass that is universally celebrated by collectors for its characteristically subtle variations in color and opacity. Adding to the beauty of slag glass – also known as malachite glass, marble glass, and mosaic glass – is its rich history that reflects the ingenuity of turn-of-the-century glassmakers. This article strolls through this history and highlights some of its most popular forms for those who want to surround themselves with exceptional slag glass pieces.
With this extensive popularity of slag glass among these producers, collectors can find numerous examples of antique and vintage slag glass pieces on the market today. This predominance can make identifying true slag glass challenging, a point reinforced by the fact that there are so many associated colors. One clear indicator, though, of true slag glass is the richness of its tonal variations: real slag glass will not simply bear streaks of color but instead will offer more subtle variations in opacity and tone like one would expect from marble or alabaster. Meanwhile, imitation slag glass, like this early twentieth-century ashtray, reveals an unusually uniform color.
With these maker names in mind and these tips to guide your research, you should be well on your way to a successful search for a splendid new slag glass piece to your collection. The final question to contemplate, though, is the value of these pieces. Like so many fields of collecting, slag glass can be acquired at a wide variety of price points.
Condition is a big factor, as is age – newer vintage pieces tend to sell for less than earlier antique examples. However, perhaps the biggest indicator of price is the maker of the work: signed Tiffany Lamps, like this spectacular Dragonfly Lamp, can sell in the tens of thousands, while the diminutive and delicate collectibles like this Boyd train set sell for mere dollars. The benefit of this incredible price range is that the slag glass market is accessible for virtually any budget and can satisfy those seeking bold statement pieces as well as smaller accent decorations. So, whether you are ready to make a big investment or simply want to spend a few dollars, memorable examples of slag glass can be yours.