3.01.2011

Poor Man's Silver

I know, as many of you do too, that there is a fascination with all things Frenchy.  Whether we have actually been lucky enough to visit Paris and the surrounding countryside, we love to read about it, dream about and fill our homes with French accents.  I have been a lucky lady to have actually visited the city of light in the Spring time, wander the famous streets, sip a cool drink at a café côté de la rue, and browsed the museums, gazing at that famous smile.  My dream now is to return and visit the brocantes or flea markets and out of the way haunts of the locals for my on line and brick and mortar shop.  Ahhhhh...hopefully soon but until then Ms. Polly at that fabulous blog French Cupboard is having a party...a Voila Party.  A place to show off your Frenchiness, if you will.  :)
Because we love all things Paris and Paris loves all things  mercury glass I am showcasing my one and only piece of antique glass in my on-line boutique.  I love antique and vintage mercury glass but have only been fortunate enough to find two pieces of the actual old pieces on my treasure hunts, the second one just the other day. The patina of the antique pieces is beautiful and especially gorgeous as the candlelight from nearby candles reflects off the old mottled silver.

Mercury glass, also known as silvered glass, contains neither mercury nor silver. It's actually clear glass, mold-blown into double-walled shapes and coated on the inside with a silvering formula, which is inserted though a small hole that is then sealed with a plug.  Most plugs do not survive the rigors of time and get lost which results in oxidation or loss of the silvering.  This part is what I love about the true old pieces of mercury glass.  And the ones with hand painting on them often lose most of their color too.

Mercury glass was used as an inexpensive and tarnish-free substitute for silver in such objects as candlesticks and doorknobs. It then gained favor in France and England, where it was made into useful household wares like pedestal footed vases and goblets.  If the true old pieces are too steep for your pocketbook, you can now buy reproductions at many shops such as Pottery Barn, Target or Ballards.  Or you can even make your own, by just using found inexpensive glass objects and applying a painting technique. I have even seen pumpkins mercuryfied for a Fall vignette. .....  gorgeous!

But keep your eyes open as you are out treasure hunting and maybe you will spot a real authentic piece.  Thank you Polly for this fun party.  If you want to see more French inspiration just click here. "And for tons of delightful ideas please join Courtney over at French Country Cottage for her Feathered Nest Friday.   I am busy at the shop today prettying and painting.  Hopefully the next blog you see will be all about it.  xoxo

27 comments :

Karen said...

Those are gorgeous pieces, I love mercury glass,mine however are reproductions.I love them just the same.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Lynn, You are lucky I didn't tackle you in the shop for this piece! Love it.
xo,
Sherry

NanaDiana said...

Beautiful - Love mercury glass too. My mother had a couple of pieces of the real stuff...which they didn't think much of back then...and I have 2 real ornaments that belonged to my hubby's grandmother. It is almost impossible to find now..and if you do find it-it is very pricey- xxoo Diana

Donnie said...

They are just beautiful.

Terri said...

Your mercury glass is so gorgeous. I have always loved it too, as well as Paris. I was lucky to be there last spring and it was such a delight!
Hugs,
Terri

Shirley said...

Hi Lynn,
Hope all is coming along well with your new adventure! Can't wait to see the photo's so hurry up as we are all waiting!!!!
Beautiful Mercury Glass piece. It sure has some bling going on there!
~Shirley

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

I just love the look of mercury glass!

The Cranky Queen said...

Mercury glass is so pretty. Although my glass is reproduction, I enjoy displaying it especially at Christmas. I enjoy your blog. I would love for you to visit me at my fairly new blog thecrankyqueen.blogspot.com Have an awesome week and keep junkin' tiff

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Wooo HOOOO ... any chance I can hitch a ride when you go? :))
can't wait to see what you've been up to (())

LuLu Kellogg said...

LOVE mercury glass!

I can't wait to see what you have been working on!

LuLu~*xoxo

Lori Katies Rose Cottage said...

I love mercury glass too
so much ~
Your pictures are just
beautiful!!

xoxo
Lori

Gypsy Brocante said...

Lovely! .. I think it's safe to say we all have a soft spot for mercury glass .. thanks for sharing your wealth knowledge!

... and yes, Mignon is a steak! My favorite ; ) ... a "dainty" cut of meat if you will.

I'm happy you're joining in Voila {NOT Viola ... thanks!!} ... can't wait to see all you have to share.

xo
Jill

Kelly_Deal said...

Your mercury glass is beautiful! I will post my collection next week! Thanks for sharing!

About Vintage French Hen said...

I too love the looks of mercury glass, authentic or reproduction! I can remember my mother having pieces when I was growing up, but they vanished over the years. Who knew? I can't wait to visit again, you have such beautiful things!

Sherry said...

What a nice old piece of Mercury glass. I didn't know the history of it. Thanks for sharing!
Sherry

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

I've never come across the real thing yet! But I do love yours displayed with the lace.

Debra@Common Ground said...

I love it, I don't have any old though, can't find it around here. Thanks for the info on how it's made! Your piece is so lovely!
xo,
Debra

Cheryl said...

OH!! I just love Mercury Glass!! It has to be one of my favorites.. Your antique piece is GORGEOUS!! I own 1 antique and a couple newer pieces myself..I would love to some day own a whole collection of the antique ones..For now though I am content with puddling through web pages..admiring other collections from afar...

OH!! Hope you don't mind me mentioning this! It is my one year blogging anniversay, so... as the french would say...Merci Beaucoup! I am thanking my followers by giving away something SPECTACULAR!! If you have a moment, hop on over to my blog and see what it is!!

Counting Your Blessings said...

Hi Lynn. Oh how I love old mercury glass! I don't have any authentic pieces though.

I think we should plan a bloggers trip to Paris - don't you?! =)

Blessings... Polly
Counting Your Blessings & French Cupboard

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Very pretty girl..Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Pamela said...

Feasted my soul on your pictures. Love beauty and they surely fall into that category. I think probably because they've seen a lot of days...oh, the stories they could tell!

I'm a new follower from Feathered Nest Friday.

Marie Antionette said...

WOW!!! So beautiful Lynn.
How we say in New Orleans...How you doing Darling? LOL. A fab post as usual. I hope you get your wish and return to the flea market of your dreams.
XXOO Marie Antionette

A homemaker said...

nice pieces that you have there... they are soooo beautiful !

Infatuated with Homes and Gardens said...

I have not seen the older examples of this,I have though seen a lot of the new mas produced ones on the market, I love you vase though:)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi Lynn~ I absolutely love mercury glass and silver- something about that beautiful patina!! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday~ can't wait to see the shop!! :)

laura@imnotatrophywife.com said...

New follower.. found you from a shout out on another blog! So much fun stuff! laura@imnotatrophywife.com

http://imnotatrophywife.com

Melanie R. Cain said...

We love mercury glass at our store. It is everywhere this year! Classic, though.

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