Vintage Bluerina, Blue Amberina Glassware: It’s all in the Fade!
Bluerina glassware. What is it?
You will most likely have seen in passing the very popular Amberina glass, a two-toned red/amber glassware originating in the late 1800s. It was patented by Joseph Locke of the New England Glass Company as a result of others trying to copy and produce the original technique. Amberina fades from red to amber with red being at the top, amber resting at the base. Periodically you will see this fade in reverse, which is aptly called Reverse Amberina!
At Audrey Would! we have two sets of stemware from the Amberina family, but in blue rather than the original and more common red. The blue variation is known as Blue Amberina or Bluerina, and is actually considered to be one of the rarest, if not the rarest form of this formula fade.
Let’s take a look.
Do you see how the top shade of royal blue fades and becomes a fiery amber at the base of these cordials? Stunning!
The process of creating this reactive glassware is interesting. It requires reheating the glass at the top of the piece before actually allowing the glass to cool. The glass is heat sensitive, so when it reaches a certain temperature on the reheat it begins to turn colour and transition into the fade. I mentioned earlier, Reverse Amberina, which is created by going the opposite way – reheating the base rather than the top.
Each piece, even as a set, is really unique because of the temperamental nature of reactive glass. You will see variations in the fade, some pieces featuring a very gradual ombre transformation, while others show a more distinct line between the blue top and amber base.
You see that with these Bluerina cocktail goblets. Notice the difference in fade within this set? You can barely see the amber base because the fade is so tight, but trust me, it’s there! Now compare this set with the first set above. What a remarkable difference in the fading effect!
I have a theory…
These goblet bowls are 2″ deep, and the cordials are 2 3/4″ deep. That means there is an extra 3/4″ for the reactive process to ‘take fade’ in the cordial set. This of course, is my theory minus the scientific side of the process!
If you are lucky enough to find a Bluerina piece, look for the gradual fade vs. the more definite line between colours. Gradual fade is the most collectible and seeks a higher price! Also, do not limit your search to just blown glassware. This reactive glass process was used in both blown art glass and pressed glass items! Who knew?
Both of these sets are blown glass with fused stems and base.
Some of you might remember my earlier post featuring these cordials and Grappa with chocolate and frozen grapes! Decadent, no?
Do you have any Amberina or Blue Amberina pieces in your collection? If so, where are your pieces from?
Thanks for stopping by!
Photographs © Audrey Would! Vintage Home in collaboration with Sheila Zeller of Sheila Zeller Interiors.