With very few exceptions, the thousands of windows that Julie and I have owned were made from about 1850 to 1935. During this span of time the design styles changed again and again. Within each of the widely recognized style periods (Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco) there also existed numerous subcategories of styles, each with their own design characteristics. The four predominant styles are charted above.
While sorting all of this out can be confusing, it is, at the same time, fascinating. I will try to make sense of some of the more important points that you may want to understand. In attempting to do this in an abbreviated form I am simplifying a large amount of subject matter, so I will apologize in advance to those who feel that I am giving rough treatment to the finer details of popular design history.
What I know has been learned by observation, reading asking questions, attending museums and, to a large extent, by having been a collector and dealer of antiques for more than three decades. I will encourage you to explore deeper into the various decorative styles in our recent culture and how they developed.
A Word of Advice
Before I go any farther I want to let you know that you really don’t have to understand any of this information. I began buying antiques simply because I liked them, and I still do. This introduces some very good advice: Buy What You Like. Chances are, you will never be sorry. And don’t be afraid to ask questions of antique dealers about any item that you are interested in purchasing. That is one of the principal ways that you learn. Enough advice for now.
How Our Inventory Is Organized
We have organized the Galleries on our site according to the four predominate styles mentioned here. By perusing the Galleries you will quickly be able to compare the and understand the differences between each of the styles. Each of the Style Galleries is further categorized by types of glass. Additional style and glass type information is available under the Information selection on our menu.
The four Decorative Styles, also refereed sometimes as Decorative Movements, each have beginning and ending dates. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees about these date ranges. Further complicating the issue is the difference in beginning and ending date from one country to the next. One country might be slower to accept a new style, then may later be slower to abandon this same style in comparison to other countries. Humorously, there is not a lot of agreement amongst authors and historians about the nation-by-nation style date ranges either. It should be accepted that there is a certain amount of imprecision in these matters. Therefore, I have used my own judgement in chosing and presenting the time periods listed above. I know in advance that some of you reading this may feel that I am corrupting history. Email me if you feel compelled to give me a piece of your mind.
After sorting through all of the different options, I settled on providing two date ranges shown above:
A“well-rounded” internationally-accepted date range
The date range when the style was predominate in Northern America