Glass Guide
H to M

This section contains definitions for the terms used in glass making and in the description of glassware. There are links to other sections to help expand upon and provide illustrations of the terms used.

This section is not as comprehensive as the source texts that are available and these should be consulted for further details. References are shown in bold and links are in blue.

Happy reading.

H I J - K L M
Maize. see Libbey.

Maleras Glasbruk. Swedish glasshouse founded in 1924. Produced pressed, engraved and cut glass items in Scandanavian styles designed by Walwing. Taken over by Flygfors. After a financial crisis all too common in the glass industry it was saved by Kosta but then threatened with closure in 1980. Mats Jonasson who was the chief designer along with local workers and villagers saved the factory. Jonasson's designs became a great success producing flat back scenes with deeply cast forms, typically with animals also unique pieces using casting, sand blasting and cutting.

malfin glass. glass which is a poorly blended frit and cullet.

Manson, William. Trained by Paul Ysart (see Monart) at Caithness. Founded a workshop for paperweight production in 1997 in Perth. Joined by his son (also called William). Especially attractive lampwork pieces. These include reptiles, fish, insects and floral themes. Workshops closed in 2004. Manson is working with John Deacons, another paperweight maker of note.

Marinot, Maurice. A French glass artist working in the media between 1911 and 1937. Despite his fame he remains one of the most under rated artists in the field. Essentially producing styles that would later be adopted as studio glass, many years before the movement was started by Littleton. A painter in his early years, his friends, the Viard brothers introduced him to glass and allowed him access to their facilities. His early pieces were made to his designs which he then decorated in enamels. Owing much to both Cubism and Art Deco designs these were very strong innovative forms. Marinot set about learning glass making techniques and with hard won experience began producing his own forms. He experimented with malfin glass and the sophistication of his pieces increased. Coloured glass, internally decorated glass, massive rough hewn pieces were developed. These were a revolution and revelation. The influence of his work is difficlt to assess, certainly he inspired Daum, Navarre, Thuret and Dumoulin. This undoubtedly influenced Scandanavian glass production and thus directly or indirectly most of modernist 20th century glass design. He never stopped painting and returmed to this field after Viard closed in the late 1930's. He died in 1960. He is not well known outside the glass collecting field, he was a quiet but major influence on 20th century glass and indirectly on modernist design as a whole. See mark.

Marjorelle Louis. A major figure in the Art Nouveau movement. Primarily famous for his furniture, he set-up his own workshop for the production of iron forms. He produced mounts for glass vases and bowls. Also notably for light fittings for Daum. Marjorelle designs also appear in iron for Daum for early Art Deco forms.

marqueterie de verre, marquetry. A technique patented by Galle in 1898 (possibly similar techniques used by others). Pre-formed cut shapes of, typically, coloured hot glass is embedded into the parison by rolling the body onto a marver. The inserts are cut into various shapes such as insects or flowers.

Marver. A flat plate, typically steel, on which hot blown glass is rolled back and forth for shaping. The term originally comes from the French for marble. The marver can be used for differentially cooling areas or be used as a surface to spread material to form inclusions or surface decoration on the glass.

Mary Gregory Glass. see Gregory, Mary.

mascot. A decorative glass object such as an insect, bird or figure fixed to the bonnet of a car. Sometimes lit, some of the most valuable are those made by Lalique in the 1920's.

matsu-no-ke. A term coined by Stevens and Williams in the late 1800's for glass which mimics the knarled branches of an ornamental pine tree. It is taken from the Japanese for pine, Matzu. It is used to describe items with applications of clear or coloured glass in the form of twisting and pulled irregular thick tubes. It was later produced by Steuben in the 1920's. However the term is frequently used generically. Glass of this form has been produced by a number glasshouses at different time periods although curiously it is frequently attributed to Stevens and Williams regardless of the true origin of the glass.

Mdina. Originally set up by Michael Harris and Eric Dobson in the late 1960's on Malta, very colourful glass was produced in stylised forms. The quality steadily improved and after Michael left to set up Isle of Wight glass Eric continued developing the business. It was taken over by Joseph Said in 1981 one of the earliest employees of the company. His brother Paul set-up Mtarfa. See mark.

Meisenthal. Verrerie de, Original name for Burgun, Schverer & Cie.

mercury glass. see mirror glass

merletto. A network of lattimo threads

metal. Another term for glass, usually used for the hot or molten body.

metal oxides. Used for colouring glass, producing enamels and dichroic glass.

Meyr's Neffe. Meyr founded a glasshouse and acquired others to form a series of works which on his death in 1841 were united by his nephews, Wilhelm Kralik and Taschek. The new company was named Meyr's Neffe (nephews). On Kralik's death in 1881 the company split to become Meyr's Neffe and Wilhelm Kralik & Sohne. Meyr's Neffe produced high quality art glass designed by K. Moser, Olbrich, J. Hoffmann, Lobmeyr and Bakalowits. Also produced iridescent glass, cut glass and tableware, all of very good quality. The most famous production was arguably for Otto Prutscher of the Wiener Werkstatte, these consisted of flashed wine glasses that were flat cut to the clear glass underneath. The glasshouse was eventually acquired by Moser in 1922.

mica. A plate like, readily cleaving mineral. The flat surfaces reflect white light to give a silverish appearance when used as inclusions in glass.

Michel, Eugene. His work is not that well known but this Lunneville born glass artist has produced work of the highest quality. He has worked with Francoise Rousseau and Leveille. The bulk of his recorded work involves intaglio engraving with figures with some classical and Art Nouveau influences. Some of his cameo pieces break from the norm having 3 dimensional qualities almost sculptural in form. Some of his pieces have been mounted by top quality French precious metal smiths. Pieces are often signed, all his pieces are desirable and are rare. By the start of the First World War nothing more is known of him.

milk glass. A tin oxide based opaque white glass. The Venetian form is termed lattimo, milchglas (German) or blanc de lait (French). It was very popular during the end of the 19th and start of the 20th century for pressed glass wares. In the UK it is sometimes generically applied to North American white pressed glass.

millefiori. Translates as "thousand flowers". It refers to a collection of fleur canes which are cut to form discs and fused into the body of a piece.

mirror glass. Metal is deposited on the surface of the glass, typically silver. Traditionally, for a looking glass, the surface is usually backed by copper which is protected by a layer of varnish or paint. (also see Varnish, Edward.)

Monart. This was an art glass line produced by the Moncrieff glassworks, in Perth in Scotland. A family of Spanish glassblowers (Salvador Ysart, the father and his sons Paul, Antoine, Augustine and Vincent) were employed to make a range of decorative glass. Isobel, John's daughter in-law, was the inspiration for this line which represented a significant departure from the main production. The Ysart family had worked for a time at the Schneider facility and whilst they never copied Schneider production it is fair to say this influenced the glass they were to produce. Isobel designed many of the shapes. The colours and form of the best of Monart is exceptional, with dancing and swirling bands of colour created by clever use of enamels marvered into the glass. The use of inclusions such as mica flecks, bubbles crackle glass with rich vibrant colours are common place in their production. Subtle hues and rich colous were used in combination with crackle glass. This was re-heated at the glory hole to produce an iridescence. Early glass is sometimes found cracked internally due to stresses developed through insufficient annealing. Despite management changes and production ceasing during the Second World War, Monart continued in production with Paul Ysart until 1961 when art glass production ceased. Paul went on to work for Caithness. Salvador, Augustine and Vincent set-up Vasart glass in 1947. See mark.

Moncrieff Glassworks. A glassworks founded in Scotland in 1865 by John Moncrieff. Produced industrial and scientific glass, the latter under the trade name Monax. Closed in 1996. Produced art glass for a time, see Monart.

Monteith. A bowl for cooling wine glasses. Frequently with a deeply scalloped rim from which wine glasses are hung upside down by their foot with the bowls of the glasses immersed in ice water.

Moretti, Carlo. A glassworks founded in 1958 in Murano. The production of well designed tableware marked the early years of production. Good quality art glass and sometimes quirky tableware developed through the late 1980's and 1990's. The output is stylish, retailed throughout aspirational outlets and typifies good quality post modernist production.

Moretti and Fratelli, Ercole. It was founded in 1911 by three brothers in Murano and continues as a family business. Specialises in good quality murrhine production, glassbeads, bowls, plates and jewelry.

Moser and Sohne, Ludwig. A glasshouse which has grown in stature since it began life as a workshop set-up by Ludwig Moser (1833-1916) in 1857 in Karlsbad (later Karlovy Vary). Initially it grew through expansion and acquisition throughout the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. However the Czechoslovakian glass industry was nationalised in 1948, but Moser's reputation allowed the core business to retain its individual trademark and to continue to trade as Moser. A series of mergers, site closures and staff transfers continued through the twentieth century. It finally began to regain control of its own fate from Crystalex in the late 1980's and was privatised in the early 1990's. Early production consisted of typical Bohemian engraved glass from blanks supplied by Loetz, Meyr's Neffe and Harrachov. Reproductions of Zwischengoldglas were also produced in the 19th century in Bohemia in the form of beakers with glass discs in the base. These have been found signed Moser. Historical revival pieces dominated its production, often immaculately realised. By the 1890's Moser built its own glasshouse and it followed the trends of late 19th century taste. It produced Art Nouveau glass with surface decoration with natural themes and simple cameo glass. Moser was well known for a technique called Eckentiefgravur in which a polygonal but sharply angular body often in the form of a vase was deeply cut to form intaglio flowers. This glass was coloured at the top fading to clear at the base. Occasionally floral shaped vessels are found. Also produced were vases with applied prunts and finely engraved miniature insects or plants. These applications tend to be small and are on decorated bodies. Following the war Moser produced Art Deco glass and Alexandrit, a mauve translucent 'signature' colour during the late 1920's and 1930's. Acquisition of Meyr's Neffe in 1922 began a connection with the Wiener Werkstatte with Josef Hoffmann and Dagobert Peche. Moser survived the depression years although closed the Adolfov factory. After the Second World War modernist patterns were used in tableware production. In 1982 Oldrich Lippa created Studio Moser which produces very fine limited edition studio pieces of glass. Moser currently produces glass of the highest quality, produces limited numbers of specialist modernist design pieces, art glass, engraved glass and superb tableware. Throughout a somewhat tortuous ownership profile it has remained one of the great glasshouses. See mark.

Moser, L. Koloman. (1868-1918) An artist and designer. He was one of the founding members of the Wiener Werkstatte, a workshop community begun in 1903. It was Moser that developed the intertwinned WW logo for the group. He left in 1905 and joined a group started by Gustav Klimt. He designed glass for Bakalowits which was executed by Rheinische Glasshutte, Loetz and Meyr's Neffe. The art glass was in the Art Nouveau and Secessionist style. Iridescent glass was in the Papillon style or had large iridescent circles distributed accross the body of the glass. Table glass was also produced which were variations on traditional themes.

moss agate. see imitation stoneware.

mould. A hollow shape used to shape molten glass. Moulds can be clay, metal, glass, plaster and wood.

mould blown. The paraison is blown and formed in a mould.

mould lines. A mould formed from two or more sections has joins where one section abutts another. These sections rarely meet perfectly which leaves a mould line on the surface of any glass which is pressed or blown and not rotated in the mould.

Mount Washington Glass Co. Whilst not a long lived factory this North American manufactory produced quite a wide and interesting range of glass in high Victorian styles. It was refounded in 1870 by W. Libbey following the closure of an earlier works which had specialised in utilitarian glass. The output was focused on decorative glass production, initially simple painted naturalistic decoration was used. Cased and airtrap glass was developed and the colour range developed. Richly decorated forms were produced. Their most famous output is arguably Burmese ware which was produced in matt, glossy and surface decorated forms. They granted a license to Thomas Webb to produce this glass. Some of these are derivative, others quite striking particularly those with a strong Middle Eastern feel. Peachblow, a blue to pink version of Burmese heat treated glass is highly attractive and rare. A pink to white version of this was produced for Libbey. Mount Washington had supplied glass to Pairpont and was eventually bought out by them at the end of the 19th century. After various changes and moves Pairpont ceased operations in 1958. Mount Washington could be argued to be the first North American art glass company.

Mtarfa. A Maltese glassworks set-up by Paul Said in 1981 near Rabat producing glass which were a development of the style originally produced by Mdina.

Mucha, Alphonse Maria. Born in 1860 in what is now the Czech Republic Mucha came to fame for his poster designs of the actress, Sarah Bernhardt. His poster was a break with tradition and in sync with the proto-Art Nouveau movement, his work becoming synonmous with that style. He went on to design stage sets, jewellery, furniture, stained glass, ceramics, stamps, banknotes, produced frescos and published books on decorative designs. After a period in the US he returned to Czechoslovakia and to his first love, painting. He died at the start of the Second World War probably as a result of the treatment he recieved at the hands of the Gestapo. His designs have been frequently reproduced on glass over a long period, for example, Harrach used his work on iridescent glass.

muffle. A small furnace for heating, preheating prior to re-introduction to the glory hole and sometimes in the process used for decorative treatments such as enamelling.

Muller Freres. The heart of the company was formed by five brothers (Henri, Desire, Eugene, Pierre, Victor) from a glass making family who trained and worked at the Galle factory. Henri set up a decorating studio at Luneville in 1895 and was shortly joined by his brothers. Their production was predominantly cameo glass with blanks supplied by Gobeleterie Hinzelin, Croissmare. Following similar lines to that of Galle and the Art Nouveau movement their production used nature as a decorative theme. In the years leading up to the First World War their production was technically excellent and highly creative. Of note was fluogravure where enamels were applied to the cased body of the glass which was then heated. By the use of selective acid etching a wide range of effects could be achieved from vivid hues to subtle twilight shades. They designed cameo vases, using this production method, for Val St Lambert. They also worked with Chapelle, integrating metal and glass to create strangely kitsch flights of birds and snails amongst others. Production ceased at the start of the First World War during which Eugene was killed. The remaining brothers acquired Hinzelin and began large scale commercial production. The bulk of the output consisted of lighting fixtures. They continued to produce cameo with increasingly exotic themes. However fashion was changing and the production began to switch to Art Deco designs including Daum like pieces with stylised floral themes, foil inclusions and simple geometric forms. As with Galle's facillity it was too little too late and the effects of the Depression lead to production ceasing in 1933.

Murray, Keith. A ceramic and glass designer of note during the 1930's. Better known for his ceramic designs he also undertook freelance work for Stevens and Williams between 1932 and 1939. His designs are extremely attractive and evocative of their time. Many were simple forms in clear and transparent coloured glass. Angular cut forms were produced. Engraved and cut forms include underseascapes, charging rams and the most famous, the cactus pattern. The more straightforward patterns can be found simply engraved on fairly thin glass. Many pieces failed to be a financial success and tended to be produced in limited numbers. The growing rarity of his work on the market has resulted in the engraved and cut pieces fetching a premium.

murrhine glassware. (sometimes murrine) An old technique used in Roman times but there are examples from Alexandria 200BC. Short lengths of canes are placed into a mould and heated to stick together or lightly fuse together as a sheet and formed over a shape. The glass is in the form of a Mosaic of canes. An individual cane is essentially produced in the same way, by fusing glass elements together so these are also termed murrhine. The term is sometimes confused with murrina.

murrina. Canes are included into the body of the glass. They are not necessarily in any particular orientation. The final form is then blown which results in canes becoming distorted and expanded. (This is as distinct from canes being fused together without an intervening medium as with murrhine).

Myra-Kristall. see WMF.

Self portrait of Maurice Marinot
Mdina Goblet
Glassworks and production in Bohemia and subsequently the Czech Republic are complicated. This is a Moser Glass (late 20th century) in the style of Otto Prutscher for Meyr's Neffe (early 20th century). Moser, of course, acquired Meyr's Neffe in the mid 1920's.
Early Monart glass vase containing Mica inclusions.
Trailled Stevens and Williams vase with white marvered glass lumps in a red metal. (Early 20th century)
Opaque White Milk glass, painted and gilded, turn of the 20th century. Probably English. Often these are opaline rather than dense white.
A murrhine shallow bowl / plate by Ercole Moretti and Fratelli. (note the signature cane, M, roughly 12 O'clock)
Capella, Bohemia, sandblasted cameo by Frantisek Sebestaafter, made in the late 20th century. After La Plume by Mucha shown above