What is Crazing?

June 03, 2022

What is Crazing?

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Video Translation: Hi. Jennifer here with City Farmhouse Antiques and I want to show you what crazing is and how to evaluate for damage when you are looking at antiques, art glass, and collectible pieces. So a lot of you have asked me, "What is Crazing"? I found this Weller piece of pottery that I have that is a perfect example. This is what crazing looks like. Can you see all these tiny miniscule cracks underneath the glaze of the piece? That is crazing. You can't feel them. You will see crazy many times on some of these really old pieces. Crazing is caused from expansion from heat and cold underneath the glaze. That is why you don't want your pieces stored or displayed in a location that is too cold or too hot. When your piece of art glass or porcelain arrives from being shipped, don't take it out of the box right away if it is freezing cold outside in the middle of winter.  Let it sit for several hours before you unwrap it to acclimate to the warmer indoor temperature. Some crazing is expected in a piece depending upon the age of the piece and the value of the piece. Crazing isn't really considered damage like a crack would be. Again, this is a Weller piece. Here you can see the bottom and you can see the piece in its entirety. It is a nice piece about 10"tall with a poppy floral design. So, that is what crazing looks like. I was so bummed. I just got these beautiful Baccarat martini glasses. They stand anywhere from 10" to 18" tall. This one is in a beautiful topaz yellow and sold right away and was going to be shipped to New York City. When I went to ship it you can see right there that little tiny scratch. It got missed. Of course, I called and spoke with the customer and told her about it. I was so bummed. I still have it. That is a scratch and you will be able to feel it. You can't feel it on the outside, but you can feel it on the inside. Isn't that a beautiful Baccarat goblet. I am an honest person so I wanted to make sure that my customer knew about it. This piece is another I am bummed about. This piece is Murano glass in the floriform design which Murano is known for in the candy dishes or ashtray pieces. This piece is a beautiful emerald and aquamarine color. I was looking this piece over and this also got missed until I put my eyeballs on it. Here you can see what are like two little tiny chips there. I guess some would call this a fleabite, but I call it more of a chip. You can see especially when I move it around. Can you see those two little dots there? I don't know if I hold it to the side if that helps. Right there. So, still tiny, but that is considered damage. There you can see some little scratches on the bottom which is common on Murano glass because of the weight. Don't slide your pieces around on a glass coffee table. This is what happens. Pick them up. I cringe when I see people do that. Still a gorgeous piece, but I want you to be able to identify damage and quantify it. Damage is always easiest to spot when looking under bright light. The difference between a little chip versus a fleabite you can see here. These little glass tumblers are from the late 1800's. I could just kick myself the other day because I was in a hurry. I have wrapped these up and put them away several times, but unwrapped them and thought they would make a good video. Never got the video done, put them back up and then took them back out and didn't put them away. One rolled off the table and shattered. I am so upset about it still. Look how dainty these are. They are cranberry glass and very thin. I wanted to show you the difference between a chip and a fleabite. With a piece this old I would expect some fleabites. There is one right there. Can you see that? That little tiny, tiny, fleck. You can't necessarily see it, but you can feel it. It is right there. Let's see if I can get closer. There is another one right there. You have to have the light just right to see them. I would consider this to be typical of a piece that is this old. Here you can see a few more. The camera is not picking them up real well. They are itty bitty. Look over your glass really carefully. These little juice glasses are adorable and I had three before I broke one. These tips give you an idea of what to look for and how to assess damage and the difference between crazing, a scratch, a chip, versus a fleabite. Buy from someone reputable that is looking out for you and being honest about what they are seeing before they send a piece out. I don't think I have any of these pieces up on the website yet. Of course this beautiful Baccarat goblet will be discounted. Look how beautiful it is. The color is just luscious. You can see the Baccarat makers mark on the bottom. We will have all these pieces up on the website, but if there is something you see that you like until then be sure and message us on the website at www.cityfarmhouseantiques.com where we have more than just antiques. Don't forget to give us a like on Facebook. Happy collecting until then. See you next week.

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