Potted history of Stained Glass

POTTED HISTORY OF STAINED GLASS....

15th - 17th CENTURIES

During this period large sheets of glass were very expensive. Domestic windows were generally small as glass making facilities were limited as to size. They were generally made of crown glass which has a common rippled surface. The irregular glinting surface of diamond-pane windows is a distinctive feature of old European houses. The diamond shape of the panes gave greater stability than square cut straight-set panes and hence are more common. In grander houses the windows often contain small painted panes or stained glass panels containing heraldic emblems and coats of arms.

18th CENTURY

With the development of sash windows, lead lights became much less common, giving way to larger panes set into wooden frames. Doors were often surmounted by decorative fanlights in which the panes of glass might be supported by lead. However, wood was more commonly used at this period. Small amounts of heraldic glass continued to be used.

19th CENTURY

By 1840 there was a growing fashion for the medieval. The Gothic revival brought about a new popularity for diamond pane windows which were initially found in homes of the wealthy. Soon the fashion for the leadlight windows spread, promoted by the Arts and Crafts movement. Leadlights became a commonplace feature of houses, generally to be found in or around the front door. The style might be medievalising, formal classical motifs or Arts and Crafts which often included among the motifs, lilies, tulips and sunflowers. In the late Victorian period it was common for leadlight windows in wealthier homes to contain small rondels painted in grisallie [grey] and depicting birds or fruit and flowers representing the seasons.

20th CENTURY

Prior to World War 1, the front entrance remained the locality for domestic leaded lights. The Art Nouveau or Secessionist style dominated the design.
After the War, it became common for the front windows of a house to be glazed with diamong or square set panes with formal decorative motifs in the upper section or around the sides. This trend continued until World War 2, the style evolving from Art Nouveau to Art Deco.
From 1940 until about 1980 domestic lead lighting was less common. With the revival of the craft, both abstract design and formalised pictorial motifs have flourished, as has the use of irregularly textured and patterned glass. Recent formalised motifs have include butterflies and yachts on the ocean.

A DEDUCTION FROM THIS IS THAT IN THE PRESENT DAY WE HAVE A GREAT REVIVAL IN THE RESTORATION AND IN NEW STAINED GLASS PROJECTS. IT IS A GREAT WAY OF BRIGHTENING UP ANY PART OF THE MODERN OR OLDER PROPERTY AND WHEN POSITIONED WHERE IT CAN COLLECT THE SUNS RAYS WILL GIVE YEARS OF PLEASURE TO THE PROUD OWNER OF A STAINED GLASS PANEL.