Antique goblets consist of almost all other varieties of goblet, aside from the exclusively contemporary.
It could be argued, however, that antique goblets are among the most 'pimp' or 'crunk' of stemware. Antique goblets are usually a collector's item and are rarely found in use today.
Common forms of antique goblets in circulation today are often metallic, due to their relative resilience. Vitrious (glass or crystal) antique goblets are more often than not family heirlooms or museum pieces, due to their more fragile nature. However, in Venice and especially Murano, Italy, the trade in antique stemware is still alive.
There are a number of dangers that the buyer of antique glass stemware must watch out for though. Among these are high alkali glass, glued glass and fakes.
High alkali glass will break down over time and was quite common among older glass manufacture. Reaction between base in the glass and minerals in the earth is what forms the salacious scum that gives Roman glass its natural iridescence and flaked off surface.
Some high alkali glass has been protected from contact with the ground but is still in a constant state of decay. This glass "sweats" or crizzles, as glass historians and conservators say.
That is to say that it reacts with molecules in the air and which produces liquid on the surface. This can be detected by the potential buyer, as well as a distinct acrid odor.
The most common pitfall for the potential buyer of antique vitrious stemware is glue. With modern advances in adhesives, it is now possible to fix broken glass in a way that is undetectable to the naked eye, if the break is clean enough. This can easily be seen though, with the help of a black light.
Written by Ryan Staub.