AntiquesDictionary of antiques

The dictionary of antiques – Opalino

Today’s word is: opaline. Let’s retrace its history and understand how it came to the present day.

What is opaline?

Opal is a type of semi-opaque white glass similar to milky. Its characteristic is to have very slight variations in color. These range from light blue to pink or even light green.

How do you get these nuances?

opal glass

The color shades of opal glass are due to the addition of opacifiers to the glass paste. The materials used to achieve this effect are: sodium phosphate, sodium chloride, calcium phosphate, calcium chloride, tin oxide and talc oxide.

The history of the opal

Opal was produced for the first time in Venice, more precisely in Murano, at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The technique remained secret and was reproduced in Germany, Bohemia and England.

The peak of its use reached it in France during the empire of Napoleon III. The centers of greatest production were in Le Creusot, in Baccarat, in Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche. With this particular glass were made many objects such as: vases, bowls, cups, cups, jugs, perfume bottles, boxes and lights.

An example

The piece we have chosen today to present opal glass can be found in our antique collection.


It is a six-armed Liberty chandelier in brass and central lantern, covered with an opal glass hat.

A curiosity

Even if this is the dictionary of antiques we do not want to forget about modernism. On the website FineArt by Di Mano in Mano you can find many chandeliers produced with this type of glass; for example lamp ‘ 2121′ Gino Sarfatti for Arteluce, 60s lamp attributable to Max Ingrand and table lamp ‘526/P’ Massimo Vignelli for Arteluce.

This is a testament to how opal glass has gone through many centuries. The greatest designers, in fact, continue to be fascinated by this type of glass and produce unique and original pieces.

If you want to discover other antiques produced with this type of glass you just have to come and visit our warehouses in Cambiago. We are waiting for you!

author avatar
Amo l'arte. Ho fatto ingegneria gestionale.
Amo l'arte. Ho fatto ingegneria gestionale.

    You may also like

    Comments are closed.

    More in:Antiques