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Chain Pendant W/ Faded Quilted Mercury Glass Shade c1925 Item # R8181
The term "mercury glass" - like so many terms in the world of antiques - is a bit of a misnomer, as these shades are not made using mercury. Rather, they are silvered in the same way that mirrors are, using silver nitrate (although mirrors before about 1835 did utilize mercury). The challenge for all silvered glass was protecting the backside from oxidation and wear, which usually entailed a thick layer of paint or enamel. Double-walled "mercury glass" shades (properly called silvered reflectors) enclosed the silvered surface within the sealed interior of the shade as an alternative. Two patents for double-walled silver reflectors are 425,939 and 1,958,859
This quilted Mercury glass shade is semi-opaque due to consistent loss of silvering creating a soft glow and hangs on a simple chain pendant.
- Historical Style: Industrial
- Notes: shade is semi-opaque due to consistent loss of silvering
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