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Burmese handled vase by the Mount Washington Glass Company, c. 1890

Burmese glass is a type of opaque colored art glass, shading from yellow to pink.[1] It is found in either the rare original "shiny" finish or the more common "satin" finish. It is used for table glass and small, ornamental vases and dressing table articles.

It was made in 1885 by the Mount Washington Glass Company of New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA.[1] Burmese glass found favor with Queen Victoria. From 1886, the British company of Thomas Webb & Sons was licensed to produce the glass.[1] Their version, known as Queen's Burmeseware, which was used for tableware and decorative glass, often with painted decoration. Burmese was also made after 1970 by the Fenton art glass company.[2]

Burmese is a uranium glass. The formula to produce Burmese Glass contains uranium oxide with tincture of gold added.[1] The uranium oxide produced the inherent soft yellow color of Burmese glass. Because of the added gold, the characteristic pink blush of color of Burmese was fashioned by re-heating the object in the furnace (the "Glory Hole"). The length of time in the furnace will determine the intensity of the color. Strangely, if the object is subjected to the heat again, it will return to the original yellow color[citation needed].

On the queen's visit to the United States, the Mount Washington glass company made for her a tea cup and saucer[citation needed]. When it was presented to her, she exclaimed, "It looks like a Burmese sunset." That is where the name Burmese came from for the glass. The design painted on the cup and saucer by the famous Mt. Washington artist Timothy Canty became known as Queen's Burmese design[citation needed]. The Mount Washington Glass Company patented Queen's design Burmese, not Thomas Webb and Sons[citation needed].


  1. ^ a b c d Mark Chervenka (2011). Antique Trader Guide To Fakes & Reproductions. F+W Media. p. 139. ISBN 1440227357. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  2. ^ Measell, William Heacock ; edited by James; Murdock, Frank M. Fenton ; Fenton history written by Eugene C. (1994). Fenton glass : the third twenty-five years, 1956-1980. Marietta, Ohio: Glass Press. p. 146. ISBN 9780915410378.