Dating antique stained glass
Try the finger drumming test: If you drum on the glass with your fingers and don’t hear a rattle, then the lead is still tight and the window secure.
If panes do rattle, it means the putty has dried and is causing sections of glass to loosen in their lead cames (channels); they will need to be stabilized. Stained glass windows, after all, are just glass and a little lead.
Stained glass was practical, too, performing many functions, from obscuring an unattractive outdoor feature to hiding the contents of an interior cabinet.
Many people shy away from buying antique stained glass due to concerns about whether it will fit an existing opening.
The blame for this must be shared by those who own the windows, as well as those who restore them; but it is a fault of unwitting ignorance, not of willfulness. However, with some basic knowledge of techniques, style and common subject matter pertaining to each century it is possible to make an 'educated guess'.Rim locks date from the late 1800's and mount to the outside of doors.A number of notable churches, large mansions, civic buildings, and other prominent buildings boast windows or ceilings by La Farge, Tiffany, Connick, or one of many other, lesser-known, American masters, but stained or leaded glass also appears as a prominent feature in great numbers of modest houses built between the Civil War and the Great Depression.
This Brief gives a short history of stained and leaded glass in America.
Some of the web versions of the Preservation Briefs differ somewhat from the printed versions.