Jane’s Addiction ~ A collection of antique Sun Purple Glass.


I have this special friend, Jane. Though we have known each other for years and years, our acquaintance has only recently grown into a friendship that I hope to carry with me into old age. When we were first getting to know each other through our local tailgate market, I’d begin to relay to my husband a bit of gardening knowledge or a seller trade secret of Jane’s and would invariably start my address with, “Jane says…”. Because my choice of words never failed to remind me of the Jane’s Addiction song by the same name, I began singing the line when I was passing on something she said. Thank goodness that habit of mine didn’t last very long. I despise the song, and, wow, I bet that was getting under my husband’s skin, though he always giggled when I did it.

Jane is a true piece of treasure to me, but when I saw the extensive collection of purple treasure in her windowsill the first time I visited her farm, I knew I wanted to blog it. And I knew that my post would have to be titled Jane’s Addiction. Jane has a lot of purple glass that left me green with envy. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s sun catchers.


I was floored to see purple glass insulators. Jane and I have both sold antiques at different points in our lives. I’ve had my hands on a lot of green and clear insulators, but had never seen a purple one.


Jane explained that if clear glass was made before a certain year of the early 20th century, it contained magnesium. When the magnesium was exposed to sunlight it turned purple.

This I had never heard of. I felt kind of like I did the time my husband used the term “brain pan” and I laughed and laughed thinking he was bonkers for believing that was a real thing. When I looked it up and found that he was right, I also discovered that I was just about the only person on the planet who’d never heard a skull called a brain pan. Well, after doing my research on purple glass, I’m pretty sure I’m the only antiques seller in America to have no idea that it existed. But, while I think it’s pretty darn fabulous, it tends to be a source of contention among true antique dealers, which I am not. Apparently, a common practice is to treat Early American glass with artificial ultraviolet light to produce the coveted purple glass objects.

I’m a stickler for authenticity and preservation, but I must admit that I think purple glass that has been light-altered in any fashion is awesome. Stunning! Just look at the different hues of the glass pieces in Jane’s window.


I was like a four-year old kid, as she tried to pull salad ingredients from her fridge to make our lunch but had to keep stopping to answer my questions about the window of purple glass.

Why. But why. I don’t get it. You mean that if I put my old glass in the window it will turn purple?

She patiently explained again and again how it could be.

Now I want it. I want it. I want it. And controversy or no, I have started hunting for my own pieces of Sun Purple Glass. And thank goodness Jane was willing to share her addiction. I’ve been wondering what the heck I am going to do with myself in a few years when my nest is empty.




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