Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Antonio Pires de Matos
<[email protected]>

article posted 29 March 2016

Antonio Pires de Matos

Degree in Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Lisbon 1962.

PhD in chemistry, Cambridge, U.K., 1970.

Fellow of the Society of Glass Technology, U.K. since March 2009.

Emeritus Invited Full Professor at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Current research activities at the Research Unit Glass and Ceramics for the Arts, VICARTE ( Provenance studies of Portuguese glass; Science applied to contemporary glass art.

A journey of the glass colours through three Portuguese arcana

António Pires de Matos*, Filipa Lopes, Márcia Vilarigues, Augusta Lima, Inês Coutinho

Research Unit "Glass and Ceramics for the Arts", VICARTE, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Monte da Caprica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal

Following a previous communication in the annual meeting of the Society of Glass Technology [1] in 2009 we are presenting some studies of three arcana of glass production in Portugal, one from The Real Fábrica de Vidros da Marinha Grande dated 1793, another from João Augusto de Castro e Augusto de Oliveira e Serra from the period 1875 - 1925 [2] and the third from the Gaivotas glass factory in the Centre of Lisbon which worked from 1811 to 1985.

A special attention was given to the glass colour and to the evolution of the recipes during the years reported. Aside some comparisons made between the analytical results of some museum objects a few glass samples were reproduced using several compositions referred in the arcana to investigate the conditions used to obtain the glass colours.


1 - Glass colours at Marinha Grande, by the last quarter of the 18th century, António Pires de Matos, Carlos Queiroz, Filipa Lopes, Andreia Ruivo, Augusta Lima, Márcia Vilarigues, Annual Meeting of the SGT, Lancaster, 2009.

2 - O "Arcanum" de João Augusto de Castro e Augusto de Oliveira Guerra, Prefácio de José Pedro Barosa, Estudos e Documentos nº 15, Museu Santos Barosa da Fabricação do Vidro, Março de 2000.