Our Antique Glass Knobs are handmade in the same way that the originals on your Great Grandma’s cabinet were made. This glass knob making process is more art than science, so please keep in mind that these antique glass knobs are beautiful and Gloriously Not machine-made perfect. When buying antique glass knobs it is like buying cloth, carpet, or having paint custom mixed, color may vary slightly from one shipment to the next. Or, glass pulls will not be an exact match with glass knobs. Look at some antiques with glass pulls and glass knobs and you will see that this is the way it has always been.
A pressed glass cabinet knob is made from molten glass that is “pressed” into a cast iron mold of the desired shape. Similar to making taffy, only at a temperature of 1500 degrees, the ingredients for making glass, mostly sand, lime and soda (not the Mountain Dew kind) are mixed into a furnace until the mixture is molten and the consistency of taffy. Different metal and mineral powders are added to make the desired glass knob color. Then, the glass is gathered onto an iron rod, held over the top of the glass-knob-shaped mold and an appropriate sized ‘glob” is snipped off with scissors and dropped into the open mold. The maker then pushes a plunger into the mold to press the glass into the shape of a glass knob. The glass cabinet knob is removed and slowly cooled. This technique was first patented by American inventor John P. Bakewell in 1825 to make knobs for furniture. Yes the very first pressed glass was glass furniture knobs!
We also carry modern mounting ferrules in different finishes if you want the knob to mount flush in the back of the cabinet. The ferrules can be found near the bottom of the page. Call us if you have any questions.