Holiday Shimmer

Sleek and silver mercury glass shines for the season.
Nancy Staab

If you want to add a little sparkle to your home during the holiday season, consider decorating with pieces of mercury glass.

Like many collectors, Kim Rogers is mesmerized by its luster. "From the beginning, I was attracted to the refinements of mercury glass. It has sheen to it, yet it's not flashy or new," she says.

All That Glitters
Mercury glass projects the same sense of volume, color, and sheen as silver. But unlike silver, it is surprisingly lightweight and does not require polishing. Frequently referred to as "silvered glass" (it doesn't contain mercury), mercury glass is fragile and often difficult to find in pristine condition. Painted pieces, in particular, usually have some peeling. However this imperfection is not a deterrent to collectors such as Kim. "The beauty of mercury glass is that no two pieces are alike because they are handmade, hand-painted objects," she enthuses. "Some of my pieces are crooked, have bubbles in them, and often peel, but that just makes them more beautiful."

A sophisticated metallic veneer and simple shapes make mercury glass the perfect holiday accessory. As Kim attests, "Every room needs a little bit of luster."

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