We have been bending and fitting antique replica convex glass (also known as bubble glass or domed glass) since the early 1970’s, and we currently stock most antique sizes and shapes along with their modern equivalents. Although convex glass is most popular with our Vintage Collection of frames, our convex bubble glass will fit any frame we make. We sell through custom frame shops or other authorized dealers in the trade. To find a dealer in your area go to our dealer locator page.
Measuring Convex Glass
Convex bubble glass is measured just like flat glass, measuring length and width directly across the glass (not around the bend of the glass). Convex glass generally has a depth of between 3/4" to 1" although deeper bends are possible.
The most popular sizes often seem unusual such as the Oval 13 1/2" x 19 5/8". Many people are concerned that these odd sizes are no longer available or will require custom bending fees.
However, we stock many of these unusual antique sizes, and most often no custom set up fees are required.
Although we stock over 50 standard sizes of convex glass, we also custom bend any size of convex bubble glass up to 22"x28". Each custom bend requires a paper tracing of the size required. The line you draw will be the line the glass is cut to. You will need to allow 3-4 weeks delivery after we receiving the tracing to produce your custom size convex glass.
Although oval picture frames make up less than 5% of all picture frames produced today, this has not always been the case. Over half of the picture frames produced in America by some the largest picture frame factories in the late 1800's up to about 1940 were oval, round, or antique octagon. A large percentage of these frames were family portraits that were and then covered with convex glass. Today many attics and basements are home to these family heirlooms framed in antique frames and often broken convex bubble glass.
InLine Ovals has a long history of bending convex glass replacements for these images. Our glass bending started in the early 1970’s under the name of Sunlight Frame Company. In the late 1970's InLine Ovals purchased Sunlight along with all the molds equipment and to continue manufacturing convex glass along with a unique collection of antique replica frames. See our Vintage Collection of frames.
Today InLine Ovals continues to bend convex portrait glass in virtually any size or shape, manufacturing and distributing large runs of standard sizes to wholesalers, as well as individual pieces for the custom frame shops and other dealers. InLine Ovals is the only company that continues to manufacture antique oval frames as well as the convex glass to fit these frames.
Uses of Convex Glass
Most convex glass is used to cover antique portraits in which the photographs themselves were also convex. We produce convex glass to fit our own antique replica frames, and also can supply a convex glass replacement to fit actual antique frames. We also regularly produce convex glass replacements to replace broken pieces in clocks, gauges and other instruments.
The Bending Process
Convex Glass is made by laying flat glass into frame molds and heating the glass to temperatures that allow the glass to slump. Longer heat create a deeper bend. Just as the antique replica frames and convex glass are available today, it is also possible to have your modern prints made into a convex portrait. For information on having convex pictures created please visit the Brogan-Bowen Company.
Deep Convex Glass or Acrylic Domes?
Convex glass normally has a bend of about 3/4" to 1”. If you are displaying an item that has more depth than a photo or canvas, then you may consider using our acrylic domes which fit all our frames and range in depth from 2.5" up to 7". To view our acrylic domes click here.
Conservation Convex Glass
We are occasionally asked what conservation or UV protected convex glass options are available. Unfortunately, the heat necessary in glass bending burns and damages the UV properties, and leaves the glass scarred and unusable. We use custom framing grade clear portrait glass for all convex bending. If you need conservation glass then please take a look at our Flat Conservation Glass from Tru Vu -Reflection Control, Conservation Clear, and Museum Quality or our Flat Acrylic from Cyro in Acrylite UP OP3.