Hanging Japanese Floats
These floats are beautiful replicas of one of the most popular nautical collectible. Glass floats were once used by fishermen in many parts of the world to keep their fishing nets, as well as longlines or droplines afloat. Large groups of fishnets strung together, sometimes 50 miles (80 km) long, were set adrift in the ocean and supported near the surface by hollow glass balls or cylinders containing air to give them buoyancy. These glass floats are no longer being used by fishermen, but many of them are still afloat in the world's oceans, primarily the Pacific. They have become a popular collectors’ item for beachcombers and decorators. Most antique Japanese floats are shades of green due to the color of glass used to make them, from recycled sake bottles. However, clear, amber, aquamarine, amethyst, blue and other colors were also produced. The most prized and rare color is a red or cranberry hue. These were expensive to make as gold was used to produce the color. Other brilliant tones such as emerald green, cobalt blue, purple, yellow and orange were primarily made in the 1920s and 30s.