Last Updated: Jul 19, 2016 Views: 202
This is not a question that I have found a definitive answer to, although I have spent considerable time looking in our various publications on cut and pressed glass. However, I consulted with a cut glass researcher who has done quite a bit of delving into the origins of the hobstar and he believes it is originally a German pattern. He said it was called various things in England and America, before it became known as hobstar. It was referred to as "fancy star" in America and "jewel star" in England. The first official record he has found for the name hobstar in America is a patent from 1902.
As to its significance, it was created using 3 overlapping sets of parallel cuts, which takes considerable skill and the resulting pattern resembled the hobnail on the bottom of a boot or shoe. It was most popular as a pattern during the brilliant period of cut glass, as you probably know and then, of course, was widely imitated in pressed glass. The pattern was not as popular in Europe, although the researcher I spoke with has found it in Baccarat cut glass as well.
I think more research needs to be done, perhaps to verify the German origin.