Glass Paperweights

Written by Scott Martin
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Glass paperweights are not just a utilitarian tool but are an artistic expression. Paperweights come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, allowing individuals to select one that captures their attention. A quality paperweight makes a wonderful gift, especially since it is an object that the recipient can see every day.

History of Glass Paperweights
Glass paperweights were first made in Venice, Italy in the late 15th century. During this time, artisans used a Roman glass working style that produced very intricate designs. The process, millefiori, takes many smaller colored glass rods and melts them together to create one multi-colored design, which is subsequently cut into individual sections.

The classical period of glass paperweights was in the mid-nineteenth century. At this point, the Industrial Revolution allowed for ample supply while the burgeoning middle and upper class had a desire for these items. This demand was spurned on by increased leisure time spent on letter writing.

Glass paperweights now are experiencing a renaissance. People are not only collecting classic paperweights, but are purchasing new designs. Famous paperweight makers include the French glassworks in Baccarat and Clichy and in the US, Boston & Sandwich Glass and New England Glass Companies. You do not have to purchase a collectors piece to enjoy a paperweight. There are many manufactures that produce quality pieces at reasonable prices.

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