Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Art Forms in Glass


Paperweights have got to be one of the most intriguing, and colorful, collections one can have.

Anyone who thinks paperweights don't cost much as an art form should know that the most expensive paperweight in the world sold for $258,000 in 1990, according to the International Paperweight Society's trivia page!

My own very humble paperweight collection, which I like to keep on a round mirrored tray table, has some intriguing pieces. My favorite is this pink flower encased in the glass.


Paperweights have been around for a long, long time. Glass factories in Europe, particularly France, were making paperweights as far back as the mid 1800s. Victorians loved playing games. Some glass makers fashioned intricately detailed paperweights for them to look at. Some paperweights had designs and colors that resembled jewels, all sprinkled and preserved under glass, according to the Society. There's also a Paperweight Collectors Association that has conventions for people interested in this art form.






In addition to being fascinating to look at, paperweights also served a functional purpose. In the 1880s, file cabinets had not yet been invented so paperweights were used to keep papers on desks from flying out when someone walked by, according to research.


Some paperweights have flowers as their main focal point. There are also paperweights with animal figures, hearts, fruit, and swirls of color, all under glass.







When glassblowers fuse bundles of glass rods together, they make canes in a variety of colors. Then, the canes are cut to fit a design. This kind of paperweight is called "millefiore," which is an Italian term that means "thousand flowers." Millefiore paperweights are extremely beautiful and intricate but one would imagine they also are quite expensive.


In my collection, there is a paperweight with a deep blue flower and a red flower can be seen in a heart-shaped weight. A turquoise paperweight is also quite lovely and resembles bubbles in water reminiscent of the Caribbean.





None of the paperweights in my collection cost very much money but each is still very cherished.

What do you like about paperweights? Do you have any?

16 comments:

Joyce said...

Peaking at your blog by way of A La Carte. Pretty paperweight collection. I have none but they are sure pretty to view. I collect tea pots and also a whole lot of dust to go on the pots:)
Joyce

diane stetson said...

I think someday they may be worth some money Susan as there are no more uses for paperweights with the onset of computers etc. I only have one paperweight at my house...a red heart someone gave me for Valentine's day once...enjoy your collection!

Susan Wicker said...

Hello Joyce! So happy you were able to top by my blog! What is A La Carte? Thank you for the compliment. You are funny! You said you collect tea pots and the dust that on them! Come by again! Sincerely, Susan

Susan Wicker said...

Hi Di! I'm not sure the paperweight collection will ever have any monetary value. It doesn't really matter to me since they give me joy and one cannot put a pricetag on that! Thannks for your visit! Sincerely, Susan

LDH said...

I agree, paperweights are fascinating! You have a lovely collection!

Susan Wicker said...

Thanks LDH. I love them, too. Thanks for stopping by. Sincerely, Susan

Chatty Crone said...

I don't have any paper weight either, but your collection is beautiful. Lovely. Thanks. sandie

Chatty Crone said...

PS - I put the Star War song on - and then I wrote my blog - my day got busy! sandie

Karen Lange said...

These are beautiful. My mother collected paperweights. Brings back many memories:)

Linda said...

I love paperweights but I only have one that was a gift. It is simple with browns but so pretty to me. A La Carte is my blog and so glad that Joyce came to visit you from there. Your heart paperweight is really pretty but the Pink Flower!! Oh be still my heart, I am a Pink girl.

Linda @ A La Carte

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I love any kind of glassware. If I had the room and the money, collecting would be a real temptation. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan Wicker said...

Hi Susan! I love just about any kind of glassware, too. I know what you mean about room and money. I have only a very small paperweight collection. Admittedly, though, my personality is rather compulsive. ha! There, I said it! Thanks for your comment. Sincerely, Susan

Alicia Isaacs said...

Simply awesome, Susan. Love these paper weights. We actually have a pair of chess knights for paper weights. They're made from marble. Sometimes we use river rocks, too. Simple but effective, but mostly used in the summer months when we're working outdoors.

Alicia

Susan Wicker said...

Your chess knights sound interesting, Alicia. Chess always intrigued me,although I have never learned to play. It is a game for thinkers, I would venture. Thanks so much for your comment and visit! Come often! Sincerely, Susan

Rebecca said...

Susan, I have a small collection of paperweights, too. All have been purchased inexpensively at thrift stores or garage sales. I can't resist them. Yours are beautiful, beautiful! And your photography is awesome.

Susan Wicker said...

Hi Rebecca! I SAW some of your paperweights on your blog! Thank you so much for saying the photography is awesome. I truly appreciate that comment as I do try to take good photos to accompany each post. I can't resist paperweights, either. Just love them. Come again to visit, Rebecca! Sincerely, Susan

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