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A statement of tabletop security, the glass paperweight comes with the added advantage of being
brilliantly beautiful. From multifaceted millefiori motifs to Saint Louis styles, the glass paperweight
illustrates a unique aspect of luxury glass production.
First introduced around the mid-19th century, the glass paperweight took the public by storm. It
achieved particular popularity in France, where the great makers from Baccarat to Pantin created
captivating designs. The paperweights were relatively inexpensive to produce, yet they nevertheless
became a symbol of status. As their acclaim grew, many top-end designers elevated the paperweight to an
art form, creating examples that were pleasing both functionally and aesthetically.
This level of innovation continues among glass paperweight designers today. Now, no shape is off
limits: from oblong to more angular styles, the glass paperweight is still as fresh and style conscious as it
was one hundred years ago. Antique glass paperweights capture the spirit and beauty of bygone
The origin of the glass paperweight can be traced to Pietro Baggaglia, a Venetian glassmaker
who debuted his first weights at the 1845 Industrial Exposition in Vienna
Late 18th-century Russian Tsar Paul I died by paperweight. While being chased by attackers in his
bedchambers, he fell, causing a gilt paperweight to tumble from his writing desk
Waterford designer Jim O'Leary created a commemorative Star Wars-themed paperweight in response
to the success of the original movie's release