Val St. Lambert Paperweight

Description (Brief)
In the 1700s, paperweights made from textured stone or bronze were part of the writer’s tool kit, which also included a quill pen and stand, inkpot, and blotter. By the mid-1800s, decorative paperweights produced by glassmakers in Europe and the United States became highly desired collectibles.
Decorative glass paperweights reflected the 19th-century taste for intricate, over-the-top designs. Until the spread of textiles colorized with synthetic dyes, ceramics and glass were among the few objects that added brilliant color to a 19th-century Victorian interior. The popularity of these paperweights in the 1800s testifies to the sustained cultural interest in hand craftsmanship during an age of rapid industrialization.
The Val St. Lambert glassworks was founded by a chemist and an engineer in 1826 at a Cistercian monastery in Seraing, near Liege, Belgium. The firm was the first and only crystal glass maker in Belgium.
This Val St. Lambert paperweight features a four-loop millefiori pattern on an opaque deep pink ground with yellow and white torsade (twisted ribbon). Millefiore paperweights, first manufactured in Venice, consist of sections from rods of colored glass encased in a clear, colorless sphere. By the mid-nineteenth century, glass factories elsewhere in Europe were emulating the millefiore style.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
mid 1800s
Val St. Lambert
Physical Description
glass, transparent (overall material)
opaque twist (joint piece production method/technique)
overall: 2 3/8 in x 3 11/16 in; 6.0325 cm x 9.398 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Domestic Furnishings
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Mrs. Florence E. Bushee

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