Whitall, Tatum and Company 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.
Whitall, Tatum & Company of Millville, New Jersey was formed in 1901 and employed first rate craftsmen who created outstanding paperweights.
This Whitall, Tatum and Company clear glass paperweight features a three-masted white frit clipper ship. Frit work is the act of fusing powdered glass to create an image or scene, as in the paper-thin ship in this paperweight.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1900
Whitall, Tatum and Company
Physical Description
glass, transparent (overall material)
overall: 2 in x 3 3/4 in; 5.08 cm x 9.525 cm
place made
United States: New Jersey, Millville
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
Aaron and Lillie Straus

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