New England Glass 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.
The New England Glass Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts was founded about 1818 by Deming Jarves along with three wealthy businessmen, and probably began producing paperweights by the mid 1850s. In 1888 the business moved to Ohio, under the name Libbey Glass Company.
A red and white double overlay with fleur-de-lis cutting encases this New England Glass Company paperweight. Inside is a posy made of three millefiori, leaves, and a double garland on a latticinio (latticework) ground. 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
New England Glass Company
Physical Description
glass, transparent (overall material)
cased (joint piece production method/technique)
cut (joint piece production method/technique)
millifiori (joint piece production method/technique)
overall: 3 5/32 in; 8.001 cm
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Cambridge
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor 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
Additional Media

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