St. Louis 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.

Description (Brief)

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.

Description (Brief)

Glass production at Saint Louis was authorized by Louis XV in 1767. By 1782 the firm was creating high quality glass crystal, progressing into pressed glass in the 1800s. St. Louis produced paperweights from 1845 to about 1867.

Description (Brief)

This St. Louis paperweight features a six-pointed star pattern millefiori on a red 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.

Date Made: 1845-1850

Maker: St. Louis

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: France: Lorraine

See more items in: Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass, Paperweights, Art, Domestic Furnishings


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Mrs. Florence E. Bushee

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: CE.66.19Catalog Number: 66.19Collector/Donor Number: 168Accession Number: 268356

Object Name: paperweight

Physical Description: glass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 1 7/8 in x 2 15/16 in; 4.7625 cm x 7.493 cm


Record Id: nmah_1404561

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