Baccarat 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)

The French firm, Baccarat, was originally founded as the Verrerie Renaut in 1764, by request of the Bishop of Metz to the King of France, Louis XV. After the French Revolution, the company was re-named Verrerie de Baccarat. Peak production of Baccarat paperweights was between 1846 and1855.

Description (Brief)

This faceted Baccarat glass paperweight features a yellow, white, and red Buttercup or Columbine and has a deep star-cut base.

Date Made: 1845-1850

Maker: Baccarat

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: France: Grand Est, Baccarat

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.66.12Catalog Number: 66.12Accession Number: 268356Collector/Donor Number: 184

Object Name: paperweight

Physical Description: glass, transparent (overall material)cut (joint piece production method/technique)Measurements: overall: 1 3/4 in x 2 3/4 in; 4.445 cm x 6.985 cm


Record Id: nmah_596686

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.