The museum is open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free timed-entry passes are required. Review our latest visitor safety guidelines.

St. Louis Paperweight

St. Louis Paperweight

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
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.
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.
A lavender, orange, and yellow Pansy on a clear ground decorates this St. Louis glass paperweight. The base features a twenty-four ray star-cut design.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
paperweight
date made
1845-1850
maker
St. Louis
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 2 1/4 in x 3 1/4 in; 5.715 cm x 8.255 cm
ID Number
CE.65.464
accession number
264964
catalog number
65.464
collector/donor number
81
Credit Line
Mrs. Florence E. Bushee
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
Art
Paperweights
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.

Comments

Add a comment about this object