- 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 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.
- Closely packed millefiori, “Gridel” silhouettes (said to be named after a young boy whose cut paper silhouettes inspired Baccarat’s glass workers), and blue and white torsade decorate this Baccarat paperweight. 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
- place made
- France: Grand Est, Baccarat
- Physical Description
- glass, transparent (overall material)
- cut (joint piece production method/technique)
- millifiori (joint piece production method/technique)
- overall: 1 15/16 in x 3 in; 4.92125 cm x 7.62 cm
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Credit Line
- Mrs. Florence E. Bushee
- See more items in
- Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
- Domestic Furnishings
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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