Paperweights with single flowers, nosegay bouquets, and intricate mosaics captured in glass have caught collectors’ eyes since the nineteenth century. Glass paperweights debuted at an 1845 industrial exposition in Vienna. A Venetian glassmaker, Pietro Biaglia, made spherical souvenirs meant to show his abilities. A French delegate told the Saint-Louis, France, glass factory about the idea, and the factory immediately produced a selection of paperweights and desk accessories. Baccarat followed the next year. A few millefiori paperweights may have a signature cane with the company’s initials and a date. Experts can identify makers based on individual canes and overall design.
(Photo: L. H. Selman)
The Saint-Louis, France, glass factory made this fruit bouquet paperweight. The lampwork fruit can be seen on a swirling latticinio basket.