Antiques Column: Wealth of wonderful glassware...
As the winter nights are starting to get just a little bit brighter and Easter, spring and summer are just around the corner my thoughts turn to holidays spent in France and then obviously to the wealth of wonderful glassware that has come from that glorious country.
The French glasshouses of Baccarat, Clichy and St Louis were responsible for some of the finest and most inventive paperweights produced between 1845 and 1860.
A limited number of English paperweights were made at about the same time at George Bacchus & Sons in Birmingham and examples of these in good condition can often realise high prices.
The main types of decoration are millefiori meaning “thousand flowers” and lampworking.
Millefiori requires glass rods or canes arranged concentrically, formally or randomly before being cut and imbedded within clear glass.
Those that include silhouette canes featuring animals and birds are always at a premium, as are dated examples.
Lampworking involves individually sculpted flowers, butterflies, fruit and reptiles, including snakes, made in coloured glass using a direct heat source before being captured in glass.
Some of the most desirable weights are then overlaid with white and or coloured glass and facet cut to reveal the design inside.
The condition of a paperweight is important.
Bruises and chips will make a paperweight undesirable to collect and therefore they will limit it’s value.
Size is also important, in particular magnums at 10cms and miniatures, which are less than 5cms, are the most popular with collectors.