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Glass Paperweights

Shortly after the Great Exhibition of 1851 at London’s Crystal Palace, collectors started amassing collections of glass paperweights. Some collectors specialize in one type of paperweights made of glass such as carpet-ground or color-ground while others specialize in one particular size of paperweights with large glass ones being highly valued. Still, others choose to concentrate on a specific motif such as flowers, abstract designs, or shamrocks.

Are there different sizes of collectible paperweights made of glass?

Most glass paperweights measure between 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches. Those paperweights made of glass that are smaller than 2.5 inches are called mini-paperweights while those larger than 3.5 inches are called mega-paperweights. Glass paperweights with larger domes are especially prized by collectors.

What are commonly collected types of glass paperweights?

There are many types of collectible paperweights made of glass, including:

  • Antique carpet-ground glass paperweight- These glass paperweights contain densely packed small canes predominantly of the same type and color used to create a glass design within a paperweight containing a contrasting color.
  • Antique macedoine glass paperweights- These paperweights made of glass contain pieces of rods, ribbons, and twists filigree. Most are made of bright colors offset by pieces of white glass.
  • Antique color-ground paperweights- Pieces of ground glass is made inside the paperweights. Usually, these glass paperweights have flower shapes inside them, but they can have geometric shapes.
  • Antique crown paperweights- These glass paperweights that are also called hollow ware have alternate swirling white and colored-filigree-glass pieces radiating from a single-color core.
  • Vintage Art glass paperweight - An art glass paperweight can be made using various techniques including melting glass in a kiln, art glass copperfoil, art glass sandblasting, or art glass blowing. Art glass can also be made using stained-glass techniques.
  • Vintage lampwork glass paperweight- These paper weights are made by melting small pieces of glass and putting them inside the paperweight in a motif or as an abstract design.
Are there common motifs seen in antique glass paperweights?

There are numerous motifs that are commonly seen in antique and vintage glass paperweights including:

  • Flowers
  • Fruit
  • Plants
  • Shamrocks
  • Butterflies
  • Abstract designs
  • Snakes
How do you buy an antique paperweight made of glass?

There are many different factors to consider when buying a paperweight that is an antique.

  • Choose paperweight size- Consider the size that will look and work best in the space available
  • Choose style- Determine which style of paperweight you like the best.
  • Choose motif- Think about the motif you want in the paperweight made of glass
  • Choose color- Almost every color is available in a paperwork that is an antique.
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