This is a large beautiful weight. The design is a five-loop garland of complex canes, on a translucent cobalt blue ground. The weight is well made - the canes are in the correct places, no bubbles or annealing cracks (other than a small bubble under the central cane). The weight is in Very Good to Excellent Condition: All I can see wrong is a pin head sized mark near the base wear rim, so I imagine it has been re-polished at some time (not by me). This was probably fairly light, as there is still a lot of glass there. So all in all, a top class specimen of a large Clichy colour ground.
Size: 3.3 inch / 84 mm diameter, 2.05 inch / 52 mm
Provenance: L. H. Selman Glass Gallery.
Created by highly skilled artisans in the great glasshouses in Europe primarily between 1845 and 1860, paperweights were exquisite objects containing glass flowers, birds, salamanders, butterflies, and geometric designs comprised of millefiori canes. The term millefiori, which means "a thousand flowers" in Italian, refers to cross-sectional slices of a glass rod which has been formed in a mold and stretched, much like the making of hard candy. The French factories of Baccarat, Clichy, and Saint Louis rivaled each other in this art form for a short period of time, after which the paperweight became literally a "lost art" until its renaissance in the 1950s. The extraordinary excellence of these 19th century works, as well as their rarity, combine to make antique paperweights some of the best investments in glass art.
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