This beautiful weight attracted me for a number of reasons. First, I am attracted to beautiful and rare objects. Antiques draw me because of the wonder that someone can create something so wonderful that people are in awe of it long after the artists themselves have passed away. And the more unusual and unique an object is, the better. This is truly a marvelous weight.
The silhouette cane of a white hound is centered among five concentric rings of assorted complex canes, in pink, pale green, dark green, white red, blue, and pistachio. One ring of canes includes twenty-three microscopic dancing women silhouettes. (If you look at the closeups of the date, you can make out the tiny dancers in that row of canes.) The design rests on a white-striped green stave basket. "SL 1848" signature/date cane (1848 in reverse). "The (hound) silhouette is created as the interior of a cog cane which has 28 teeth, and this is the critical characteristic that identifies it as a Saint Louis breed. The large body and long tail suggest that an Epagneul Picard served as the model for this cane. This breed ... is also a gun dog and originates from Picardy in the north of France." The Glass Menagerie : A Study of Silhouette Canes In Antique Paperweights.
Condition Minor display wear.
Provenance: L. H. Selman Glass Gallery. Fall 2005 Paperweight Price Guide, Pictured as Lot 7 on Page 4. Original Tag from Sothebys included.
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, butterfiles, 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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