Fine glass paperweights have been around since the 1840s, but their rise in popularity began only in the twentieth century. These works of art are now collectors’ items and range in price from a few pounds to thousands of pounds. There are even museums that feature notable paperweight collections. The price of a glass paperweight varies according to its type and workmanship. Featured here are the different types of paperweights available and a comparison of their prices.
Types of glass paperweights
Most paperweight collectors have an eclectic mix of paperweights rather than a single type. Depending on the material they contain, glass paperweights can be classified into lampwork, millefiori, sulphide and etched or engraved variants. Lampwork, millefiori and sulphide Lampwork paperweights have objects constructed by working bits of coloured glass and then assembling them inside the dome of the paperweight. Millefiori uses coloured rods to form shapes like flowers or letters within the paperweight. Sulphide paperweights contain encased cameo-like medallions made from special ceramic. Laser 3D 3D crystal paperweights are made using laser 3D technology that etches or engraves designs onto crystal glass. The ability to create custom-made paperweights with designs of one’s own choice have made these glass cubes a favourite for promotional and office gifts.
Comparison of prices: Glass paperweights
A few manufacturers today offer top-quality glass paperweights that are available through online stores. A paperweight’s workmanship, design and rarity determine its price. Antique weights moreover, appreciate in value over time.
Caithness glass is known the world over for its high-quality paperweights and art glass. Available in traditional and abstract designs, they make the perfect gift.
Caithness paperweights are available starting at £15 and can go all the way up to £425 (these prices seen at Justglass.co.uk on 20.07.2011). John Deacons John Deacons specialises in Scottish millefiori and lampwork paperweights. Priced at an average of £250 (this price seen at Justglass.co.uk on 20.07.2011), they feature intricate flower designs and excellent workmanship. Ysart Ysart was a leading paperweight craftsman whose pioneering work in the 1930s paved the way for a number of today’s leading designers like John Deacons and Peter McDougall. Ysart’s paperweights fall in the upper price range, at an average of £400 apiece (this price seen at Justglass.co.uk on 20.07.2011).
Where to buy
In the UK, Just Glass (Justglass.co.uk) specialises in glass paperweights by almost all manufacturers. For 3D crystal, Lasercrystal.co.uk is a leading supplier of all kinds of etched and engraved paperweights.