In the 1700s, paperweights made from textured stone or bronze were part of the writer’s tool kit, which also included a quill pen and stand, inkpot, and blotter. By the mid-1800s, decorative paperweights produced by glassmakers in Europe and the United States became highly desired collectibles.
Decorative glass paperweights reflected the 19th-century taste for intricate, over-the-top designs. Until the spread of textiles colorized with synthetic dyes, ceramics and glass were among the few objects that added brilliant color to a 19th-century Victorian interior. The popularity of these paperweights in the 1800s testifies to the sustained cultural interest in hand craftsmanship during an age of rapid industrialization.
The French firm, Verrerie de Clichy, began operation after merging with another local glassworks in 1837. The height of paperweight production at the firm was 1846 to 1857.
This rare, unrecorded Clichy glass paperweight has a five-petal white flower with a yellow center suspended in a clear ball.