Production of American paperweights in the classic period in the 19th Century, got underway in the early 1850s, a few years after they had become "fashionable" in Europe.  Initially, the designs tended to copy imported styles.  However within a few years, Boston & Sandwich (B&S), the New England Glass Co. (NEGC) - and, later, during the 1860s - Gillinder, were creating some fine, highly-collectable weights. The rare - and highly sought after - paperweights attributed to the Mount Washington Glass Works are believed to have been produced in the 1880/90s 

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  • Boston & Sandwich

    The Boston & Sandwich Glass Company (B&S), located on Cape Cod, began making paperweights in the early 1850s. Many of their products were similar - and hard to distinguish - from those of NEGC, the other prominent Massachusetts glassworks. Initially the artists copied the work of French paperweight makers. Gradually they introduced more variety into their paperweight designs. Weights were never signed but some contain an 1852 date cane. Nicolas Lutz - who had served his apprenticeship at St. Louis in France - and joined the company in the early 1870s - is credited with having created the company’s famous rose found at the centre of many flower weights.
    Labour problems forced the company to close in 1888.

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  • Gillinder

    William T. Gillinder - who originally worked in the Birmingham/Stourbridge area in England - emigrated to America in the 1850s. In 1861 he founded his own glass company in Philadelphia and it is reported that during the 1860s he made many types of paperweights, incorporating what he had learned in the glass industry in England. No dated weights have been recorded. Gillinder weights - reminiscent of Bacchus in their use of pastel colouring and crimp and ruffle canes - seldom appear on the market, due to the limited number made before William Gillinder’s early death in 1871.

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  • NEGC

    Paperweight production at the New England Glass Company (NEGC) in Boston, Massachusetts, postdated the classical years in Europe - with the main production period extending over roughly 30 years from the early 1850s to the 1880s. Initially American weights tended to imitate the French style. Later, NEGC developed numerous designs of its own - often with intricate faceting. No signed weights have been recorded but an 1852 date cane is seen in some weights. Silhouettes included running rabbits, bees, hearts and an eagle. The product range included both millefiori and lampwork. The firm closed down in 1888.

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