Paperweights were probably first produced in Venice/Murano around 1843 when Venice was still part of the Austrian Empire. The first dated examples were seen in 1845, when Pietro Bigaglia exhibited paperweights - and other glassware - at the Exhibition of Austrian Industry in Vienna. Bigaglia’s weights incorporated millefiori, silhouettes and figure portraits made by Giovanni Battista Franchini and later, his son, Giacomo. The Franchini family also made weights - mainly scrambleds. Apart from “GBF” other initials have also been found, although it has not proved possible to determine who these makers were.
19th Century weights are usually referred to as Venetian. The term Murano is generally applied to later, 20th Century, paperweights.
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Large aventurine inclusions together with sections of white filigree and ruby/white, blue/white & yellow/white corkscrew twists fill this typical mid-19th Century low-domed scrambled weight. The surface is slightly uneven with a couple of imperfections.Flat, slightly uneven base with a lightly-ground pontil mark.
Fine latticinio cables, red/white & blue/white ribbons and a couple of small copper aventurine inclusions are packed into this attractive example of a mid-19th Century Venetian paperweight The surface of the low-domed weight is slightly uneven, a feature often seen in Venetian paperweights of the period.Typical deep, slightly rough basal concavity...