St. Louis was originally founded in 1767 in Lorraine, an area with an ideal infrastructure for the production of high-quality lead crystal. One of the earliest St. Louis millefiori paperweights bears the date 1845. The most common date, however, is 1848 together with the initials SL. Sometimes, the SL signature appears on its own without a date. The factory made a wide range of millefiori weights including concentrics, mushrooms and carpet grounds - occasionally with silhouettes (dancing figures, camels, dogs etc) - and a variety of excellent lampwork pieces. Production seems to have ceased around 1865/70 as interest in paperweights in Europe declined.
Click on an image for details, sizes & enlarged views
Over a clear ground an outer garland of alternating pistachio/pink & blue/white composite millefiori canes encircles a 4-cane nosegay in shades of salmon-pink, white, blue & pale-orange nestled against 5 green serrated leaves. The weight is finished with a top and 6 side facets.A 24-point star-cut decorates the polished, concave base.
Miniature mushrooms are not nearly as common as their larger counterparts. The tuft here is formed of 2 rows of pistachio/white & pink/white complex millefiori canes encircling a blue-lined, 28-point feature cane centred by 4 pink St Louis cross canes. The tuft is borne on a stem of green, white & red staves, which taper to a point over the clear...
A fine hollow-blown crown with 10 tightly-coiled, white-edged red & green ribbons alternating with white latticinio twists. The ribbons and twists meet at the apex under a complex lime-green, pink, blue & white millefiori cane. The polished concave base has a narrow wear rim.