Categories

Europe

In Europe, the pioneering artistry of Paul Ysart in Scotland in the 1930s, and the revival of paperweight production at Baccarat and St. Louis in France in the 1950s, helped paperweights regain some of the popularity they had enjoyed in the mid-19th Century. Initially produced in larger glassworks, today the trend is towards smaller glass “studios” and artists working on their own, who can react more flexibly to changing market requirements.

Click below - or on the individual glassworks/artist in the left-hand column - for images and more information 

Subcategories

  • Baccarat

    In the early 1950s, Baccarat, the traditional French glasshouse, decided to re-introduce paperweights into its production range. The secrets of the company’s fine millefiori and lampworking techniques, however, had long since been forgotten. A gradual learning process followed. By the late 50s the company was again producing millefiori weights - mainly concentrics and zodiac closepacks - while the first lampwork examples only appeared in the late 60s. That was when Baccarat introduced a date cane plus an acid-etched insignia on the base. Later a “B” was added to the date cane. In the 1970s, an acid-etched date and edition number joined the insignia on the base. In 2002 the company decided paperweight production was no longer viable and it was phased out.

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  • Caithness Abstract
    The history of paperweights at Caithness Glass - founded in 1961 in Wick in the northeast of Scotland - started with those, made after hours, by Paul Ysart who worked there as training officer from 1962 to 1972. In 1969, Colin Terris decided to experiment with limited edition abstract designs. The first designs proved popular and the company then issued new designs every year. In 1979 specially-designed premises were opened on the outskirts of Perth. After Caithness was acquired by Dartington Glass, paperweight production was downsized and moved from Perth to Crieff.

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  • Caithness Traditional
    Although the paperweights issued by Caithness Glass in the 1970s were mainly abstract designs by Colin Terris, during the 1980s a number of designers - such as Margot Thomson, Allan Scott and William Manson - began to produce lampwork designs sometimes combined with millefiori. Subjects included floral themes, insects, reptiles, birds and marine life. These more traditional designs were usually issued in relatively small limited editions of maybe only 50 or 100 pieces.

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  • Deacons, J. & C.

    Having trained at Strathearn Glass before moving to Perthshire Paperweights in 1968, John Deacons set up his own company J-Glass in 1978. Economic pressures forced him to close down operations in 1983. Another venture - making paperweights for the U.S. market - was called St. Kilda after an island off the coast of Scotland. Today John works from the small glass studio adjacent to his house in Crieff - and along with his son Craig - produces an amazing range of both millefiori and lampwork paperweights, including double, triple and encased overlays, which are signed with a JD cane or a JHD signature/date cane.

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  • Hunter, Mike

    Mike Hunter is one of Britain’s leading art glass designers and makers. In 1998, after working in hot glass in industry for more than 25 years, he set up Twists Glass Studio in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders region. He incorporates his beautiful and colourful “twists” into wine glasses, plates and vases...and his complex millefiori canes into paperweights. His paperweights - nowadays all one-of-a-kind pieces - have an “MH” signature cane and are scratch-signed and dated on the base.

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  • Jay Glass

    After an apprenticeship at Strathearn Glass, John Deacons moved on to Perthshire Paperweights in 1968. Ten years later he felt the time was right to start a business of his own and he set up Jay Glass. The company made paperweights - mainly small editions limited to 101 pieces, although there were also a few special issues - from 1978 to 1983. Allan Scott was responsible for many of the lampwork designs, some of which were made exclusively for the American market. Early weights were signed with a “J” cane. Later date canes were introduced with 4 numerals in various combinations of red, blue & green. The venture closed down in 1983.

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  • Manson, William

    William Manson Snr. began his career in glassmaking in the late 60s at Caithness Glass where he first met Paul Ysart. In the 1970s the two later worked together at Harland Glass. Between his own studio ventures he has twice returned to work at Caithness.  He makes collector-quality paperweights usually in small limited editions or occasionally one-off pieces. Over the years he has used a number of different “WM” signature canes in addition to signing and dating his weights.

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  • McDougall, Peter

    Peter McDougall began his career in glass at Strathearn. He  was factory manager at Perthshire Paperweights until the company closed down. He set up PMcD Glass Studio Ltd. in Crieff, Scotland in 2002. He produced General Range weights and issued an Annual Collection of small limited editions or designs made only for one year. His PMcD signature-cane is usually either incorporated in the design or embedded in the base. At the end of 2011- after a life spent working with glass - Peter closed down PMcD Glass Studio but he continues to produce a few weights - sometimes in collaboration with his son, Allan.

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  • Perthshire Ann. Coll.

    Perthshire Paperweights (1968-2002) was set up by Stuart Drysdale in Crieff, Scotland aided by some of the top Scottish glassworkers. A specially commissioned weight in 1969 was followed by the factory's first Annual Collection in 1970, which consisted of just 2 designs. From then on, a new Collection was presented every year with 4 or 5 (later 7 or 8) limited editions. Most have a "P" signature/date cane or a scratched "P". For years, Perthshire was the benchmark for paperweight making in Scotland. The last complete Annual Collection was introduced in 2001. Financial constraints forced the factory to close down in early 2002.

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  • Perthshire PP Range

    Thanks to the high standard of craftsmanship at Perthshire Paperweights (1968-2002) in Crieff, Scotland, the company quickly gained a reputation for quality. In addition to its Annual Collection, the factory also issued its PP Range - mainly millefiori designs - numbered from PP 1 to PP 249. The majority were limited editions; others - such as PP 1 and PP 2 - were part of the  unlimited General Range and many were made for a number of years. Whereas most limited editions have a “P” signature/date cane or a scratched “P”, early General Range weights are unsigned. Financial constraints forced the factory to close in early 2002.

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  • Scott, Allan

    Allan Scott started his career in 1975 making lampwork at Perthshire Paperweights before joining John Deacons at J-Glass. Later, he worked at Caithness Glass and designed many of the Caithness/Whitefriars range. He also produced fine “one-off” pieces for the annual Scottish Glass Society Exhibition. In much of his earlier work he collaborated with Harry McKay, later with Shona Spittal. Allan continues to make lampwork set-ups and is currently working together with John Deacons, who is encasing them. His designs generally contain an “A” cane, which has varied over the years.

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  • St. Louis

    After a break of roughly 90 years, St. Louis started to make paperweights again in the early 1950s. All the trade secrets had been lost in the intervening years so the glassworkers had to experiment with millefiori and lampwork techniques. Early weights appear somewhat unsophisticated and lack the vibrant colours that had distinguished their mid-19th Century counterparts. In 1970 St. Louis launched the first of its Annual Limited Editions - just 3 designs. Modern St. Louis weights contain an SL signature/date cane and later editions are usually numbered. Annual Editions - plus occasional one-off pieces - continue to be produced, although nowadays only a few designs are issued in small editions.

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  • Strathearn

    Strathearn Glass was set up in Crieff, Scotland, during 1964 after the Teacher’s Whisky company took over Vasart Glass. It was officially opened in 1965. The company’s mainstay was the millefiori spoke pattern, made in a huge range of colours and variations. A few weights had signature and date canes but most only had a Strathearn sticker, which time has generally worn away! The workforce at Strathearn also made a number of designs of collector quality but the management - with an eye on the more lucrative gift trade - considered them too expensive to produce and relatively few were made. In 1980 Strathearn was acquired by Stuart and Sons (later Stuart Crystal) and paperweight production phased out.

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  • Ysart Brothers/Vasart
    Salvador Ysart, together with his sons Vincent and Augustine, set up Ysart Brothers Glass in 1946 after they left Moncrieff. Originally from Spain, the family arrived in Scotland in 1915. Salvador joined Moncrieff Ltd. in Perth in 1921 and by 1925 his 4 sons were apprenticed to him in the Monart shop. Paperweights never featured prominently in Salvador’s work - and very few were signed with his "Y" cane. In the mid 50s - after the death of Salvador and Augustine - Vincent renamed the company Vasart Glass and continued to produce paperweights - among other millefiori items - mainly for the gift trade. In 1964 Vasart Glass was acquired by William Teacher & Sons - the whisky distillers. New premises were built in Crieff and the name changed to Strathearn.

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  • Ysart, Paul

    Paul Ysart (1904 -1991) was born in Spain. The family emigrated and eventually settled in Scotland in 1915. In 1921 Paul began an apprenticeship at the Moncrieff glassworks. During the 1930s he was already making quality paperweights, as we know from Evangeline Bergstrom’s book “Old Glass Paperweights” printed in 1940. Two of his weights were illustrated and - due to their quality - Mrs. Bergstrom assumed they must be French, although she was puzzled by the PY signature. From 1962 to 1972 Paul worked as a training officer at Caithness Glass before setting up his own companies Harland and Highland Paperweights. Paul Ysart continued to produce beautiful - and today very sought after - paperweights up to the end of the 1970s.

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