In England, two companies are known to have produced paperweights in the 19th Century: George Bacchus & Son and the Islington Glassworks, both in Birmingham. But some fine English paperweights cannot be attributed to either company, so other glasshouses must also have been producing millefiori canes. Unfortunately, it has not proved possible to identify them conclusively and, currently, they are grouped under the heading “Old English” - which covers late 19th Century paperweights right up to the 1920/30s.

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  • Bacchus

    Paperweight production at George Bacchus & Co. in Birmingham was probably a sideline for the glassworks, as the total number produced during the classic period - 1845 to 1860 - is estimated to be only ca. 400-500. Most of these are magnums - although there are a number of smaller examples - and display a predominance of white and soft, pastel colours. Considered for years to be "inferior" to French paperweights they are now being accorded the recognition they deserve. No signed or dated examples have been recorded. Recent research indicates a second flourishing of paperweight production - referred to as Late Bacchus - ca. 1870, although these weights generally lack the intrinsic beauty and high standards of classic Bacchus paperweights.

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  • Old English

    The term “Old English” was coined to cover a number of glassworks which were producing paperweights - mainly close concentrics - in the 19th Century and well into the 1920/30s. Due to a lack of records, it is impossible to say with any certainty where many of these weights originated. Some are meticulously made with complex canes and display a high degree of technical expertise; others have only simple cogs and lack the quality seen in the better weights. Companies known to have produced paperweights include H.G. Richardson in Stourbridge as well as Arculus in Birmingham, which was later acquired by Walsh-Walsh.

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