Back to a pre-digital age with engraved glass gifts

Back to a pre-digital age with engraved glass gifts

In this fast-paced world of digital gadgets, many are attracted to the pre-digital age before smartphones, the internet and streaming. This is why there is a resurgence in the sale of vinyl records and cameras that use physical film stock. Engraved glass gifts can remind us of analogue times too.


The first glass paperweights were made in Europe in the 1840s. Paperweights may have a practical use in weighing down paper to stop it blowing away, but when they were first made, they were regarded as works of art. Prince Albert in 1851 sponsored the Great Exhibition of All Nations at Crystal Palace, which showcased artistic innovations, and included many paperweights.

In the 19th Century, paperweights were bought for their decorative qualities but were often put to practical use to weigh down paper documents and letters.

Nowadays, people use less and less paper as their bills and bank statements live online. The art of letter writing has been replaced by emails and social media posts, so paperweights are mainly bought for their decorative qualities.

Engraved glass paperweights make great personalized gifts. Carrying a person’s name and a heartfelt message, they express love and affection.

Glass clocks

The way we know what time it is has changed. People glance at their phones or wear an Apple Watch which displays the time anywhere in the world. Still, this has not stopped many households having a clock on a shelf or mantlepiece.

There used to be a tradition of presenting an employee with a clock when they retired. An engraved glass clock is still an appropriate way of marking the end of a career, or any other significant life event. Engraved with the person’s name and the occasion, a clock can be proudly placed in a prominent location in the home. An engraved glass clock with a Roman numeral clock face has a timeless elegance – and is still useful for telling the time.

Glass photo frames

More and more photos are being taken, but most reside in smartphones or are stored in the cloud. For images taken at special occasions or of a special person, why not print the photograph and display it in a frame? An engraved glass frame shows off a photograph with accompanying engraved words that say something about the image

There is a tradition of displaying family photographs, or ones taken with VIPs, in the office. Glass frames are ideal as they can include notes on each image, such as where it was taken and who is in the photo.

People who love traditional objects and also have internet-enabled gadgets enjoy the best of both worlds. Whatever the digital future brings, engraved glass gifts will continue to be popular. Having been around for hundreds of years, they will no doubt continue to be given as cherished gifts.

Engraved glass paperweights, clocks and photo frames are personalised non-digital gifts, unlike a generic gift card for a digital streaming service or online shopping site.

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