Glass paperweights were popular in the mid-19th century, being a useful item for weighing down stacks of paper. Today, paperweights remain popular amongst collectors and gift recipients alike, who love their look, shape and feel.
The Great Exhibition
In 1851, the Great Exhibition was held at Crystal Palace in London, which highlighted the best in culture and industry. Several glass paperweights were shown at the exhibition and featured flower designs. In the winter during this time, flowers were not generally available, and glass paperweights were seen as an affordable way of bringing flower images into the home, and they soon became popular items. Among the most notable collectors of paperweights were Oscar Wilde and the Empress Eugénie of France.
By the beginning of the 20th century, interest in paperweights had faded, but in the 1950s, artists such as Charles Kaziun and Paul Ysart made paperweights that became prized art objects.
There are many avid collectors of paperweights today, and this makes antique and artistic paperweights very valuable. Engraved glass paperweights can now be bought for around £20 or less and are ideal personalised gifts.
A valued gift
Glass paperweights are an item that can be admired, and when they come complete with engraved messages commemorating a special occasion, they remind the recipient of the occasion every time they look at the paperweight The value of the paperweight is the memories it invokes.
For lovers of minimalist style, a crystal dome paperweight made from quality clear glass has a simple but elegant style. An alternative is a plain glass round paperweight. To make either of these styles distinct, engraved words and images can be added, perhaps alongside a logo for a business gift, a badge for a sports team award or a family crest for a family celebration.
Paperweights are also available in more complex shapes, such as ones that look like intricate crystals or round paperweights with shaped crystal surrounding rings.
Paperweights made from heavy glass last a long time, and many are passed down over the generations for relatives to enjoy. In today’s throwaway society, there is much value placed in objects that are made to last. Engraved glass paperweights may not receive daily use, but they can be appreciated long after the latest electronic gadget is out of date and obsolete.
Adding special value to a paperweight
Glass paperweights with gift boxes can be purchased, making them ideal for presentations and award ceremonies. They can be given as promotional, sporting, business or personal presents. Paperweights can be engraved with any message, or images – either stock images or from your own image files. Personalising the paperweight with the person’s name, and the reason for giving the gift, is what gives the paperweight special value, and it means that it will be treasured for many years to come.
Engraved glass paperweights are rarely hidden from view after being received. Most proudly display the paperweight in their home or workplace for everyone to admire.