Antique St Louis Paperweights
Antique St Louis Paperweights are fine glass paperweights produced in the French city of Saint Louis during the 19th century.
History & Description
The classic period of antique paperweight production was between 1845 and 1860 and was located in three French cities; Baccarat, Saint Louis and Clichy. Paperweights were first produced in factories around Saint Louis in the early 1820s.
Compared to other French paperweights, Saint Louis examples use paler and lighter colours and the backgrounds were designed to resemble cushions with a central motif, such as fruit or flowers, lying on the background. The background consisted of narrow canes of swirling glass, known as latticino.
Guide for collectors
Saint Louis paperweights are marked SL and are usually dated. Collectors should make sure that they carefully inspect the item’s surface to check for flaws like bubbles, scratches and striations. Moreover, the glass should be clear and not have a greenish or yellowish cast.
As a general rule, the larger examples are the most desirable and achieve the highest prices at auction. Saint Louis paperweights are commonly sold through both national and international auction houses.
There are numerous websites that are a vital source of information for collectors regarding different styles of antique paperweights and their value. A few good examples include; Stone Gallery, The Glass Company and Paperweights.
Notable auction sales
On September 24th 1997 at Christie’s in New York, a glass paperweight, dated 1848, realised a price of $26,450.
On June 11th 2010 at Christie’s in New York, a signed glass paperweight, circa mid-nineteenth century, realised a price of $21,250.
On December 17th 2003 at Sotheby’s in London, a rare glass paperweight, dated 1845, realised a price of £19,200.
On September 26th 2007 at Christie’s in New York, a signed glass paperweight, dated 1848, realised a price of $16,250.
On December 17th 2003 at Sotheby’s in London, a rare tricolour paperweight, dated 1850, realised a price of £12,000.