This outstanding piece is one of the best of class
examples of Bacchus paperweights we have seen
(and we’ve been doing this for 35 years)!
Today we are happy to offer for sale a fabulous and rare antique Bacchus faceted concentric glass paperweight! Paperweights have for hundreds of years been admired and collected by nobility, royalty, and celebrities for their beauty and usefulness. These exquisite glass objets d’art have been a staple in many a collection of some of the past centuries many geniuses. The famous French author Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette) was perhaps its most famous collector. In the late forties, French movie director and artist Jean Cocteau arranged for a young Truman Capote to have tea with Colette at her apartment in Paris. They did not manage to discuss literature; instead, Capote was moonstruck by the Frenchwoman’s collection of valuable antique paperweights, which she called “my snowflakes” and suggested she might take them with her in her coffin, “like a pharaoh”:
There were perhaps a hundred of them covering two tables situated on either side of the bed: crystal spheres imprisoning green lizards, salamanders, millefiori bouquets, dragonflies, a basket of pears, butterflies alighted on a frond of ferns, swirls of pink and white and blue and white, shimmering like fireworks, cobras coiled to strike, pretty little arrangements of pansies, magnificent poinsettias.
In the 1700s, paperweights made from textured stone or bronze were part of the writer’s tool kit, which also included a quill pen and stand, inkpot, and blotter. By the mid-1800s, decorative paperweights produced by glassmakers in Europe and the United States became highly desired collectibles. Decorative glass paperweights reflected the 19th-century taste for intricate, over-the-top designs. Until the spread of textiles colorized with synthetic dyes, ceramics and glass were among the few objects that added brilliant color to a 19th-century Victorian interior. The popularity of these paperweights in the 1800s testifies to the sustained cultural interest in hand craftsmanship during an age of rapid industrialization.
George Bacchus and Sons began making millefiori paperweights in Birmingham, England in the 1840s. Relatively few Bacchus paperweights are known to exist today. Millefiore paperweights, first manufactured in Venice, consist of sections from rods of colored glass encased in a clear, colorless sphere. By the mid-nineteenth century, glass factories elsewhere in Europe were emulating the millefiore style, which was first manufactured in Venice, consisting of sections from rods of colored glass encased in a clear, colorless sphere.
This wonderful paperweight is finely crafted and detailed. Like most Bacchus and Sons paperweights, this example features closely packed concentric millefiori featuring a center layer of blue and red flowers surmounted by white and red flowers, with an outer garland of green and white, and red and white flowers. The piece features a magnum mushroom body with deep elongated circle facets along the sides and at the top; the top facets form a stylized flower which shows off the central design nicely. A faint pontil mark is visible on the bottom.
Our consignor had the pleasure of showing this piece to Alan Kaplan of Leo Kaplan Ltd of New York City (famous ceramics and glass antiques dealer and expert) at the Bohemian Hall Glass & Ceramics Show. Mr. Kaplan was very taken by the hand-faceted surface which he said was possibly unique and factory original. The piece is lovely from any angle and catches and reflects light beautifully. This lovely paperweight will look stunning on any desk or table surface and will add style to any interior.
Paperweight presents beautifully and is in very good antique condition, with very minor surface wear/scuffing and patina commensurate with age. There are a few minuscule (and hard to notice) fleabite chips along faceted top edges and some other minute signs of the hand cutting process – all which are believed to have occurred in the making – please review all photos. This is a great opportunity to acquire a very rare and truly special Bacchus paperweight which will make an important addition to any well-curated antique glass paperweight collection and would be THE cornerstone of a new collection…Fresh to the market! A wise investment – rarities like this virtually always appreciate in value over time.
Dimensions: 2-1/2″ in height, 3-3/8″ in diameter
NOTE: Shipping cost includes full insurance. We do not mark up shipping.