Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ornate Orb Society

In the mid-1840s, glass paper weights emerged and were immediately popular and desired. They had decorative appeal, and served, along with other glass accessories, the growing Victorian pastime of letter writing well. At the time, you could purchase your paper weight inexpensively at stationary stores and novelty shops.

The Patriarchs:

Antique paper weights were made between 1845 and 1860 in three french factories; Baccarat, St.Louis, and Clichy.

The Highbrows:

Weights by Touchstone Glass

Weights by artist Paul Stankard, via

Weights, mostly of lesser quality, were also made in the United States, Great Britain, and elsewhere. However, Bacchus (UK), and New England Glass Company (USA) produced beautiful weights that rivaled that of their French counterparts.
Modern weights have been made from 1950 to the present, and along with glass, can be made from clear acrylic or other materials.

The Nonconformists:

 is a UK concern, and is the perfect site to visit if you are entertaining the thought of purchasing a custom paper weight.

They can design, or alter any in-house design to suit your specifications and needs, with prices ranging from $75 to $500US.

Paper weights make thoughtful gifts. They can beautifully commemorate births, weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions and events in our lives.


  1. fantastic post! love the sea themes!

  2. Very cool post about glass..I love so many of these designs, thanks for a wonderfully complete posting and images!


  3. okay ... at first i was going to say that the nymph orb was my fave, but then the dandelion came on strong down the stretch. Very cool and original post! Have a great week ahead...

  4. Love all those clear glass bubbly orbs... but you might have assumed that from my place, *giggle. I have a million.
    Loving that dandelion one! xo

  5. Always love the history behind the subject and the subject is always so much fun!!!! great Blog K appreicate the hard work

  6. I always love the posts! They make me think about all of the things that I want to change in my house!

  7. This collection was beautifully presented,would love to have the sea life one! This blog is such an elegant giftbox filled with treasure.

  8. First the Birkin post, and now this amazing one! I love your a big fan of those gorgeous glass ones, and loved learning more about them.

  9. Kathy
    These are beautiful decorative orbs .... I love the dragonfly and the cameo one! So lovely and they are not used enough in interiors. I think the history you have researched on them is fascinating and that they were obviously a big hit in Victorian times as people actually did write letters by hand and I think it is an artform that should be done more often as it is so special to receive a hand-written letter. Beautiful post and I have joined your blog. Thank-you for visiting me and your lovely comment.

  10. This is a beautiful selection. We have the dandelion one at home. Lovely blog!

  11. this is a fascination post.

    loved it.
    and what was up with the crazy tiny naked bodies in the paper weight?
    too funny!!


  12. They had some amazing pieces at the recent American Craft Council show in Baltimore. Some were frosted on the outside with little clear holds to peep through.


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