"But in reality there is a greater sophistication to paperweights far removed from such amusing trinkets.
"When great French glass factories began making floral paperweights little did they realise that in the future collectors would be willing to pay five-figure sums for their elaborate creations.
"This is such an unusual collection that spans three countries and three generations of collectors." The French-made varities come from the glass factories of Baccarat and Clichy but the most expensive ones are the larger paperweights from Mount Washington in Boston, Massachusetts.
I see a cane with a variety of numbers in some Murano Millefiori w8s.
Here are two examples, one is "1956" I could believe that was a date cane, but this piece doesn't feel that other is "1887", and there's no way that is a date of manufacture.
In early nineteenth-century Europe, a new creative potential developed in the decorative arts.
Baccarat and Saint Louis continue to produce elegant weights reminiscent of the Classic Period, as well as modern designs.
American glass companies and glass artists also continue creating paperweights in the traditional styles and create new traditions of their own.
The Escalier de Cristal was a novelty shop in Paris; consequently, the mount could have been added at any time.
The exact year and origin of the manufacture of the first glass paperweight is problematical, but the first documented appearance can be traced to the Exhibition of Austrian Industry held in Vienna in 1845.
The paperweights of Pietro Bigaglia of Venice were displayed at this exhibition.
The collection was passed onto his son-in-law, Italian-born Nello de Facci Negrati, who obtained many of the French paperweights from the French 'classic' period.
After he died he passed them on to his daughter, Baroness Liane de Bellet, who cherished them until her death last year.