In the mid-1960s Lawrence Selman, with a PhD in organic chemistry from Yale, and mastery of the viola da gamba, was introduced to paperweights through a fellow musician who collected them. Selman bought some pieces as gifts for his friends, and slowly became involved in trading paperweights. It wasn't long before the small works of art became more than a passing fancy for him, as he found himself traveling across the country to purchase and sell them. Eventually, Selman left behind his career as a professor of chemistry, and started L. H. Selman Ltd. as a small mail order business.
Recognizing a void in information available to the paperweight-collecting community, Selman decided to create a publishing company through which he could distribute his own knowledge of paperweights for the benefit of collectors, new and established. His first effort was Paperweights for Collectors. The book proved indispensible, and many others followed. Selman also founded the International Paperweight Society and Museum, which is housed within his company's main gallery, and seeks to promote knowledge of, and appreciation for the art and science of the paperweight.
In 2001, Selman was awarded the honor of being named by the Paperweight Collectors Association, one the Top Ten People of the 20th Century to influence the paperweight art form.
In 2009 Lawrence Selman and his wife, Marti, sold their business to Mitch and Ben Clark. To read more about today’s L.H.Selman Ltd., please see Gallery Staff.