Northwestern Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Summer Class #4369, “The Art of the Paperweight”

The Northwestern OLLI offers adult classes for continuing education: “Composed of seasoned learners from all walks of life, OLLI members pursue learning for pure pleasure: there are no tests and no grades. OLLI’s motto is, “Curiosity Never Retires,” and the OLLI experience proves it!” https://sps.northwestern.edu/program-areas/olli/about_olli.php

Northwestern Olli Website

Northwestern Olli Website

Rae and Evelyn approached Mitch Clark, co-owner of L.H. Selman Ltd., about developing a class as an introduction to fine art glass paperweights. They met on June 9th at the L.H. Selman Ltd. gallery, in Chicago, to develop a plan, and thus the class was born! Nearly 20 students enrolled. We gave everyone an A+ just for that!

Evelyn and Rae doing curriculum development with L.H. Selman owner Mitch Clark

Evelyn and Rae doing curriculum development with L.H. Selman owner Mitch Clark

Rae and Evelyn doing curriculum development with L.H. Selman owner Mitch Clark

Rae and Evelyn doing curriculum development with L.H. Selman owner Mitch Clark

Chapter 1- July 9, 2015 1:30p, Wieboldt Hall, Room 507, “Maybe there was a view of the lake, but I was too busy looking at paperweights”

Evelyn introducing Mitch to the class

Evelyn introducing Mitch to the class

The history

Mitch prepared a Powerpoint presentation that traced the paperweight from its conception in European furnaces, nearly 175 years ago, to the ever-evolving artistry of today.

Mitch teaching at Northwestern

Mitch teaching at Northwestern

It also highlighted Paul Jokelson’s contribution to the rediscovery of paperweights in the 20th Century and Larry H. Selman’s drive to establish a reliable market and research resources. Mitch and his brother Ben took over Larry’s business when Larry retired in 2009. That was very fortunate for everyone in the class because it meant that the business was moved from Santa Cruz, CA to Chicago! How convenient for these Chicago students!

Mitch teaching from the podium

Mitch teaching from the podium

Mitch presenting his powerpoint

Mitch presenting his powerpoint

Mitch showed pictures and a video to explain the process of making a paperweight. Ooos and aaahs ensued. But it is always better to have a look at a real paperweight to grasp its phenomenal intricacies. We think the students agreed.

Paperweight display with Mitch teaching in the background

Paperweight display with Mitch teaching in the background

Ever heard of students that don’t dash out of class as soon as the bell rings? Well, this bunch stayed an extra 45minutes. That is also why we gave everyone an A+!

Mitch answering some questions after class

Mitch answering some questions after class

Mitch answering some questions after class

Mitch answering some questions after class

The students' first time with paperweights

The students’ first time with paperweights

The students looking at antique paperweights

The students looking at antique paperweights

The students' first time with paperweights

The students’ first time with paperweights

Chapter 2- July 16, 2015, 1:30p, Wieboldt Hall, Room 507, “YOU made that?!? WOW, HOW?!”

The artists

Two major paperweight artists traveled to Chicago to present to the class. It was a huge treat to have them and Mitch brought good examples of their work to show off to the students. Here are snapshots of their presentations.

Damon MacNaught paperweights with Northwestern podium

Damon MacNaught paperweights with Northwestern podium

Graeber and MacNaught paperweights on display with Damon in the background

Graeber and MacNaught paperweights on display with Damon in the background

Damon MacNaught, the millefiori artist from Tennessee…

Drove in to Chicago a few days before. He studied sculpting at the University of Illinois, so this was somewhat familiar territory.

Damon waiting to teach

Damon waiting to teach

He still has glass colors that he created in college at his disposal today, but most of his glass comes from Germany and New Zealand now. He teaches design at the college level, raises a family, farms and makes beautiful millefiori canes that he then sets into magical paperweights. He works mostly alone over 2-3 month intervals (while he keeps his glass furnace running), in company of his studio cat and, occasionally, his glass cutting friend Andy Najarian. The difficult part is finding which colors will crack when they cool and never EVER using them again.

Damon teaching the class and Mitch listeing

Damon teaching the class and Mitch listeing

Damon showing his powerpoint

Damon showing his powerpoint

David Graeber, the lampwork artist from New Jersey…

David Graeber at Northwestern to teach a paperweight class

David Graeber at Northwestern to teach a paperweight class

Knows everything about South Jersey glass history. Turns out, South Jersey has a lot of good sand to make glass, so it has been a hot spot in the field since the beginning of glass art in the U.S. Still, like Damon, David has to find glass colors that do not crack, which he orders from abroad, but he also scavenges for them in the South Jersey vicinity. He apprenticed with Paul Stankard and in 2008, he built his own 400ft2 studio where the family pool used to be, and started making paperweights independently.

David teaching class with his paperweights on the display table

David teaching class with his paperweights on the display table

He is a lampwork artist and puts weeks of labor into a single floral design. He then has to encase those in clear crystal, and it’s nerve-racking. A design might not survive the process. Only perfection will be accepted. But as he retains his creative license, he also gives carte blanche to master glass cutter artist, Ed Poore, to decorate the masterpieces. Then he lets his professional photographer take dazzling photographs of his work, and he shared those with us. Ooos and aaahs ensued. We gave everyone A+’s for that too!

David finishing his talk on paperweights with Mitch listening at the podium

David finishing his talk on paperweights with Mitch listening at the podium

The rest of class was spent talking with the artists and looking at their magnificent work.  What a treat to be in the presence of the creators of these beauties!

David answering a student's questions

David answering a student’s questions

Ray asking artist Damon MacNaught some questions

Ray asking artist Damon MacNaught some questions

David showing off his pieces while Damon answers some questions

David showing off his pieces while Damon answers some questions

David and Damon with students

David and Damon with students

Chapter 3- July 23, 2015, 3:30p, Art Institute of Chicago, Sub Sub Sub basement (not really), “I like that kind, do you have any of those?”

The final class was two part: 1. Visit the tremendous and extensive Arthur Rubloff paperweight exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. 2. Visit the L.H. Selman Ltd. gallery, kitty-corner from the Art Institute, for a reception and viewing of the auction lots and gallery displays.

Entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago's Rubloff paperweight collection

Entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Rubloff paperweight collection

The Rubloff Collection

We gathered in the lobby of the Art Institute of Chicago and contemplated the beautiful ceilings while chatting with the students about circumnavigation adventures in Siberia and other fascinating endeavors.

Students gathering in the lobby of the Art Institute for the final class

Students gathering in the lobby of the Art Institute for the final class

Students gathering in the lobby of the Art Institute for the final class

Students gathering in the lobby of the Art Institute for the final class

Then, we headed down to the Arthur Rubloff Collection Gallery in the basement, next to the Thorne Miniature Rooms.

Arthur Rubloff

Arthur Rubloff

A display of paperweight related objects in the Rubloff collection

A display of paperweight related objects in the Rubloff collection

Several visitors were already viewing the collection, but it suddenly became very crowded when we entered. And then it was even more crowded when other curious visitors tried to cram in!

Mitch introducing the glass to the Rubloff paperweight collection

Mitch introducing the glass to the Rubloff paperweight collection

Mitch explained the collaboration between L.H. Selman and the Art Institute in moving the Rubloff Collection to a more accessible location and redoing the curation. What we were visiting today was the product of a successful partnership: the gallery looked modern, freshly painted a sober color with new gray carpet, which contrasted with the brightly colored paperweight displayed on the wall and made them more vibrant.

Mitch telling the students detail about the collaboration between L.H. Selman Ltd. and the Art Institute

Mitch telling the students detail about the collaboration between L.H. Selman Ltd. and the Art Institute

Mitch showing the class some Rubloff paperweights

Mitch showing the class some Rubloff paperweights

There were a lot of paperweights, all dated no later than 1979. Everyone took the allotted 30 minutes to read placards and build an opinion about which paperweights were better and which ones had flaws.

Evelyn and Rae enjoying a paperweight display

Evelyn and Rae enjoying a paperweight display

Mitch showing the class some Rubloff paperweights

Mitch showing the class some Rubloff paperweights

Mitch answered a lot of questions and then invited everyone to come to his place of work.  The students were anxious to see if the L.H. Selman gallery had their favorite pieces for sale!

Ray and Evelyn with other students taking it all in

Ray and Evelyn with other students taking it all in

Mitch and the students looking at the Paul Stankard gifted orb displayed in the Rubloff Collection

Mitch and the students looking at the Paul Stankard gifted orb displayed in the Rubloff Collection

L.H. Selman Gallery

Alexis, the L.H. Selman gallery manager, was waiting for everyone with cheese, crackers, amuse-gueules, wine and a warm smile.

Mitch posing in the gallery before the student's visit

Mitch posing in the gallery before the student’s visit

Reception table at the L.H. Selman gallery

Reception table at the L.H. Selman gallery

Mitch greets everyone to the gallery while Alexis, in a salmon colored gown, listens on

Mitch greets everyone to the gallery while Alexis, in a salmon colored gown, listens on

Mitch welcomed the class and explained how the gallery was organized. Everyone was off to the races asking Alexis and Mitch questions and exploring the gallery’s little marvels.

 

Students eating and chatting with Alexis while Mitch shows the others around

Students eating and chatting with Alexis while Mitch shows the others around

Alexis chatting with students

Alexis chatting with students

Mitch showing the auction display to the students

Mitch showing the auction display to the students

Exploring the gallery

Exploring the gallery

Students and Mitch looking at the little marvels

Students and Mitch looking at the little marvels

We said farewell and every student received a goody gift bag with some hefty reading materials. Mitch received ample thanks and congratulations. For that, everyone received an A+.

Illinois PCA Sunday, July 19, 2015, 11:00am

We were there! And it was great to see everyone and meet new friends. It has been nearly three months since the convention so we were overdue for a get-together. The Illinois PCA, led by Jane Stein, met at the Arlington Heights restaurant “Rack House, Kitchen & Tavern”. The gang met in a private room in the back of the restaurant, over looking the terrace. Since it was a nice, warm sunny day, the displayed paperweights glowed in the sunlight, enhancing their beauty.

Paperweight displayed at the Illinois PCA meeting

Paperweight displayed at the Illinois PCA meeting

Luckily, everyone was cool, indoors, with drinks in hand.

Paperweight artists Damon MacNaught and David Graeber had trekked from their respective homes of Tennessee and New Jersey to Illinois earlier that week, in part to give a lecture on their craft to the Northwestern Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on Thursday, July 16, 2015 (more about that in a future blog post) but also to visit family in the area. How fortunate that they both could attend the Sunday meeting!

Both artists brought new pieces with them to share with the group and the first hour was spent ogling them (the pieces). Several of the paperweights found themselves with figurative promise rings before the meal even began!

Lunch was chimed and light conversation continued through the salad and main course. There was a great presentation setup, with a projection screen above the fireplace, so Damon stepped up to the plate first to present a PowerPoint compilation of his studio and work process.

Damon presenting his beautiful farm, notice the printed restaurant logo on the wall

Damon presenting his beautiful farm, notice the printed restaurant logo on the wall

Damon starting his presentation

Damon starting his presentation

20150719_124159

Damon’s paperweights with the artist in the background, presenting photos of his daughters

Damon is an experienced teacher and presenter, and his presentation was stellar. He described his beginnings as a paperweight artist, being nearly coerced by Jim Brown, but not quite, into making paperweights. Damon also shared that he and Jim recently organized a museum display for a prominent collector at the Cumberland University main library in Tennessee. Great work, gentlemen! We got a peek into Damon’s country life on a beautiful farm, with his feline studio companion who chases the mice and discerningly throws paperweights off the table.

Damon presenting his slides, with his paperweight displayed on the table

Damon presenting his slides, with his paperweight displayed on the table

There were some wonderful photos of his daughters and also some insider information about new paperweight related vessels and other millefiori innovations to come and continued collaborations with glasscutter Andy Najarian.

A little break for announcements followed Damon’s presentation and dessert trays of sweet treats were served.

David sharing his daughter's Air Force graduation

David sharing his daughter’s Air Force graduation

David then took the stage and started off with a fantastic and sentimental photomontage of his daughter’s graduation into the U.S. Air Force. As you know, this event inspired a tremendous paperweight entitled “Wild Blue”. Very touching. He continued with photos and stories of his beginnings as a paperweight artist, including building a studio from scratch with his son Kyle after removing the family swimming pool to create space on the land. Oh, the sacrifices! He also shared some of the adventures on which he has embarked to get closer to his lampwork subjects like working in cranberry bogs and doing an apprenticeship as a beekeeper.

David presenting, notice the cool carving of the restaurant's logo on the wall

David presenting, notice the cool carving of the restaurant’s logo on the wall

David showing a video of his torch work technique

David showing a video of his torch work technique

David presenting in the background, notice the signature cane

David presenting in the background, notice the signature cane

His presentation was just wonderful, filled with spectacular photos of his pieces and a video of his lampworking technique to make the exquisite (now famous) lilacs. Less not forget the important mention of David’s collaboration with Ed Poore, glasscutter extraordinaire. Near the end, David gave us a peek into his upcoming work. We won’t spoil the secret, but a picture is worth a thousand words.

The future, by David Graeber

The future, by David Graeber

What a great honor to have had the chance to break bread with such great artists and we looking forward to the next meeting!

L.H. Selman Ltd. Summer 2015 Auction 60 is here!

Something unusual is happening in our summer auction. Our star lot is just a baby. It is the only Clichy moss ground miniature we have caught sight of or even heard about. Typically, a Selman Lot 1 would not be a miniature, and, in fact, I doubt that there has ever been one. In this case, though, rarity is the determining attribute, not size.

Auction 60, Lot 1: Antique miniature Clichy moss ground

Auction 60, Lot 1: Antique miniature Clichy moss ground

We will be curious to see whether or not the appearance of this little paperweight centerfold will bring another miniature moss ground out of the shadows. This, we find, is one of the wonderful things about auctions. They not only make wonderful works of art available for purchase, help to drive the market and to establish market value, but by the very nature of their pervasiveness, they provide a public forum otherwise hard to establish, most particularly in a community as far-reaching and border-snubbing as is the paperweight community. Perhaps the little Clichy is about to find some long-lost cousins. Then again, perhaps not.

Of the moderns, a particularly stunning Stankard orb will be among the mix,

Paul Stankard lilac and sunflower bouquet with bee orb paperweight. Beautiful sprays of lilac, stalks of red berries, sunflowers, diaphanous pink blooms with trailing yellow stamens, blueberries, moss and curling yellowed leaves all weave artfully into a masterful throng of color and detail that is formed into an orb and then encased within clear ground. A bee punctuates the design.

Paul Stankard lilac and sunflower bouquet with bee orb paperweight. Beautiful sprays of lilac, stalks of red berries, sunflowers, diaphanous pink blooms with trailing yellow stamens, blueberries, moss and curling yellowed leaves all weave artfully into a masterful throng of color and detail that is formed into an orb and then encased within clear ground. A bee punctuates the design.

along with older pieces of his that I especially love for their simplicity of design and for their poetry.

We have a rare James Kontes

James Kontes strawberries and lace paperweight. Three freckled, ripe, red strawberries and three white strawberry blossoms, each with a bright tuft of yellow stamens at its core, share a twisting vine with four dark green leaves, over a beautifully articulated white lace atop a translucent cobalt blue ground.

James Kontes strawberries and lace paperweight. Three freckled, ripe, red strawberries and three white strawberry blossoms, each with a bright tuft of yellow stamens at its core, share a twisting vine with four dark green leaves, over a beautifully articulated white lace atop a translucent cobalt blue ground.

strawberry masterpiece and pieces by Vandermark-Merritt and Barry Sautner.

Barry Sautner 1989 lavender carved paperweight. A beautiful clear lavender glass is frosted on the sides and covered with exquisite, delicate etchings and reliefs of winding flowery branches, the eye being drawn through the clear glass at the weight's dome to peer down to the etching of a hummingbird on the base.

Barry Sautner 1989 lavender carved paperweight. A beautiful clear lavender glass is frosted on the sides and covered with exquisite, delicate etchings and reliefs of winding flowery branches, the eye being drawn through the clear glass at the weight’s dome to peer down to the etching of a hummingbird on the base.

Vandermark purple flower in a frosted ground paperweight. A spiraling green latticinio cushion sits at the center of a clear ground weight, sprouting from its middle an exotic purple bloom. The flower begins with a small bubble at its nexus, from which radiate seven lavender ribbed petals each with a larger, purple petal beneath. Large top facet and frosted sides.

Vandermark purple flower in a frosted ground paperweight. A spiraling green latticinio cushion sits at the center of a clear ground weight, sprouting from its middle an exotic purple bloom. The flower begins with a small bubble at its nexus, from which radiate seven lavender ribbed petals each with a larger, purple petal beneath. Large top facet and frosted sides.

 

Apart from the Lundberg Studio assemblage, reliably full of beauties, for this auction we have created a special section for Steven Lundberg and the studio he called “Steven Lundberg Glass Art”.

Steven Lundberg Glass Art 2002 two iris compound magnum paperweight, by Justin Lundberg. Two royal blue iris blooms, accompanied by long, thick and bladed leaves as well as pale blue spiraling ribbons of flora and a large blue bud, display against dramatically swirling blues atop a cobalt ground. Edition #2 of a limited edition of 25.

Steven Lundberg Glass Art 2002 two iris compound magnum paperweight, by Justin Lundberg. Two royal blue iris blooms, accompanied by long, thick and bladed leaves as well as pale blue spiraling ribbons of flora and a large blue bud, display against dramatically swirling blues atop a cobalt ground. Edition #2 of a limited edition of 25.

Steven Lundberg Glass Art 2000 upright marine life compound magnum paperweight. Two purple betta fish, the back halves of their bodies a swirl of thin, rainbow stripes in murky hues, swim toward one another in an undersea world of spiraling sea fern, amber and white corals and purple cored anemones, against an opaque black ground.

Steven Lundberg Glass Art 2000 upright marine life compound magnum paperweight. Two purple betta fish, the back halves of their bodies a swirl of thin, rainbow stripes in murky hues, swim toward one another in an undersea world of spiraling sea fern, amber and white corals and purple cored anemones, against an opaque black ground.

It happens rarely that we have so many of his pieces to share, and one would be wise to make use of this opportunity.

 

A Randy Grubb cylindrical sculpture, an astonishing feat of encasement, should be considered very carefully, not just for its technical mastery, but for the charm of its design.

Randall Grubb "Garden Wall" large glass column sculpture. A remarkable technical achievement and a stunning design, Randall Grubb regales us with both his artistry and his skill. A beautiful tall stalk of purple delphinium, and another of white foxglove, rise high above a cluster of yellow daffodils and small blooms in blue and white, all of them hugging a speckled gray rock wall, as if a favorite slice of someone's garden had been captured for the ages.

Randall Grubb “Garden Wall” large glass column sculpture. A remarkable technical achievement and a stunning design, Randall Grubb regales us with both his artistry and his skill. A beautiful tall stalk of purple delphinium, and another of white foxglove, rise high above a cluster of yellow daffodils and small blooms in blue and white, all of them hugging a speckled gray rock wall, as if a favorite slice of someone’s garden had been captured for the ages.

 

As always, we are flush with Perthshires, the exotic and the comfy old robe paperweights that just feel good in our hands and delight the eye. There is truly something for everyone, straight across the board.

Perthshire Paperweights 1974-1975 twists and cogs paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1974-1975 twists and cogs paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1985 cross design millefiori and latticinio paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1985 cross design millefiori and latticinio paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1990 faceted millefiori paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1990 faceted millefiori paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1999 three-dimensional bouquet in a basket paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1999 three-dimensional bouquet in a basket paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1994 faceted thistle paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1994 faceted thistle paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1973 clematis faceted miniature paperweight.

Perthshire Paperweights 1973 clematis faceted miniature paperweight.

Whitefriars Overview and U.S. Flag Portrait Cane Appearances

On Whitefriars…

It is generally believed that the Whitefriars Glass Company of London was constructed in about 1680, shortly after the great fire of London.  In all probability, its beginnings date back even further.  A 1682 map

Map of London clearly identifying the Whitefriars by the River Thames

Map of London clearly identifying the Whitefriars by the River Thames

of London shows the glassworks as being near the Inns of Court in the Temple and very close to the River Thames.  This location provided for easy transportation of clay and coal for the furnaces, sand and other materials needed for the making of glass.  The glass company was named for the white-robed Carmelite monks who lived in a monastery that, until 1538, had been located on the site of the factory.  The monastery was dissolved following the dispute between Henry VIII and the Pope over the King’s divorce.  Even though the monastery was disbanded, the King did not repeal the ecclesiastic law of sanctuary, and for nearly sixty years the area remained a haven for “debtors, cutpurses, highwaymen, and all the blackguards of town.”

The glass factory itself had a tough reputation.  In 1732, the Whitehall Evening Post reported on a clash between members of the Royal Navy and the glassblowers:

“Yesterday a Press Gang [a company under an officer detailed to press men into military or naval service] went into the glasshouse in White Fryars [sic] to press some of the men at work there, but they no sooner got in but the metal was flung about ‘em, and happy was he that could get out first, and in hurrying out they ran over their officer, who was almost scalded to death.”

On another occasion an Excise Officer came to the factory to collect duty, which at that time was levied according to the weight of the glass produced.  “The visit of the tax collector was resisted by the brandishing of blow-irons headed with red hot glass.”

In 1834, after a few other owners, the business was taken over by James Powell (1774-1840), a glassmaker from Bristol.  He purchased Whitefriars and renamed the company James Powell and Sons.  The name was used until 1962 when, after the death of the last of five generations of Powells, the company name reverted to the original Whitefriars Glass Ltd.

When Harry J. Powell, the last of the family, died in 1923, the operation was moved from London, where it had been located for over two hundred years, to Wealdstone, Middlesex, a nearby suburb.  In keeping with an ancient glassmaking tradition, a pan of hot coals from the glass factory in London was carried to the new Wealdstone works to ignite the new furnaces.

Photo of the new 1923 Whitefriars glassworks built in Wealdstone

Photo of the new 1923 Whitefriars glassworks built in Wealdstone

Sadly, Whitefriars went into liquidation in the autumn of 1980, the last weights were made on the morning of September 12.  Then the business, which included the extensive color library, a stock of millefiori canes and the Whitefriars name and logo, was sold to Caithness Glass.  Thus ended their three-hundred-year existence.

On their paperweights…

Some believe that Whitefriars made its first millefiori paperweights in 1848.  However, an article by John Smith in the 1987 PCA Bulletin proposed that no paperweight were made by Whitefriars before the 1930s.

It is only in the 1920s that documents have been produced that show paperweights and inkwells made by Whitefriars.  Even remarks made by the Whitefriars campany, in a catalogues produced in the 1970s, refer to a dated “1848 Whitefriars inkwell, made by themselves and reproduced for today’s collectors.”

Production of paperweights was temporarily suspended during the Second World War.  In February 1945, The Pottery Gazette and Glass trade Review published a picture of a pair of millefiori paperweights and an inkwell, describing them as having “colored enamel decoration.”

The production of paperweights was increased with the arrival of Geoffrey Baxter in 1954 as assistant director and chief designer of Whitefriars.  Until Baxter’s arrival, most modern paperweight production seems to have been made from solid glass, with color and bubble added for decoration.

Between 1953, when Whitefriars produced their first limited edition weight, and 1980, they issued twenty-nine different designs in limited editions and a wide range of other weights.

Portrait canes were used extensively by Whitefriars in their limited edition issues to form motifs such as fish, birds, animals, people, and flags, etc.  This was unique in that, excluding the Christmas issues, virtually all of their limited edition weights were issued as commemoratives for special occasions.  Together with Perthshire, Whitefriars was probably the only other British company at that time that made and utilized portrait canes.  But whereas the former company invariably used rods, Whitefriars typically used stars set within tubes.  Before pieces of some of the complex portrait canes could be used in a set-up, they often had to be ground flat to lose the irregular surface produced by the initial cutting.

Whitefriars Wiseman portrait cane made of small star canes

Whitefriars Wiseman portrait cane made of small star canes

The workmanship can be gauged when it is realized that in the right hand man alone of the 1976 Three Wise Men weight, seven different colors have been used.

Rejection rate of the more difficult limited edition issues was often high – a figure of 50% not being uncommon.

Unlimited edition weights sometimes feature large central portrait canes illustrating a robin, butterfly, fish, owl, donkey, etc.

Whitefriars unused portrait canes

Whitefriars unused portrait canes

Some portrait canes that exist have probably never been used in a completed paperweight.  For example, a bird on a nest, the Queens head, Windsor Castle, a large White Friar, a dove, and the letters U.S.A. exist.

On the American Flag portrait cane…

“U.S.A. Bicentennial Flag”, the Whitefriars 1976 Stars and Stripes Flag paperweight: Limited edition sold only to the U.S.A., to commemorate the American Bicentennial of Independence, dated 1776-1976. A large single flag is used, and the weight has five side printies. Some weights have six pink and white stripes in the flag, and some have seven. One example exists where the lowest pink and white stripes are normal when viewed from the front, but both are pink when seen through the base. Design is principally in pink, white and blue and the date cane is 1776-1976. Forty-four only numbered to the U.S.A of an edition of 150. Diameter 3 1/2”. Price value in 1997, $520.

Whitefriars limited edition bicentennial U.S. Flag paperweight

Whitefriars limited edition bicentennial U.S. Flag paperweight

“U.S.A. Nation Flag”, the Whitefriars 1977 concentric millefiori with three flags faceted paperweight: Three portrait canes of the American flag are at the center of concentric rings of red, white and blue star centered complex canes. Five and one facets. Limited edition of 500. Signature/date cane. Diameter 3 1/8″. Manufactured in 1977 and sold for $87. Price value in 1997, $600.

From the L.H. Selman database, the Whitefriars 1977 three U.S. flag paperweight

From the L.H. Selman database, the Whitefriars 1977 three U.S. flag paperweight

“U.S.A. Flag, Bell, and Eagle”, the Whitefriars 1977 Liberty Bell, U.S. flag and eagle portrait cane paperweight. Three portrait canes are spaced within a trefoil garland, encircle a 1976 signature/date cane at the center. Limited edition of 100. Diameter 3 1/8”. Sold at L.H. Selman in 2000 for $750!

Rare Whitefriars paperweight with three portrait canes

Rare Whitefriars paperweight with three portrait canes

The text above is a verbatim compilation of The Art of the Paperweight by Lawrence H. Selman, Paperweights from Great Britain 1930-2000 by John Simmonds and Old English Paperweights by Robert S. Hall.