Chapter IV

  1. Millefiori

By far the largest category of valuable antique glass paperweights is composed of millefiori weights. Millefiori canes are small slices of molded or bundled glass rods that have been stretched thin and cut so that the cross sections show a design. (See Chapter Two for a complete discussion oi millefiori cane production.) These canes were made in various shapes and designs and arranged in random or patterned spacing schemes within the paperweights. Millefiori canes were occasionally included in lampwork paperweights as well.

Millefiori Cane Characteristics

Cogs: Most individual millefiori canes are edged with tiny serrations called “cogs.” The number of cogs in a cane can sometimes help in attributing a weight to a particular factory. According to George Kulles, author of IdentijyingAntique Paperweights-— Millefiori, the most common ones, with six, eight, twelve, and sixteen serrations, were made by almost all the factories and so are not useful in identifying weights.

Canes with seven cogs or multiples of seven can almost always be attributed to Saint Louis. Canes with seven or fourteen long, thin cogs were especially popular with this company. A twenty-eight- point cogwheel often surrounds Saint Louis silhouette canes. Bacchus and Gillinder occasionally produced canes with fourteen cogs as well.

In general, an antique weight with ten cogs in a cane was probably made by an American or British factory. Boston & Sandwich Glass Company and the New England Glass Company often produced canes with five or ten cogs.


Cog 12

Baccarat, like most of the other factories, produced canes with six and eight cogs as well as multiples of each. In addition, Baccarat was the only factory to produce canes with twenty and twenty-two cogs.

Cogwheel canes are still being made today and are often found in Murano paperweights. These canes are characterized by large, coarse concentric cogwheels, usually appearing in primary colors with a generous use of white.

Although there are some exceptions, the following chart indicates the cogwheel counts most typically found in canes produced by various glass factories:

Guide to Cogs of Millefiori Canes

Number of Cogs 5 and multiples Origin

American, English, and Murano (modern Italian)

6 and multiples Almost all factories
7 and multiples Saint Louis, Bacchus, and Gillinder
8 and multiples Any factory except Saint Louis
9 Bacchus, Gillinder
10 Sandwich, NT.GC, Bacchus, and Gillinder
15 Bacchus
20 Baccarat
22 Baccarat
28 Saint Louis
Flaring: When not closely packed in the design of a paperweight, canes made by Clichy were often

flared at the base, producing a skirted effect. These canes have a pressed-down appearance and the sides of the cane can be seen. I his effect was probably caused by the difference between the temperature of the heated canes on the template and the gather of molten glass used to pick them up.

Representational Millefiori Canes Date and signature canes: Almost all tine quality contemporary weights are signed and dated in some way, often in a cane within the piece. Signature and date canes are not, however, as commonly found in antique pieces, and then only in millefiori

weights; lampwork weights with legitimate dates are virtually unknown. When dates and signatures are present they are usually the most straightforward and simple means of identifying a piece. I lowever, there are cases where false signature and date canes are included in a weight. It is important to carefully examine the construction of the identification cane, the colors used, and the style of the letters or numerals.

Baccarat. Less than half of the antique millefiori paperweights produced by Baccarat contain date or signature canes. Even though this does not represent a great number of pieces, it is more than were signed and dated by any other single factory during the classic period.

When a signature cane is present in an antique Baccarat weight, it is always accompanied by a date cane. I lowever, there are some instances where date canes are present without a signature cane. Baccarat signature canes consist of the initial “B” in red, blue, or green, usually embedded in a white cane.

Baccarat date canes arc comprised of four distinct rods fused together, with a single numeral in each rod. Often the numerals were made in various color combinations. A typical Baccarat signature and date cane might show “B” in red, “1” in blue, “8” in green, “4” in blue, and “8” in green. The number of combinations possible with the five rods and three colors is 243, which gives an idea of the variety’ in arrangements found in the hundreds of different millefiori canes.

Baccarat is known to have included date and signature canes in several types of weights: scrambled, scattered millefiori on lace, carpet grounds, and close packed millefiori. Dates that have been found in close packed millefiori weights include 1846 through 1849, 1853, and 1858.

In 1951 an important Baccarat weight was found in the cornerstone of the church in Baccarat, France, which had been bombed during World War II. The piece, which was made by Martin Kayser, a master craftsman at Baccarat during the classic period, includes an “1853” date cane without a “B” signature cane. The first two numerals of the so-called church weight are red and the last two are blue. A second such weight is also known to be in a private collection.

Baccarat also made several weights containing unique date canes commemorating the visit of Marechal Canrobert to Baccarat in 1858. These weights featured a close packed millefiori design with a large white cogwheel cane bearing the inscription “Baccarat 21 Avril 1858” above a laurel branch. Another unusual Baccarat object, a millefiori tazza (a shallow dish on a high thin

pedestal), contains the date “1846” worked into the design of the piece.

Early tecentieth-century Baccarat. Recent research done in the Baccarat archives has revealed that the factory continued to make weights on a verv limited scale up until the 1930s. These early twentieth-century Baccarat weights arc sometimes referred to as Dupont weights. Some believe that Dupont was at one time a Baccarat worker who produced weights on his own anil sold them in a

retail store in Paris until his death in 1934. This story has never been verified, and Baccarat can find no records of such a worker at the factory. 1 low- ever, in a 1916 Baccarat catalogue, a pansy weight, an interlaced garland, and a “rock” weight were offered that were virtually identical to the so- called Dupont weights. To add to the confusion, early references to these pieces mistakenly identified them as Bristol weights.

The most common types of early twentieth- century Baccarat weights include pansies, concentric millefiori, trefoil garlands, patterned circles of millefiori, heart-shaped patterns of millefiori, and rock weights. When date canes are present they usually occur in the center of the motif or near the bottom of a pansy in a rectangular piece of white glass. Some contain spurious dates ranging from 1815 to the mid-1850s.

Early twentieth-century Baccarat canes are generally pulled smaller than classic period Baccarat canes. Because of this the later pieces are usually not as clear or distinct. A consideration in the identification of early twentieth-century Baccarat pansies is the quality of the yellow used in the flower; typically it is a murky burnt orange that differs greatly from the color used in classic period Baccarat pansies. Also the inclusion of dates in early twentieth-century Baccarat pansies runs contrary to the general rule that antique flower weights do not contain date canes.

Clichy. The most frequently found Clichy signature cane is a red, blue, green, or black letter “C” in either a serif or sans-serif style. Often the initial appears in the center of a pastry mold cane. Sometimes part of a cane or a fragment within a cane resembles a “C” and this is mistaken for a signature. It should be noted, however, that Clichy “C” canes are always very clear and distinct.

A type of signature unique to Clichy is a cane in which the factory name appears in full. This extremely rare signature has been found in a moss green carpet ground weight and in a set of millefiori vases. Some scrambled weights contain fragments of the signature.

Clichy also used the “C” scroll garland motif in some weights. In these pieces, which were pro

duced in a variety of cane and color combinations, chains of millefiori canes form a series of “C” shapes within the weight.

\ here are no known instances of date canes appearing in Clichy weights. However, there is one example of a dated piece produced in commemoration of the (Ireat Exhibition of 1851. This weight, which is now in the collection of The Corning Museum of Glass, is incised with a crown above the monogram “VA” (for Victoria and Albert) and “Londres, 1851.”

Saint Louis. The construction of Saint Louis canes is similar to those made by Baccarat, with numerals appearing in separate rods fused together and the signature cane appearing above the date.

The numerals of Saint Louis date canes were made in single colors, either red, blue, or black. Date canes were always accompanied by a signature cane; however, there are instances of Saint Louis signature canes appearing alone in some close concentric millefiori weights and in a few scrambled pieces.

Signature and date canes are found most frequently in Saint Louis close concentrics and mushrooms, although they also occur in carpet grounds and scrambled weights. Occasionally a date appears backwards because of the placement of the cane upside down in the design. Also, the symmetry7 of the weight’s design is sometimes disturbed by the placement of an identification cane.

Whitefriars. Until recently, there was only one k n (>w n da te— 1848—a ppea r i ng i n anti q ue weights and millefiori objects produced by YVhitefriars. This date has been found in an outer ring of concentric millefiori paperweights, inkwells, newel posts, and doorstops. It is composed of somewhat crude blue numerals, each enclosed in a separate white cane. The number “4” resembles a backwards “F”, and the “8” looks like two dots placed one on top of the other. The canes are often askew, making the date rather difficult to read.

An article in the 1987 Annual Bulletin of the PCA suggests that the 1848 cane was incorporated into Whitefriars weights as late as 1951. In fact, many researchers feel that all Whitefriars weights were made in the twentieth centurv.

Sandivich/New England Glass Company. Because of the difficulty in distinguishing millefiori weights made by these two companies, there has been considerable confusion concerning the attribution of dated examples. This confusion has been exacerbated by the reported existence of both 1825 and 1852 dates. The Sandwich founding date of 1825 led early researchers to assume the 1825 date was somehow commemorative.

Recent evidence, including a dated buttercup, indicates that the often-seen 10-pointed cog cane containing three running hares was made by XEC >( 1 and reads 1852. When inserted inverted, which sometimes also occurred in Baccarat and Saint Louis weights, or in scrambled weights where the “wrong end” is easily viewed, the backward 1852 cane reads 1825, and the three rabbits are inverted. A well-known example is the dated, spiral-faceted crown weight in the Bergstrom collection (which was also in the Great Paperweight Show at The Corning Museum), in which the inverted date cane reads a clear, but backwards, 1825, when 1852 was intended.

Date canes in French weights were occasionally inserted upside down as well, but the ever-present 4 in all common French weights (1845—9) invariably gives them away, since a backward 4 is meaningless. Quite accidently and surprisingly, 1852 reads a quite legible 1825 when backwards, as it is when seen on the wrong end of an 1852 cane.

Bohemian. The date 1848 has been observed in several scattered millefiori on lace Bohemian weights. T he single date cane, made up of white numerals in colored glass, sometimes includes the initial “J” above the numbers. One speculation is that the “J” stands for the Josephine Glass Works. Other possibilities arc that it represents a craftsman’s initial, or that it is an abbreviation for the word “Jahr,” which is German for “year.”

Murano. Murano weights are modern Italian pieces; they are discussed in this section because they often include spurious dates. The most common date is 1885, although a variety of false dates have been found. The digits appear somewhat crudely in black on a white ground. Another signature that many Murano pieces bear is an acid-etched stamp

of a decanter, goblet, and tumbler enclosed in a circle, which closely resembles the Baccarat logo. The Murano stamp is slightly larger and etched deeper into the glass than the Baccarat mark it imitates.

Venetian. Many Venetian weights contain initial and signature canes. It is believed that weights including the letters “POB” were made by Pietro Bigaglia, one of the earliest paperweight makers.

The following chart, based on research by George Kulles for his book Identifying Antique Pa pern-eights—Millefiori, lists the nineteenth-century dates, both genuine and false, most com-

monly found in paperweights. The comments section has been expanded for easy reference.
Date Maker Comments
1815 Baccarat Date set in an oblong plaque or bar of white glass: probably an early twentieth-century weight with a false date.
1825 NF.GC or Sandwich W hite numerals in blue rods in a 10-cog cane are most common: probably the result of an inverted 1852 date cane, or, in scrambled weights, a date cane read from the
wrong end.
1837 Baccarat Date in a white bar: early twentieth-century weight with a false date.
1845 Saint Louis Rare. Antique. Each number is a separate rod. The letters “SL” appear above the numerals in all dated weights.
Venetian Antique. Two varieties exist: the first has the date in a serrated rectangular white rod; the second has the letters “POB” in the same cane with the date.
1846 Baccarat Rare
Saint Louis Rare
Venetian Rare
1847 Baccarat Common in close packed and scattered on lace.
Saint Louis Rare
Venetian Rare
1848 Baccarat The most common date found in antique Baccarat weights; the only date found in Baccarat carpet grounds.
Baccarat Date in white bar: early twentieth-century weight with a false date.
Saint Louis Common, especially in mushrooms and close concentrics.
Whiteffiars Blue numerals in white rods separated by clear glass: possibly made by YValsh- Walsh in the twentieth century.
Bohemia Numerals in a single cane below a “J” letter cane.
1849 Baccarat Rare
Saint Louis Rare
1851 Baccarat Date in a white bar: early rvv e n t i e t h – cc n tu ry we i gh t with a false date.
1852 Baccarat Early twentieth-century weight with false date.
NEGCor White numerals in blue rods
Sandwich set on a white background in a 10-cog cane, which usually also contains three running rabbits, although these are so small as to he unrecognizable.
1853 Baccarat Only two examples are known.
1858 Baccarat Rare
1869 Murano A variety of date settings have been found; numerals appear in script on a white plaque. These are modern weights with a false date.
1885 Murano Common; modern weight with a false date.

Silhouette and Portrait Canes: Designs for both silhouette and portrait canes vary greatly from one glass factory to the next. Images in these canes are usually so distinctive that, if present, they can often help in identifying a piece.

Both silhouette and portrait canes contain simple images of figures or emblems. They differ in how they are made: silhouettes are created by pressing the central gather of a cane into a mold to give it its

shape; portrait canes are composed of thin rods arranged like the pieces of a mosaic to portray a picture. (See Chapter Two for a full discussion of cane production.) Portrait canes, which were a specialty of the early Italian paperweight makers, were not produced by the French.

Baccarat. Baccarat excelled in the production of silhouette canes. They were frequently used in carpet grounds, trefoils, overlays, and in the very few chequer weights known. Curiously, they are seldom seen in mushrooms. A Baccarat paperweight could have as many as twenty-four silhouette canes.

The figures within Baccarat silhouette canes are typically red, white, dark blue, or plum. The glass surrounding the image is usually in w hite, hut in the case of a white silhouette, may he dark or clear. The outer casing of glass, which appears in various colors, is usually cogwheel-shaped.

The most famous Baccarat silhouettes were based on designs created by Joseph Emile Gridel in 1848. Gridel was nine years old when his uncle, Jean-Baptiste Toussaint was general manager of Baccarat. Toussaint was visiting the Gridel family and saw his nephew drawing, painting, and cutting out a menagerie of animals. These charming and simple cut-outs became the models for Baccarat’s silhouette cane molds. In 1848, Toussaint gave his nephew a paperweight containing fifteen of the eighteen “Gridel” silhouette canes. The weight is still in the possession of the Gridel family.

The following Gridel silhouette canes have been identified :

Red devil Black monkey Butterfly
Squirrel White monkey Swan
Lovebirds 1 lorse Stork
Pelican Pheasant I lunter
Pigeon Elephant Dog
Rooster Deer Goat

It is important to note that antique Baccarat w eights are not the only pieces that contain these particular silhouette canes. In 1971 Baccarat began producing a limited edition of weights called the Gridel Series in which silhouette canes based on the early designs were used. Each of the pieces contains a large central silhouette cane surrounded by the complete set of eighteen smaller silhouettes

Clichy. Clichy weights containing silhouette canes are extremely rare. Saint Louis. Silhouette canes were not an integral a part of paperweight design at Saint Louis. The factory did, however, produce several interesting silhouette canes that are found primarily in scrambled, carpet ground, and concentric millefiori paperweights. One scrambled millefiori weight contains an unusual silhouette cane portraying a man standing on top of a dog. Another Saint Louis weight features a ring of thirteen silhouette canes. Saint Louis silhouette canes include:

Dancing couple Dancing man Camel Horse

Running devil Anteater/Punch

Dancing girl Dancing devil(s) Dog Flowers Turkey

English Glass Factories. Bacchus included a silhouette cane of a woman in some of its concentric millefiori designs.

American Glass Factories. Sandwich and the New England Glass Company occasionally used silhouette canes, particularly in their scrambled millefiori designs. Silhouette canes were sometimes used as the central motif in a carpet ground. One such weight contains ninety-three minute rabbit silhouette canes in a concentric millefiori design. Bee and heart canes appear fairly frequently in open concentrics, while the eagle and running rabbit are usually integrated in the motif.

Silhouettes found in American weights include: Eagle  I lunter with gun        Dog

Running rabbit Bee                         I leart

Bohemian. Bohemian silhouette canes appear most frequently scattered on muslin. Subjects include:

Striped bee Dancing devils Dog
Alonkev Running rabbit Devil
Eagle ‘ Horse
Venetian. Many antique Italian paperw eights fea-
ture portrait canes. Venetian portrait cane subjects include:
Birds Checkerboard Bridge-
Devil Dog Eagle
Goat Gondola I lorse
Lyre Owl Pelican
Venetian Railway bridge Rose bush


Whitefriars. Whitefriars weights sometimes include a sitting rabbit in a clear surround.

Geometric Millefiori Canes

Arrow or crow’s-foot: This three-pronged design was made by Baccarat, Saint Louis, Clichy, Bohemia, and Islington. In Baccarat arrow canes, the prongs are usually verv straight and come together in a sharp point. In Saint Louis canes the prongs are slightly rounded so that the motif resembles an anchor. When Baccarat arrows are found in a complex cane they typically point in towards a center cane, whereas Saint Louis anchors point in all directions.

Bull’s-eye: Bull’s-eye canes were popular at many of the glass factories during the classic period, perhaps because they were relatively simple to construct. These minute canes, which feature a series of tiny concentric circles resembling a target, were often bundled together with other rods to form complex canes. I hey were typically used as centers for Baccarat stardust canes.

Edelweiss: This small star-shaped Clichy cane resembles the national flower of Switzerland. Often edelweiss canes were surrounded by a veil of bubbles.

Hollow’ or tubular: The centers of these caneswere made ot clear glass, giving them a hollow appearance. Often the clear glass was surrounded by a cogwheel.Honeycomb: These canes were made from transparent star-shaped or cylindrical rods surrounded by opaque glass. Honeycomb canes were produced by Baccarat, Saint Louis, Clichy, Bacchus, and Islington. Baccarat often produced star-shaped honeycomb canes that can be identified by the additional tiny point characteristic of Baccarat stars. I his tiny point lies at the root of the big points, making the six-pointed star, in reality, a twelve-pointed star. Baccarat star honeycomb canes often appear in the center of lampwork flowers and at the base of Baccarat swan silhouette canes. Baccarat also produced a honeycomb cane made up of cylindrical rods bundled together.

Moss green: These rare canes, unique to Clichy, were made by bundling translucent green rods and fusing them together. They were generally used as a background for patterned millefiori motifs.

Pastry mold: These canes, which look as it they were extruded from a pastry mold to be some sort of cake decoration, were a Clichy specialty. Pastry mold canes were placed in paperweights in a way that made their sides spread toward their base. 1 he tops thus appear to be half the diameter ot the liases. Pastry mold canes look like full skirts settling on the floor, with their sides formed into deep, ribbon-like folds.

Prairie: These are Clichy moss green canes with small white stars in the centers.

Rose: These canes more closely resemble the cross section of a rosebud than a complete rose. They were composed ot many flattened glass tubes tightly layered around a core ot thin rods.

Almost every glass factory made rose canes, but the best known were undoubtedly made by Clichy. The Clichy rose, which was included in a great many paperweights, is in fact considered a trademark ot the company. In Identifying Antique Paperweights—Millefiori George Kulles distinguishes

between the three most common types of Clichy roses:


Clichy Type I has a large central rod surrounded by one row of small white or yellow stamen rods… (ilichv Type 11 has a central pistil surrounded by two rings of stamens. Type 111 has a bundle of rods at the center.

The outer edges of Clichy roses are usually in a contrasting color. Most of the blooms have pink petals, green outer plates representing sepals, and yellow stamens. However, many other color combinations have been observed, including turquoise, amethyst, yellow, white, pink, and green petals with various stamens and sepal colors. In the Eckels’article, “Roses, Roses, Roses,” published in the 1 ‘>74 Animal Bulletin of the PCA, it was noted that if a paperweight contains a rose in a color other than white or pink it is almost certainly a Clichy weight.

Some Bohemian millefiori weights contain a rose cane similar to the Clichy rose. However, the Bohemian rose cane is less delicate than the Clichy cane, and its flattened petal rods are spaced further apart. The Bohemian rose, which has slightly ruffled petals, is found only in pink.

A few Baccarat weights, notably scattered canes on a color or lacy ground, look like Clichy weights and contain a pink Clichv-tvpe rose.

A rose cane was also made at Sandwich Glass Company, reportedly by the master craftsman Nicholas Lutz. These roses, which resemble the Clichy rose, are usually white with green sepals. Thev were used primarily as centers in poinsettia weights. The Sandwich rose always has a solid- colored center rod.

Some Murano weights contain roses that are meant to look like Clichy roses. However, these contemporary Italian pieces are primitive and poorly crafted compared to the authentic Clichy design. A few modern Saint Louis weights also contain Clichy-style roses.

4.75 Scrambled weight—Baccarat

4.75 Scrambled weight—Baccarat

Ribbons, spirals, filigree twists and tubes: Pieces of these millefiori canes typically occur in torsades and upset muslin grounds. I hey are sometimes found in chequer weights, and frequently in crown and end-of-day weights. A ribbon is a rod containing a flat strand that is sometimes twisted. A spiral is the outermost element of a torsade and is made up of a filament of glass, usually colored, which loops around an interior piece of filigree. In filigree twists, several white or colored glass threads appear twisted like a corkscrew. In a filigree tube a clear glass rod is surrounded by straight glass threads and then twisted, giving the effect of strands spiralling around a hollow core. Short pieces of filigree tubes are used to create upset muslin.

Baccarat. When the strands or threads within these rods lean to the left when viewed from the side, the weight is usually a Baccarat piece. Also, in Baccarat

4.76 Scrambled weight—Clichy

4.76 Scrambled weight—Clichy

torsades a twisted ribbon spirals around a filigree tube; in Saint Louis torsades, a twisted ribbon spirals around a filigree twist.

Saint Louis. W hen filigree strands lean to the right when viewed from the side, the piece is generally Saint Louis. In Saint Louis torsades, a twisted ribbon usually spirals around a filigree twist.

New England Glass Company. The lew torsades made by this company and the muslin of both NEGC and Clichy lean in the same direction as that of Saint Louis, that is, to the right.

Shamrock: Shamrock canes were made exclusively by Baccarat. They were usually formed with

4.77 Scrambled weight—Saint Lon

4.77 Scrambled weight—Saint Lon


leaf shapes ol dark green glass embedded in an opaque white rod.

Star: Six-pointed stars are found in weights made by Baccarat, Clichy, Islington, Saint Louis, and Bohemia. Baccarat stars are most common and can be identified by a small additional point in between each ol the six wide arms ol the star. Five-pointed stars were made by New Fngland Glass Company.

Stardust: Stardust canes are made up of tiny starshaped rods encased in clear glass. These canes, which typically surround a whorl or bull’s-eye cane, were used extensively in weights by all the French factories. The stardust canes made bv Clichy tend to flare at the base more than those made by the other factories.

Whorl: Almost all ol the glass factories made canes using some version of the w horl or “jelly roll.” The most commonly found are Baccarat whorls, which begin w ith small closed circles.

Millefiori Arrangements

Paperweights are often classified according to the arrangement of the millefiori canes w ithin the piece. Various millefiori arrangements, such as scrambled and close packed, may be referred to as random spacing schemes; other designs, such as concentric, chequer, spaced, garland, and panel are called patterned spacing schemes.

Scrambled millefiori: The most common of all antique paperweights is the scrambled millefiori. These weights, which are also called end-of-dav weights, contain randomly arranged whole and broken canes and twists.

\\ hen a scrambled weight is composed largely of fragments of lacy twists, called filigrees, it is referred to as a “scrambled lace” or “macedoine” (French lor “mixed salad”). With the exception of NT.GG scrambled weights, it is rare to find this type of weight containing a date or signature cane; however, finely crafted canes, small silhouettes, filigrees, and even small pieces of fruits sometimes turn up in these fairly inexpensive antique pieces.

Baccarat. Baccarat produced relatively few scrambled millefiori paperweights, and they are not truly scrambled. They are easilv identified by


the careful arrangement of the filigree twists, which are set at right angles to one another. Baccarat macedoines are made up of short pieces of blue, green, and red filigrees. As a result they are usually very light and lacy in appearance.

Clichy. Clichy produced a number of scrambled weights in many sizes. These pieces, which usually are predominantly green, are the most colorful of the scrambled weights. Sometimes “C” initial canes and whole or partial Clichy roses are found in the design. Part or all of the rare “Clichy” signature cane has also been reported in these scrambled weights.

4.81 Close packed millefiori—Bacchus

4.81 Close packed millefiori—Bacchus

Saint I.onis. Many Saint Louis scrambled weights are made up of sharp-pointed canes in pistachio and salmon colors. Occasionally an “SL” signature cane or a silhouette cane is found in these pieces.

American. American scrambled weights are called “candy cane” or “broken candy” weights. They can be packed with vividly colored canes and fragments or just show a few pastel-colored canes and twists. Occasionally these pieces contain rabbit, heart, eagle, or other silhouette canes. Pieces of fruit and date canes of 1852 (and its inverse, 1825) sometimes occur.

Close packed millefiori: These weights contain a random arrangement of tightly packed canes. Whereas the canes in scrambled weights are jumbled together in a chaotic fashion, the canes in close packed millefiori weights are set carefully in an upright position. The bases are sealed off Indifferent methods to prevent transparency.

Baccarat. Close packed millefiori weights are considered one of Baccarat’s specialties. There are many known examples ranging from miniature pieces to magnums. Often the canes are set on a cushion of lace only visible from the underside of the weight. This cushion of lace was the Baccarat method of preventing undesirable transparency. The outer row of canes is frequently longer than the others and is pulled under the weight to give it a finished appearance and, again, to prevent seeing through the weight from above.

Clichy. Clichy close packed millefiori weights are somewhat rare. These pieces often contain a variety of Clichy roses. The outer row is usually made of canes of alternating colors giving it a striped appearance, and pulled down to the center of the base, closing off the bottom. This was Clichy’s way of preventing transparency through the base.

Saint Louis. Saint Louis produced very few close packed millefiori weights. The few examples that are known have very low domes. Early Saint Louis weights of the close packed millefiori pattern resemble Italian weights, with the canes coming quite close to the surface of the dome.

Burch us. Bacchus produced close packed millefiori

4.82 Open concentric—Baccarat

of relatively muted colors, sometimes with a central silhouette of a lady. The outer row is usually a set of identical fluted canes pulled in to the center of the base.

Mum no. The canes in these modern pieces are crude and primitively constructed compared to the antique weights after which they are modeled.

Open concentric: The open concentric is the simplest form of patterned paperweight. In these weights, clear glass separates circles of millefiori canes that have a common center. C )n clear grounds, this pattern allows viewing through to the base, which makes the canes appear somewhat lost and less interesting. On latticinio grounds, as with Saint Louis or NEGC, viewing through is prevented, and the appearance is improved. We also see this enhancement on cranberry-filled latticinio or opaque color grounds, as from Clichy.

Baccarat. Baccarat open concentric weights are usually made up of from two to four circles of millefiori canes arranged on clear crystal. Characteristic Baccarat canes, such as arrow, star, and stardust canes of alternating colors, are often included in this design. The overall color scheme of these weights is somewhat muted, with the predominant colors being white, red, blue, and green. Sometimes Baccarat open concentrics that are set on a background of lace are mistaken for Clichy weights. In Baccarat lace, the strands lean to thewhere the canes lose definition. They are much brighter as more usually set on an unusual lat- ticinio backdrop, formed when the glass blowers allowed the latticinio ends to remain in the design. These ends resemble two small tails or flips, with some twisting downward from the latticinio cushion towards the base, and others twisting upward and appearing to support the central cane or floret. Occasionally this latticinio has a cranberry inner layer, adding opacity to the design.





image137Close concentric: In this common paperweight design it appears that almost no space is left between the tightly packed concentric circles of millefiori canes that are arranged around a central

4.86 Close concentric—Bacchus

left, while in Clichy weights they lean to the right.

Clichy. The open concentric spacing scheme was a popular Clichy design that often featured Clichy rose canes. Such patterns were usually set on lace grounds, although clear and color grounds were used. One of the largest paperweights made by Clichy is an open concentric measuring 4 5/8″ in diameter and including sixty-four rose canes.

NEGC. New England Cilass Company open con- centrics are frequently made up of two concentric circles of millefiori canes. Typically these circles are composed of identical canes but with contrasting colors. This pattern appears on clear crystal,

floret. The orderliness and uniformity of the circles distinguishes this pattern from the close packed millefiori design.

“Looking at a good concentric,” writes Paul Hollister, “one feels that this is what paperweights were meant to he. The conformance of design motif to the overall shape of the paperweight takes the observer’s mind off distracting patterns and allows attention to be focused on the order and design of individual millefiori canes.”

Clichy. Clichy is well known for its close eoncen- trics. These weights usually have an outer row of flat glass rods or staves that are pulled down to meet at the base of the weight forming a stave

basket. Such a stave basket appears to hold the rest of the design, but actually it prevents seeing through the thin layer of canes forming the motif. In piedouche weights made by Clichy these outer staves are pulled down through the foot to create a striped pedestal for the piece.

Saint Louis. The close concentric spacing scheme was frequently used and considered one of the best of the Saint Louis designs. Typically these weights consist of nine or ten circles of millefiori. The outer ring of canes was often pulled down into a stave basket. “SI ” or “SI. 184H” signature and date canes sometimes appear in one of the outer circles. Signature and date canes that appear backwards because they were placed in the pattern upside down are sometimes found in these weights. In some cases close concentrics include a central silhouette cane or whole rings of silhouettes close around the central cane.


Bacchus. Bacchus produced a considerable number of close concentric weights. In many of these the circles of millefiori canes form a cushion that seems to fill the entire weight almost to bursting. The canes in these pieces are often edged in white, giving Bacchus close concentrics a pale hue. The outer row of canes is often pulled down toward the base into a stave basket.

IVhiteJriars. Close concentrics constitute most of the weights attributed to Whitefriars. They can be distinguished from Bacchus pieces by their smaller cane size and the simple rod structure of these canes.

NEGC. New England Glass Company close concentrics are rare. They tend to be small, averaging 2 1/2 inches in diameter, and are usually set on a clear ground, with nothing to prevent viewing through to the base. Typically the bottoms of the canes are chopped off rather unevenly.

Spaced millefiori: In this design, millefiori florets are positioned at equal distances from one another to form a set of vaguely defined concentric circles. When the florets are set at more irregular intervals the piece is referred to as a “scattered millefiori.”

Baccarat. Spaced millefiori weights made by Baccarat are usually set on a bed of lace or upset muslin. It is common for the design to be centered around a butterfly silhouette and for the muslin to contain bits of colored twists. Frequently date canes are present, with the most common dates being 1848 and 1847. The years 1846 and 1849 arc- rare. Carefully arranged silhouettes are virtually standard in this design. One design unique to Baccarat is a spaced millefiori weight featuring large shamrock silhouettes on upset muslin. Very rarely, Baccarat spaced canes occur on Clichy-like opaque color grounds, which can easily be mistaken for Clichy weights.

Clichy. Clichy produced a great number of spaced millefiori weights, often featuringClichyrose canes and pastry mold canes. The canes are either arranged in open concentric circles or, more commonly, in carefully placed, ever-enlarging hexagons, which can be detected because the canes fall in straight lines. The grounds most frequently used for spaced millefiori are clear, colored, or lace. In rare instances a signature cane is included.

Saint Louis. iVIany Saint Louis spaced millefiori weights place five florets around a central complex cane. This most common Saint Louis design is found on the following backgrounds: clear, lacy, jasper, swirling latticinio, and in some rare cases colored ground.

Bohemian. The most common of all Bohemian patterns, even in single and double overlays, is scattered canes on fine white muslin twists, which also sometimes contains colored twists similar to Baccarat.

4.95 Chequer—Clichy

4.95 Chequer—Clichy

New England Glass Company. Canes spaced randomly on muslin twists are known, but in most of the weights with latticinio grounds, the canes are in some geometric pattern.

Chequer: In this design the canes, which are arranged in a spaced millefiori pattern, are separated by short lengths of latticinio twists in a checkerboard fashion. When colored twists divide the design, the motif is called a “barber pole chequer.”

Baccarat. Only a few Baccarat chequer weights areknown. In these pieces, long opaque colored rods divide the spaced millefiori. Silhouette and date canes are also included.

Carpet Ground-Baccarat

Carpet Ground-Baccarat

Clichy. Chequer weights were made primarily by Clichy. In these weights, short lengths of latticinio twists define rectangles around the spaced millefiori canes. Barber pole chequers, which occur relatively frequently, are considered some of Clichy’s most beautiful weights. They were produced in a variety of sizes, with the barber pole twists occurring in blue, green, and, rarely, red. The twists in a given weight are of one color.

Mirrano. Modern Italian glassworkers produced a coarse rendition of the classic chequer weight. A crude checkerboard pattern surrounds typical Murano millefiori canes.Carpet ground spaced millefiori: Carpet grounds are formed from overall patterns of identical millefiori canes used as a backdrop for a pattern of other canes or lampwork elements. Almost all factories produced a variety of carpet ground weights.

Baccarat. Baccarat used a carpet ground as a bed for spaced millefiori designs featuringsilhouette canes and florets, and for a number of garland motifs. The spaced millefiori canes were pressed into the carpet in a separate step of production, and some carpet canes have been pushed down to make room. Thus, they appear with uneven or chaotic spaces around them. Most of these weights contain a signature cane and the 1848 date cane.


Clichy. One of the most sought after paperweight designs is Clichy’s striking spaced millefiori on a moss green carpet ground. In one famous example, a cane bearing the full Clichy signature can be viewed through the base of the weight underneath the moss ground. Stardust carpet grounds were also made by Clichy, but only four of these weights are known.

Saint Louis. Carpet grounds were often used by Saint Louis as a backdrop for their simple five- cane spaced millefiori design. In the production of these pieces, the design canes were incorporated in the original setup. Sometimes these pieces contain silhouette canes, but rarely are signature and date canes present.

New England Glass Company. A few examples of carpet grounds are known. One striking weight contains a running rabbit cane.

Circular garlands: Circular garlands are chains of millefiori canes arranged in small ringlets.

Baccarat. Many Baccarat circular garland weights contain a central ring of canes surrounded by six additional circlets, each centered on a silhouette cane or complex floret. Arrow, stardust, and other geometric canes often make up the garland. Baccarat garland weights are commonly set on a clear ground, although lace, carpet, and translucent color grounds also occur. Opaque color grounds, used frequently by Clichy, are very rare from Baccarat.

Clichy. Clichy circular garlands sometimes contain edelweiss and moss green canes and may surround a central Clichy rose. The circlets are usually set on clear grounds, although examples of lace and color grounds exist.

A unique version of the circular garland motif is found in Clichy “C-scroll” paperweights. These garlands of canes, which are arranged in semicircles resembling the letter “C,” are considered a signature of the Clichy factory. One C-scroll design produced by Clichy includes a series of five or six semicircular garlands surrounding a ring of canes with a central complex floret.

Looped garlands: In looped garlands continuous chains of millefiori canes form a variety of undulating and interlacing designs. Some of the most common looped garland patterns include the trefoil (three loops), quatrefoil (four loops), and star arrangements.

Baccarat. Baccarat’s most common garland motif features two intertwining trefoils, hut quatrefoils also occur. The garlands are usually set on clear grounds, although lace and color backgrounds are also used. Looped garlands, often with silhouette canes, are common motifs in Baccarat overlay paperweights.

Clichy. Clichy produced looped garland weights in a variety of arrangements. One of its popular designs includes a series of concentric star-shaped chains of millefiori canes. Many Clichy garlands are made up of simple pastry mold canes as well as complex florets.

Clichy looped garlands are usually set on colored or lacy backdrops, and only occasionally occur on clear grounds. The opaque color grounds most commonly used include turquoise, salmon, apple green, amethvst, and royal blue. Some of thetransparent color grounds used by Clichy are red, blue, cranberry’, and green.

4.105 Panel weight—Clichy

4.105 Panel weight—Clichy

Saint Louis. Saint Louis looped garland weights are quite rare. The garlands are usually in the shape of diamonds or large curved loops resembling propellers, and are centered around a large central floret. This design is always set on an opaque colored ground, usually yellow or apple green.

Panel: In panel paperweights groups of canes are divided into sections resembling pie wedges. These panels are visually separated by either distinct spacing between the arrangements, or by spokes made up of twists, rods, or rows of canes. The canes within each cluster are usually identical, anti the panels resemble tiny carpets.

Baccarat. Baccarat panel weights are often made of identical millefiori canes divided by spokes made up of contrasting canes.

Clichy. Nearly all Clichy panel weights are set on color grounds, especially the white sodden snow type. Sometimes the panels are made up of Clichy rose canes. Examples of close packed panels are known as well.

Saint Louis. Saint Louis was the only factory’ to produce jasper ground panel weights. In these pieces opaque white spokes divide alternating colors of jasper ground. Often red and green or red and blue jasper are used. The panels are usually set around a silhouette cane or a large floret some

times surrounded by a circle of canes. These weights often feature an unusual torsade visible only from the side of the piece. Another more attractive panel pattern has the individual sections of canes divided by carefully placed twisted ribbons. These rare weights are much sought after. Saint Louis also produced weights with panels of close packed millefiori.

Other Types of Millefiori Paperweights Mushroom: In these weights a group of millefiori canes is pulled into a “tuft” that has an elongated stem and spreads into a mushroom shape near the crown of the weight. The top of the mushroom is usually in a close concentric or close packed millefiori arrangement. In Baccarat and Saint Louis examples, a torsade with an air ring above and below it encircles the stem. Clichy, which also made a large number of mushrooms, found the torsade unnecessary’ and did not include it. All factories eliminated the torsade when the weight was overlaid.

Baccarat. Baccarat mushroom weights usually feature a close packed millefiori tuft, but a rarer concentric design was also made. One Baccarat close packed design, called “bouquet de mariage,” is composed of a tuft of identical white stardust canes. The Baccarat double overlay mushroom weight is a rare and highly prized piece.

Baccarat mushroom weights generally include a torsade. When viewed from the side the spiral of the torsade leans to the left around a tube. Baccarat torsades are usually blue; however, white, pink, and red torsades are known.

Occasionally a silhouette cane is found in a Baccarat mushroom, but there are no known pieces that include date canes.

Clichy. Clichy mushrooms generally appear in overlay weights, although there are some exceptions. In the millefiori tult, the outer row’ is often composed ot canes in alternating colors to form a stem of striped staves. In these pieces the top facet is flat rather than concave and the base is usually fancifully cut. Clichy mushroom weights do not usually include torsades, but there are a few examples with ribbon twists.


Saint Louis. The millefiori canes in Saint Louis mushrooms are usually arranged in a close concentric spacing scheme. The majority of these pieces include a blue torsade, although red, pink, and yellow torsades are also sometimes found. In Saint Louis torsades the spiral leans to the right around a twist when viewed from the side.

Most Saint Louis mushroom weights were left unfaceted and have star-cut bases. A few pieces have amber flash bottoms. No antique Saint Louis mushroom overlays are known.

Bacchus. Bacchus produced a small number of well- formed mushrooms from their typical ruffled canes. Usually magnum-sized and close concentric in pattern, they also usually include a blue torsade nicely twisted in the same direction as Saint Louis (clockwise). Curiously, Bacchus apparently always avoided the ring bubble (sometimes erroneously called a “mercury ring”) that consistently appears above and below Saint Louis and Baccarat torsades. Not too annoying when even and well- formed, these can seriously detract from otherwise nice mushrooms and upright bouquets when uneven or incomplete. At least one Bacchus mushroom is also double overlaid and encased, a technique otherwise found only from Saint Louis.

NEGC. The New England Glass Company produced a few rare and unusual pieces that are avariation on the mushroom design. The canes in these weights are pulled into a mushroom shape with a hollow core. In the center of the core floats a nosegay made up of complex canes and lampwork leaves.

Piedouche: Piedouche is the French term for “footed” weight. These pieces rest on a short pedestal base. Each of the three major French factories produced piedouche weights.

Baccarat. Baccarat piedouche weights are rare. They are primarily patterned millefiori on clear grounds. Concentric designs are the most common. Baccarat pedestal weights have a torsade rim

around the outside of the foot.

Clichy. Clichy produced close millefiori, concentric, and chequer piedouche weights. Often vertical staves extend down the stem to the base. One outstanding Clichy pedestal weight design is the basket weight. This weight is crimped on the sides where there was once a red and white twist ribbon handle. The millefiori motif inside the basket includes concentric circles of Clichy roses and other canes set on a carpet ground of moss canes.

One thought on “Chapter IV

  1. Hi,
    Some 35 to 40 years ago my father gave me a beautiful French paperweight with accompanying paperwork, and a copy of a newspaper article showing, what he believed, was this very paperweight. Earlier this year we experienced an horrendous fire in which many priceless pieces and records went up in
    flames. I managed to
    salvage this paperweight,
    although it had obviously been hit at various points and eventually cracked in two.
    I have tried to wash off the surface to a greater or lesser degree and have taken a number of photographs.
    Could you please advise to whom I should speak to possibly get a value to claim it on my fire insurance?

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