French Coronation Weights
a spectacular collection

French coronation

Every paperweight collector should have at least one of these coronation weights because of their historical significance and attractiveness. All are made with fine lead crystal.

After the close of the world wars, the great paperweight-producing glass companies of Baccarat and Saint Louis began to take a look at reviving glass paperweight production which had long been dormant. The inauguration of a new British Queen gave them a chance to ramp up their attempts at reviving the once popular glass paperweights. Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952 and the coronation was June 2, 1953, which allowed plenty of time for the glass houses to gear up production. Baccarat opted for a sulfide with the heads of both Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip, while Saint Louis opted for just Elizabeth. From what I have seen, Saint Louis coronation weights have a greater variety with different color grounds and the use of various millefiore canes encircling the bust. The two-headed Baccarat side-view cameo was made by Gilbert Poillerat and some are etched “Baccarat 1953”. The Saint Louis side-view cameo of just Queen Elizabeth II was also made by Gilbert Poillerat. The Saint Louis weights etched on the base “Couronnement 2-6-53 saint Louis – France.” The luster of the Saint Louis bust is a bit more silvery than the Baccarats. Some of the Saint Louis weights include a signature cane “SL 1953”. An interesting sub-collection would be to see how many different versions of these weights one can assemble. After their brief flirtation with paperweights in the period of 1952-1955 with a very limited production, Saint Louis did not make weights again until the mid-1960s.

We can thank paperweight enthusiast Paul Jokelson for these coronation weights. In 1952 Mr. Jokelson approached the director of Saint Louis and said: “An extraordinary event is going to take place in 1953—the coronation of the Queen of England. Would you make a commemorative paperweight for me as you did for Queen Victoria’s coronation in the 19th Century?” Presumably he did likewise at Baccarat. Both companies went on to make some of the finest glass paperweights the world has seen.


PW1675. Baccarat Coronation Museum Piece 1953. These were the first sulphides made by Baccarat in the 20th Century. Faceted with concave facets – one on top and six on the side with  a beautiful diamond grid cut into the base. Etched along the base “Baccarat 1953”. Condition is excellent. 2 3/4 inch diameter; 1 9/16 inches tall; thirteen ounces.  $120

PW1676. Baccarat Coronation Museum Piece 1953. These were the first sulphides made by Baccarat in the 20th Century. This one has a faceted dome and striking sun ray engraving in the base. It is etched along the base edge “Baccarat 1953”. Condition is excellent. 2 3/4 inch diameter; 1 5/16 inches tall; eleven ounces.  $125

 

PW1635. Baccarat Coronation Museum Piece 1953. These were the first sulphides made by Baccarat in the 20th Century. Faceted with concave facets – one on top and six on the side with  a beautiful diamond grid cut into the base. Etched along the base “Baccarat 1953”. Condition is excellent. 2 3/4 inch diameter; 1 3/8 inches tall; eleven ounces.  $110