French Paperweights: Baccarat
museum quality paperweights
Baccarat Paperweights: Baccarat began to produce lead crystal paperweights in the 1840s. Their work is classic and at the very pinnacle of art-glass perfection. They ceased production of paperweights in the in the 19th Century. Baccarat resumed making paperweights in the early 20th Century and continued until a few years ago. 

The Baccarat Glass Factory in Alsace-Lorraine, France was one of the first and one of the best glass houses to make paperweights. Consider the type of effort this required – they needed to be near a forest because theyneeded trees to cut for fuel to make the glass and keep it molten; they needed to be near a good source of clean sand for the glass; and they needed to experiment with various minerals to make the colors of the glass. At the time their first paperweights were made, the factory was in France. After the Franco-Prussian War, it became Germany (1871) and stayed that way until after World War I (1918) when is went back to France. It was occupied again by Germany from 1940 -1944 in World War II. The techniques necessary for works such as these took many years to perfect.

I am bullish on modern French weights. The late 1960s to early 1970s were the Dreamland of modern Baccarat—as dreamy as were the times. An incredible pulse of experimentation and creativity ran through the Baccarat glassworks, creating unique and short run pieces, some of the most attractive and natural millefiori closepacks ever made, and a wide range of fascinating flower forms – it’s a collector’s dream. As years progressed, the fruits of these years culminated in what is arguably the most stunning production ever within the world of glass art.

PW2800. Baccarat Modern Magnum Museum Piece 1995* Limited Edition of 100 – NUMBER 50. Perles sur fond jaune. In 1995 Baccarat made seven limited edition weights – all of them rose themed (Coeur de rose) and four of the seven set within three rings of millefiori. This paperweight (this very one, not just one of the other 99) is pictured in the most complete Baccarat book ever published, Baccarat Paperweights: Two Centuries of Beauty by Paul Dunlop. This paperweight is pictured on page 225. Condition is excellent. It is one of the greatest French paperweights from all ages. Limited edition of 100 and numbered 50/100 along with 1995 for the year and etched with the Baccarat logo. Comes with box and original certificate of authenticity. 3 5/8 (very large) inch diameter; 2 3/8 inches tall; the glass paperweight weighs two pounds.  $1500

PW2278. Baccarat Magnum-size Museum Piece Limited Edition 1992 number 13/150. The certificate lists this by reference number 774-843 with no name. A good name would be Roses with Butterfly over light green ground. It includes two rose blooms and a bud with stems and leaves and a darling little butterfly with pink and blue gossamer wings. 150 is a low edition making this quite a rare piece. Perfect condition with box and certificate which are a bit worn and slightly musty since it is from a French collection in Normandy. The pieces from this collection are amazing – all perfect – like taking a time machine back to the factory store. Signature cane in the ground “B1993”. Base etched with Baccarat logo and engraved “1993 13/150. 3 3/8 inch diameter; 2 3/8 inches tall; one pound and twelve ounces.  $825

PW2992. Baccarat Modern Magnum Museum Piece 1999* Limited Edition of 100 – NUMBER 78. The 1999 Baccarat theme was Les Jardins du Monde – The Gardens of the World. This is Lle Maurice. This paperweight (this very one not just one of the 99 others) is pictured in the most complete Baccarat book ever published, Baccarat Paperweights: Two Centuries of Beauty by Paul Dunlop. This paperweight is pictured on page 236 and is given half a page to also illustrate the amazing detail of the dozens of millefiori canes drawn to a tiny size. The use of the magnifying optical effects of this art form are apparent and well utilized. Hold the tropics in your hand? Condition is excellent. Limited edition of 100 and numbered 78/100 along with 1999 for the year and etched with the Baccarat logo. 3 9/16 inch diameter; 2 3/16inches tall; this glass paperweight weighs one pounds and thirteen ounces.  $1475

PW2636. Rare Baccarat MAGNUM 1972 RAT WEIGHT - one of the coolest paperweights ever made. These years for Baccarat – 50s into 70s, what I call the Early Modern Era, were years of practice and innovation, a crucible of paperweight art. This one may well be one-of-a-kind. The rat is handsome with piercing red eyes and the ground upon which he stands is fabulous – made for the king of rats – translucent sea green with bounteous color and texture and a signature cane “B1972”.

You know I love Baccarat weights – this one is one is a killer. This paperweight is pictured in the most complete Baccarat book ever published, Baccarat Paperweights: Two Centuries of Beauty by Paul Dunlop – you need this book). This paperweight is pictured on page 180. Etched with the Baccarat logo on the base and no number even though a place was prepared for it. Dunlop writes: “One-of-a-kind mouse on realistic ground. A very well made weight despite the unusual subject.”  3 1/4 inch diameter;  2 1/16 inches tall; one pound and eight ounces. Condition is excellent.  $950

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