William Manson

museum quality paperweights

William Manson, Snr. (Scotland): Willie Manson - the Van Gogh of glass amphibians - has a unique style developed over a lifetime of working with glass. He can make any kind of paperweight. He was an apprentice glassblower under Paul Ysart in 1966 and has been developing his style ever since. That’s coming close to fifty years now. He told me he especially likes to makes weights with reptiles and amphibians because they “are the classics of paperweights.” Willie's weights will be the classics of the future. His salamanders and ducks, among others, are some of the most pleasing in appearance of all lamp-worked creatures out there, not as a mere copy of the real thing but more as a tribute to it through art. As an artist, Willie does not confine his artistry to the limiting constraints of the natural world his apple branch can have a blossom and a fruit at the same time. If you want some paperweights with a direct link to the masterpieces of yesteryear, here they are.


The National Park Paperweights are fine glass paperweights by William Manson of Scotland. Willie and I started working on this concept in 2009. It began when I sent Willie pictures I had taken of local flora and fauna. Since I live about one mile from Colorado National Monument, I had pictures of the rare local collared lizard and some local cacti. The result was the first weight in the series called Colorado National Monument. We decided to make the weights in this series large (3 inches plus) and complex in detail with at least one animal and one plant from each area. Each design is a limited edition of 10 weights. Because of Willie’s long history with the production of glass paperweights including reptiles and amphibians, beginning in his early years as an apprentice to the master Paul Ysart, and his mastery of the art in his own right, the weights in this series are spectacular. These paperweights are made in a tradition that dates back to the best French weights of the 19th Century where reptiles and amphibians were first attempted. There are four weights in the series:

2010 Colorado National Monument (collared lizard and cacti). 

2010 Olympic National Park (long-toed salamander and shelf fungi).

2011 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (Organ Pipe snake and Mexican poppies).

2012 Acadia National Park (Golden Eye Ducks and Water Lilies)

PW1416. William Manson Museum Piece. Colorado National Monument. The first of the National Park Paperweights series. I started with this one since it is close to where I live. The rare collared lizard is one of the most beautiful lizards in the US, and I do not believe one has previously made its way into a glass paperweight. Condition is new/perfect. Numbered 1/10 and signed William Manson Snr 2010. 3 1/8 inch diameter; 2 1/4 inches tall; one pound and one ounce.  $300       Note: This is the last Colorado National Monument weight.

PW1512. William Manson Museum Piece. Olympic National Park. Second in the National Park Paperweight series. Willie makes great salamanders and this is no exception. The first introduction of the long-toed salamander into the paperweight world. Shelf fungi grow on the branch and ferns decorate the mossy ground. Hold a bit of the forest floor in your hand. Numbered 4/10 and signed William Manson Snr 2010. 3 1/8 inch diameter; 2 1/4 inches tall; one pound and three ounces.  $300  Note: Two remaining.

PW1612. William Manson Museum Piece. LE of 10. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Third in the National Park Paperweight series. I believe this is the first introduction of the rare Organ Pipe shovel-nosed snake into a paperweight. They are just one of many interesting snakes in this stretch of desert. Numbered 3/10 and signed William Manson Snr 2011. 3 inch diameter; 2 1/4 inches tall; one pound and one ounce.  $300  Note: 2 remaining.

PW2447. Willie Manson Acadia National Park Museum Piece. LIMITED EDITION OF TEN. This is the fourth in the National Park Series. Consider the amount of experience that went into one of these. Willie was a teenage apprentice to The Old Master Paul Ysart himself back in the 60s, and he trained closely with him for years. When Paul left Caithness to form his own glass company, Willie went with him. The influence of the old master is present if not channeled when it comes to sculptures such as these incredible ducks. Really astounding when you think about it. This pair of golden eye ducks is sleek and smart — a beautiful expression of God’s work. And Willie did a great job, one only possible as developed and practiced over a life-long course of study. Likewise with la flora—watery lilies … a simple yet balanced bouquet of color and form perfectly balancing the ducks. Two ducks and three blooming water lilies—you get a lot of intricate lampwork from one of the greatest lamp-workers of all days. Signed on the base “William Manson Snr 2012 10/10”. 3 1/8 inches in diameter; 2 3/8 inches tall; one pound and four ounces.  $300