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Whitefriars and other English Paperweights for Sale


Whitefriars Glass dates from sometime in the 1600s.  The original site had been occupied by a community of Carmelite monks known as White Friars, hence the name taken by the glass company.  It was operated under the name of James Powell and Sons from 1834 to 1962, when it was renamed Whitefriars Glass.  In 1980 they went out of business.  After Whitefriars Glass was liquidated, Caithness Glass purchased the rights to the name and produced paperweights under the Whitefriars name for a while.

A quick summary of English paperweight production is given below.  See the excellent book Old English Paperweights by Robert Hall for more detail.

For a long time, collectors believed that English paperweights dated 1848 were made by Whitefriars.  The dates, however, are false dates and have been traced to production at Arculus and Walsh-Walsh in the 1920s and 1930s.  Most paperweights referred to as old Whitefriars or antique Whitefriars were, in fact, made by other factories such as Richardson, Arculus, Walsh-Walsh, or one of the unidentified Old English factories.  When the maker can not be identified, it is best to call them Whitefriars type or even just Old English paperweights.

Modern Whitefriars paperweights are prized by collectors for their high quality glass and millefiori designs.  The limited edition paperweights with mosaic canes are especially sought.

In addition to the millefiori paperweights discussed above, there is another category of collectible English paperweights.  Green glass paperweights, mantle ornaments and doorstops originated as early as 1820 and continued to be made as late as 1914.  They are made from green and blue bottle glass in factories founded by John Kilner of Wakefield and other bottle makers in the Midlands and Northern regions.  There are articles on this topic in 2002, 2003 and 2005 annual bulletins of the Paperweight Collectors Association.  You can also read about them in Hall's Old English Paperweights by Robert HallOften referred to as green dumps, the most desirable are those with well executed floral designs, sulphide inclusions, or colored flowers.  Even more desirable is a signed example.  Since they are made form bottle glass, these paperweights often show signs of rough handling with chips or internal fractures.

If you would like to purchase any of these paperweights, e-mail me at: aport@paperweights.com
 
 
4016 Large Mdina Glass Swirl Paperweight.  circa 1968-1985.  Wonderful paperweight with a dark interior of red, green, blue, yellow, and other colors.  There are additional swirls that surround the core and extend out to the surface.  The glass encasement is a dark grey or green.  Made on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea.  It is signed "Mdina"in script on the base.  

Mdina Glass was founded on the Island of Malta in 1968 by Michael Harris (1933-1994) and Eric Dobson with financial incentives and the encouragement of the Maltese government.  Initially it was called the Maltese Glass Industries, but the name was changed to Mdina Glass shortly later.  Michael Harris received his training in glass at several institutions graduating from the Royal College of Art in London in 1959.  He later became an RCA tutor setting up hot glass facilities there in 1967.  He was a pioneer of the studio glass movement in the UK.  Eric Dobson was also at the Royal College of Art.  Mdina Glass was a successful venture and gave rise to a significant glass craft industry on the Island of Malta.  Michael Harris left Malta in 1972 to establish Wight Glass in the UK.  In 1971, two Italian maestros, the father and son team of Vincente and Ettore Boffo joined Mdina Glass to introduce Italian glassmaking techniques.  Eric Dobson continued until about 1985 working with the local glass artists that he and Michael had trained. Eventually Mdina Glass was taken over by Joseph Said, a Maltese glassworker who had trained at Mdina.

For context, during this period Malta gained independence from Britain in 1964 after 150 years as a British colony.  In 1974 it became the Republic of Malta, and in 2004 joined the European Union.

Large Size:  3" diameter and just under 4 1/4" high.  The bottom is fire finished with a left hand flame pontil mark. 
Condition:  Excellent condition with only minor wear to the base.  Because of the dark colors it was hard to inspect, but I found no damage.
Signature:  Signed with in script on the base "Mdina". 

For extra pictures, click on the picture at the right and the following links:

Large picture
Closeup
Another view
Base with Mdina signature

$85 postage paid in the US. 

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Large Mdina Glass Swirl Paperweight
4032 Colorful Guernsey Island Studio Paperweight with Silverplate Base by Sileda Ltd.  dated 1986This colorful glass paperweight was most likely made by the Guernsey Island Studio (also known as Guernsey Glass).  The Sheffield silverplate base was added by Sileda Ltd. (Wales) and has the silver marks indicating Sileda was the maker of the base and it was made in 1986.  There are several discussions on the Internet about this type of paperweight and I was able garner the basic facts about the makers and the date (see below).  The silver plate has been lost some of its silver layer and the underlying copper is visible.  There is a felt cover in the center base.  I did not remove the felt to see if there was a Guernsey mark on the glass.  This is an odd item, but it will make a good conversation piece.   

Guernsey Island Studio (also known as Guernsey Glass) was located at the Oatlands Craft Centre, St Sampson, Guernsey, Channel Islands.  It was founded about 1980 with advice and assistance from Michael Harris of the Isle of Wight Studio Glass. They made small souvenir pieces, such as vases, animal figures, and paperweights and often marked them on the base with the trademark Guernsey mark, which was three lions passant on a shield.  They closed sometime in the 1990s. 

Sileda Ltd was founded in Cefn-y-bedd Wales UK about 1980.  They were a small silver company that registered their punches at the Sheffield Assay Office from 1980 to 2000.  The makers mark is "SL" with a small indent between the two letters.  In addition to any other silver work they may have done, they were known for sourcing (purchasing) glass objects such as paperweights and vases from UK glass studios and adding silver enhancements or decorations to the glass objects.  For paperweights, the enhancement was a silverplate base, for vases it was often a silver collar.  In many cases, collectors could identify the original source of the glass object.  

Size:  2 3/4" diameter by 1 15/16" high.  The base is covered with a silverplate covering and a felt cover in the center.  I did not remove the felt to see if the Guernsey mark is under the felt.
Condition:  Excellent condition with no chips or cracks or noticeable scratches.  The silver plate has been lost some of its silver layer and the underlying copper is visible.   
Signature:  Signed with Sileda Ltd.'s silver mark on the base.  The mark is on a raised area which is 3/16" across.  The mark consists of the Sileda "SL" registered mark as registered at the Sheffield Assay Office and below that the three tiny punches: Sheffield Tudor Rose (for the Assay office in Sheffield), Britannia quality mark (which is meaningless for silver plate), and a script M, establishes the date as 1986.  There is a felt cover in the center base.  I did not remove the felt to see if there was a Guernsey mark on the glass.

For extra pictures, click on the picture at the right and the following links: 

Large picture
Profile
Top view
Base
Closeup of base to show raised area with marks
Composite of three attempts to show the Sileda mark
$65 postage paid in the US.

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Colorful Guernsey Island Studio Paperweight with Silverplate Base by Sileda Ltd
4836 Whitefriars Magnum 1977 Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Millefiori Limited Edition Paperweight.  dated 1977.  This paperweight has a large crown millefiori design commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on February 6, 1952.  It has separate 1952 and 1977 complex date canes and also a special EiiR cypher cane (for Elizabeth II Regina).  It is one of a series of paperweights produced by Whitefriars to celebrate the Silver Jubilee.  This paperweight is faceted with six side facets and one top facet.  It is signed with an oversized Whitefriars signature cane (white monk) in the crown and is marked on the base "No. 21" designating its edition number in a limited edition of 1,500 paperweights made in this design.  Typical heavy Whitefriars lead crystal.

Modern Whitefriars paperweights are prized by collectors for their high quality glass and millefiori designs. The limited edition paperweights with mosaic canes are especially sought after.  The name Whitefriars Glass dates from sometime in the 1600s.  The original site had been occupied by a community of Carmelite monks known as White Friars, hence the name taken by the glass company.  Some sources state that at least a portion of the company operated under the name of James Powell and Sons from 1834 to 1962.  Other sources state that the Whitefriars name was used from 1680 to 1980.

Limited production of millefiori paperweights and other millefiori items started some time in the 1930s and first appeared in the 1938 catalog.  Millefiori items were made using English full lead crystal (33% lead oxide).  It is difficult to associate specific paperweights with this production.  After 1945, they made colored glass and bubble design paperweights until the modern millefiori production started about 1951.  Even then relatively few designs were produced until the 1970s.  In 1980, Whitefriars glass went out of business. After Whitefriars Glass was liquidated, Caithness Glass purchased the rights to the name and produced paperweights under the Whitefriars name for awhile.

For a long time, collectors believed that English paperweights and inkwells dated 1848 and similar undated items were made by Whitefriars.  The dates, however, are false dates and have been traced to production at Arculus and Walsh-Walsh in the 1920s and 1930s. Most paperweights referred to as old Whitefriars or antique Whitefriars were, in fact, made by other factories such as Richardson, Arculus, Walsh-Walsh,or one of the unidentified Old English factories.  When the maker can not be identified, it is best to call them Old English paperweights and not associate them with Whitefriars.

Very large size:  3 7/16" diameter by 2" tall.  It is faceted with one top facet and six side facets.  The bottom is ground concave with the millefiori set close to the base (typical of Whitefriars weights).
Condition:  Excellent condition.  Other than faint wear on the base, no cracks, chips, or scratches found on inspection.
Signature:  Signed with an oversized Whitefriars signature cane (white monk) in the crown. 

For extra pictures, click on the picture at the right and the following links:  

Large picture
Closeup
Profile
Side view
Signature cane
Base with edition number
SOLD

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Whitefriars Magnum 1977 Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Millefiori Limited Edition Paperweight
5405 Large Whitefriars 1974 Faceted Closepack Millefiori Paperweight.  dated 1974.  Wonderful design with many elaborate complex millefiori canes tightly packed into rich mosaic of canes.  There is a black button ground underneath the design.  Faceted with one top facet and a total of 30 side facets in three rows (12 small + six large + 12 small side facets).  There is a Whitefriars signature cane with a white monk and the year 1974.  It comes with its original round Whitefriars box.  One of my favorite Whitefriars designs.  A great addition to any collection of millefiori paperweights.

Modern Whitefriars paperweights are prized by collectors for their high quality glass and millefiori designs. The paperweights with mosaic canes are especially sought after.  The name Whitefriars Glass dates from sometime in the 1600s.  The original site had been occupied by a community of Carmelite monks known as White Friars, hence the name taken by the glass company.  Some sources state that at least a portion of the company operated under the name of James Powell and Sons from 1834 to 1962.  Other sources state that the Whitefriars name was used from 1680 to 1980.  Limited production of millefiori paperweights and other millefiori items started some time in the 1930s and first appeared in the 1938 catalog.  Millefiori items were made using English full lead crystal (33% lead oxide).  It is difficult to associate specific paperweights with this production.  After 1945, they made colored glass and bubble design paperweights until the modern millefiori production started about 1951.  Even then relatively few designs were produced until the 1970s.  In 1980, Whitefriars glass went out of business. After Whitefriars Glass was liquidated, Caithness Glass purchased the rights to the name and produced paperweights under the Whitefriars name for awhile. 

Large Size:  Just over 3" diameter by 1 15/16" high.  The base is ground concave.  Faceted with a total of 31 facets, one top facet and 30 side facets in three rows (12 + 6 + 12)
Condition:  Excellent condition.  No chips, cracks or scratches found on inspection. 
Signature:  Signed in the design with a Whitefriars 1974 date cane.  It comes with its original Whitefriars round box.   

For extra pictures, click on the picture at the right and the following links:  

Large picture
Closeup
Profile
With box
Signature cane
Base
Side view
$325 postage paid in the US.  

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Large Whitefriars 1974 Faceted Closepack Millefiori Paperweight
5147
Caithness Period Whitefriars 1982 Double Trefoil Millefiori Paperweight.  dated 1982.  This paperweight has a double trefoil with red and blue canes and a Whitefriars signature cane in the center.  The design is placed on a very dark brown (almost black) ground.  It is signed and dated in the center of the design with the Whitefriars signature cane featuring a white friar silhouette and the date 1982.  The paperweight is faceted with one large top facet and six smaller side facets.  It was issued by Caithness Glass under the Whitefriars label in 1982.  There is an engraved number "1764" on the base.  This is probably the edition number.  A great example of an early Caithness period Whitefriars paperweight.

This paperweight is one of the transition period paperweights issued after Caithness purchased the Whitefriars name in 1980.  Based on the construction and millefiori canes which resemble other Caithness millefiori products, it was probably made at a Caithness factory in Scotland.  It does not appear in any of the Whitefriars catalogs nor in the Colin Terris publications on Caithness.

Note:  This paperweight has a tiny nick on the top facet.  That is the only damage I could find.

Caithness Glass was founded by Robin Sinclair in Wick in north eastern Scotland in 1961.  The factory did not start making paperweights until 1962 when Paul Ysart joined Caithness.  Colin Terris joined Caithness in 1968 and started the modern line of paperweights in 1969.  A second factory was opened in Oban in 1969 and the Perth factory opened in 1979.  In 1980, Caithness purchased the Whitefriars name and designs.  More recently Caithness recently went through a number of changes of ownership.  After going into receivership in 2004, it was purchased by Edinburgh Crystal, but went into receivership again in 2006.  Finally, it was bought out of receivership by Dartington Crystal.  The factories in Wick, Oban and Perth all closed and were replaced by a smaller operation and visitors' center in Crieff.

Modern Whitefriars paperweights are prized by collectors for their high quality glass and millefiori designs. The paperweights with mosaic canes are especially sought after.  The name Whitefriars Glass dates from sometime in the 1600s.  The original site had been occupied by a community of Carmelite monks known as White Friars, hence the name taken by the glass company.  Some sources state that at least a portion of the company operated under the name of James Powell and Sons from 1834 to 1962.  Other sources state that the Whitefriars name was used from 1680 to 1980.  Limited production of millefiori paperweights and other millefiori items started some time in the 1930s and first appeared in the 1938 catalog.  Millefiori items were made using English full lead crystal (33% lead oxide).  It is difficult to associate specific paperweights with this production.  After 1945, they made colored glass and bubble design paperweights until the modern millefiori production started about 1951.  Even then relatively few designs were produced until the 1970s.  In 1980, Whitefriars glass went out of business. After Whitefriars Glass was liquidated, Caithness Glass purchased the rights to the name and produced paperweights under the Whitefriars name for awhile.

Medium size:  2 7/16"" diameter by just over 1 1/2" high.  The base is ground flat.  Faceted with one large top facet and six smaller side facets.
Condition:  Very good condition.  This paperweight has a tiny nick on the top facet.  There is also minor wear on the base.  No other damage found on inspection.
Signature:  Signed in cane with a Whitefriars 1982 cane in the center of the design.

For extra pictures, click on the picture at the right and the following links:

Large picture
Closeup
Profile view
Signature cane in design
Side view
Base
Tiny nick on top facet
Number engraved on base
$95 postage paid in the US.

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Caithness Period Whitefriars 1982 Double Trefoil Millefiori Paperweight
4566
Large Whitefriars Early Faceted Six Ring Concentric Millefiori Paperweight.  dated 1970.  This paperweight has six concentric rings of canes (blue, white, turquoise, dark blue, red, and white) around a larger center cane with a star center.  The ground is clear crystal.  Typical heavy Whitefriars lead crystal.  The paperweight is faceted with a large top facet and five large side facets.  It has a Whitefriars signature cane with a white monk and the date 1970 in the outermost white ring and also has an early paper label used from the mid 1950s into the early 1970s.  With its bold colors, this is a very nice addition to any collection of  millefiori paperweights.    

Modern Whitefriars paperweights are prized by collectors for their high quality glass and millefiori designs. The paperweights with mosaic canes are especially sought after.  The name Whitefriars Glass dates from sometime in the 1600s.  The original site had been occupied by a community of Carmelite monks known as White Friars, hence the name taken by the glass company.  Some sources state that at least a portion of the company operated under the name of James Powell and Sons from 1834 to 1962.  Other sources state that the Whitefriars name was used from 1680 to 1980.  Limited production of millefiori paperweights and other millefiori items started some time in the 1930s and first appeared in the 1938 catalog.  Millefiori items were made using English full lead crystal (33% lead oxide).  It is difficult to associate specific paperweights with this production.  After 1945, they made colored glass and bubble design paperweights until the modern millefiori production started about 1951.  Even then relatively few designs were produced until the 1970s.  In 1980, Whitefriars glass went out of business. After Whitefriars Glass was liquidated, Caithness Glass purchased the rights to the name and produced paperweights under the Whitefriars name for awhile. 

Large Size:  Just over 3" diameter by 1 7/8" high.  The base is ground concave.  Faceted with a total of one large top facet and five large side facets.
Condition:  Excellent condition.  No chips, cracks or scratches found on inspection.  There are some small bubbles in the glass.
Signature:  It has a Whitefriars signature cane with a white monk and the date 1970 in the outermost white ring and also has an early paper label used from the mid 1950s into the early 1970s.

For extra pictures, click on the picture at the right and the following links:  

Large picture
Closeup
Profile
Signature cane
Label
Side view - shows small bubble
Base
Side with label
$275 postage paid in the US. 

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Large Whitefriars Early Faceted Six Ring Concentric Millefiori Paperweight
5372
Magnum Antique English Green Glass Dump Paperweight with Six Foil Flowers.   circa 1840-1860.   This is an unusual example with six foil flowers on two levels.  Each flower has four foil petals and a stem that goes down to the flower pot.  This dump is unsigned, so the maker is not known.  A very showy example.  A great addition to a collection of old English paperweights.

Note:  I had difficulty getting good pictures of this paperweight.  Please ignore the glare from the lights.  The paperweight looks a lot better than the pictures show. 

Green glass paperweights, mantle ornaments and doorstops originated as early as 1820 and continued to be made as late as 1914.  Often referred to as dumps, they are made from green and blue bottle glass in factories founded by John Kilner of Wakefield and other bottle makers in the Midlands and Northern regions of England.  There are articles on this topic in 2002, 2003 and 2005 annual bulletins of the Paperweight Collectors Association.  You can also read about them in Old English Paperweights by Robert Hall.  These dumps can be found with internal bubble designs, well executed floral designs, sulphide inclusions, or colored flowers.  Signed examples exist and command a premium price.  Since they are made from bottle glass, these paperweights often show signs of rough handling with chips or internal fractures.

Very large size:   3 3/8" diameter by 3 5/8" tall.  The base is shaped concave with a remnant of the pontil scar.   
Condition:  Very good condition for its age.  As is typical for this type of paperweight, there are some scratches and abrasions on the surface, but this paperweight has no chips, cracks or impact marks.  The bottom has a rough pontil scar.
Signature:  Unsigned, but I guarantee this is an antique English green glass paperweight. 

For extra pictures, click on the picture at the right and the following links: 

Large picture
Another view
Closeup
Side view
Top view
Base
SOLD.

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Magnum Antique English Green Glass Dump Paperweight with Six Foil Flowers
4689 Colorful Avondale Vertical Paperweight from Kilgetty near Tenby SW Wales UK.  This is fun item.  A vertical paperweight with three colorful green and blue spheres separated by spacers of clear glass.  It was made at  Avondale Glass in Kilgetty Wales (near Tenby).  It is not signed.   A fun paperweight.

Note:  Special thanks to Cameron McBurnie who identified this as an Avondale product.  Avondale glass is no longer in business although there is a small craft shop on the site where Avondale glass is sold and demonstrations are sometimes scheduled.

Size:  2 1/16" diameter by 3 1/4" tall.  The base is finished flat.
Condition:  Very good condition.  Two small scratches found near the base.  No other chips, cracks or scratches found on inspection.  
Signature:  Unsigned, but I will guarantee this as a product of Avondale glass. 

For extra pictures, click on the picture at the right and the following links: 

Large picture of the paperweight
Profile view
Another view
Base
Still another view
SOLD.  

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Colorful Vertical Paperweight from Avondale Glass






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