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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
 
 
2464 Graceful Calla Lily or Crocus Flower Paperweight - Green Dump From Pilkington in St Helens, UK.     circa 1960.  This paperweight features three graceful light colored calla lilies or crocus flowers in a light green ground.  There is a planned bubble in the center of each flower.  Made at the St Helens Glassworks on the grounds of the Pilkington factory in St Helens, United Kingdom.  An interesting addition to any collection of English paperweights. 

When I first acquired this paperweight, I believed it to be Bohemian in origin, but further research provided the correct attribution.  Special thanks to the members of the Glass Message Board for their help. 

This style is also called an icepick flower because of the sharp tool used to push each flower down to the base.   The flower is also called a trumpet flower. 

Pilkington Glass was founded in 1826 as a partnership between members of the Pilkington and Greenall families, based in St Helens, Lancashire.  Today they are a major international glass manufacturing company.  Paperweights were made at least as early as the 1960s at the St Helens Glassworks on the grounds of the Pilkington factory in St Helens.  The glassworks is known to have employed several glassworkers from Bohemia and the paperweights made there were often similar to Bohemian style paperweights.  Several styles are well documented including the style in this listing.  It was also possible to purchase a paperweight with a specific name in it at the glass museum on the site (World of Glass).   For further reference, search the discussions on the Glass Message Board relating to Pilkington paperweights.   Also consult the excellent display of Pilkington paperweights at the lustrousstone.co.uk website

Large Size:   2 7/8" diameter by just under 2"" high.  The base is unfinished with a nasty scar where the pontil was snapped off. 
Signature: Unsigned, but I believe this to have been made at the St Helens Glassworks on the grounds of the Pilkington factory in St Helens, United Kingdom.  The glassworks has evolved into a glass museum and is today called the St Helens World of Glass. 
Condition:  Very good condition.  The body of the paperweight is free of cracks and scratches with the exception of one small (1/8") circular impact mark on one side.  The base is unfinished with the pontil scar remaining. 

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

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4410 Rare Magnum Whitefriars 1976 Bicentennial Millefiori Flag Limited Edition Paperweight.  circa 1976.  This is a hard to find Whitefriars Bicentennial Paperweight featuring a millefiori mosaic of the American Flag.  There are thirteen blue and white canes for stars and four red and three white canes for the stripes.  A gold cane makes provides a staff .  In the background there is a white and gold carpet ground of millefiori canes and also a millefiori garland of blue and white canes on the outside.  This weight is numbered 119.  There is a special Whitefriars signature cane with a white monk and the years 1776 and 1976.  The paperweight is made using full lead crystal which gives it a brilliant finish.  It is faceted with a top facet and five side facets. 

This is an especially rare Whitefriars paperweight.  Although the edition size was planned for 1,000 paperweights, very few were made due to the complexity of the design made setup and pickup very difficult.  Some estimates are that as few as 150 were actually made.  It was made for sale in the US only.

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 a while.

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.

Size:  3 1/8 diameter by 1 3/4" high.  The base is ground concave. Faceted with one top facet and five side facets.
Condition:  Outstanding condition.  No chips, cracks or scratches. 
Signature:  Signed in the design with a special Whitefriars signature cane.  The signature cane has a white monk and the dates 1776 and 1976 cane.  Numbered on the bottom with the number 119. 

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

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2848
Whitefriars 1980 Millefiori Garland Paperweight - with Rose Center.   circa 1980.  This rare Whitefriars Millefiori Garland is from the last year of Whitefriars production before they were acquired by Caithness Glass.  It features a six lobed garland around a central arrangement of pink and yellow canes including a central rose cane.  The ground is a translucent green and there is a Whitefriars signature and date cane in the garland.  The paperweight is finished with a complex ribbed faceting and one large facet on top. 

The paperweight has the appropriate 1980 label which was an oval gold label with a picture of the monk and the words “HANDMADE IN ENGLAND Whitefriars FULL LEAD CRYSTAL”.  This label is quite rare and was used only at the end of the company's existence.

Medium Size:  Just over 2 1/2" diameter by 1 5/8" high.  The base is ground concave. Faceted with one top facet and there is a complex pattern of ribbed facets on the side. It is possible that the side facets may be molded rather than cut.
Condition:  Outstanding condition.  No chips, cracks or scratches. 
Signature:  Signed in cane with a Whitefriars 1980 cane and also has a gold Whitefriars paper label. 
Execution:  Perfect execution. 

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

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2794
Magnum Antique English Green Glass Dump Paperweight with Seven Foil Flowers.   circa 1840-1860.   This is an unusual example with a four level design.  There is one large central flower plus two layers of smaller flowers all in a small flower pot.  Possibly made by John Kilner of Wakefield, England.  A very showy example.

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.

Large Size:   3 3/4" tall by just under 3 1/2" diameter. 
Condition:  Very good condition.  As is typical for this type of paperweight, there are scratches and abrasions on the surface, but this paperweight has no chips, cracks or impact marks.  The bottom has a rough pontil and show considerable wear. 
Signature:  Unsigned, but I guarantee this is an antique English paperweight. 

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

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2462
Magnum Antique English Green Glass Bubble Dump Paperweight. circa 1840-1900.  Wonderful antique English bubble dump paperweight.  The controlled bubble arrangement looks like a fountain of bubbles.  This particular example is in almost flawless condition. 

Large Size:  3 1/3" diameter by 3 1/2" tall.
Condition:  Excellent Condition.  There are a few tiny defects to the surface but nothing that I would call significant.  Appropriate wear on the base. 
Signature:  Unsigned, but I guarantee this is an antique English paperweight.  The bottom is unfinished with the remnants of the pontil mark.
Execution:  Near perfect execution.  This paperweight has a surface ridge shown in the pictures.  This is left over from the gaffers cup.  The maker should have smoothed it out and must have missed it. 

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

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2177 Old English Concentric Paperweight.   circa 1920.  This paperweight has four rings of transparent blue, white, and red millefiori canes around a blue and white central cane.  The outer ring and the 2nd ring are all white.  The maker cannot be identified.  However, it has a cross cane found in the group of paperweights known as Old English group 1. 

Size: 3 1/8" diameter by 2" tall.  Very good condition with only minor surface wear.  It has the setup and low profile typical to old English paperweights from factories such as Walsh-Walsh and Arculus. 

$195 postage paid in the US.

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2202 Whitefriars Cone Shaped Faceted Concentric Paperweight.   circa 1978.  This paperweight has five concentric rings of star and cog canes (green, yellow, red, green, and purple) around a complex center cane.  The center cane consists of two additional rings of millefiori.  There are six elongated side facets and one top facet.  Typical heavy Whitefriars lead crystal.  It is signed in cane with a Whitefriars signature cane with a white monk and the designation 1978.  There is also a paper label "WHITEFRIARS FULL LED CRYSTAL MADE IN ENGLAND" (not shown in the pictures).

Large Size: 3" diameter by 3" tall.  It is faceted with one top facet and six side facets.  Signed in cane and dated 1978.  The bottom is ground concave with the millefiori set close to the base (typical of Whitefriars weights).  Also signed with the Whitefriars paper label.
Excellent condition:  No flaws found on inspection. 

$435 postage paid in the US.

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2786
Large Whitefriars 1978 Closepack Millefiori Paperweight.  circa 1978.   Wonderful design with many elaborate complex millefiori canes tightly packed into rich mosaic of canes.  Faceted with one top facet and a total of 24 side facets in three rows.  There is a Whitefriars signature cane with a white monk and the year 1978.  It also has a Whitefriars paper label.  It comes with its original round Whitefriars and cardboard outer box.

Large Size:  2 15/16" diameter by 1 7/8" high.  The base is ground concave. Faceted with a total of 25 facets, one top facet and 24 side facets in three rows (6 + 6 + 12)
Condition:  Outstanding condition.  No chips, cracks or scratches. 
Signature:  Signed in cane with a Whitefriars 1978 cane and also has a Whitefriars paper label.  It comes with its original Whitefriars round box and cardboard outer box. 
Execution:  Perfect execution. 

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

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Another profile view showing a different side
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2196 Vintage Magnum Whitefriars Paperweight Inkwell.   circa 1920-1930.  This magnificent  inkwell has a concentric pattern in both the base and the top.   The base has six concentric rings (blue, white, pink, blue white, pink) around a central floral cane.  The stopper top has five concentric rings (blue, white, pink, blue, white) also around a central floral cane.  The centers of many of the pink and blue canes are heart shaped, but I cannot be sure that was the maker's intent.  It may be a distortion.  The white canes have a five lobed floret in the center.  There is also a slight foot at the base of the bottle.

This is probably the product of the Arculus or Walsh-Walsh factory.

Very Large Size: 3 7/8" diameter by 6 1/2" tall. 
Excellent condition with no chips or cracks.  There are a few bubbles in the glass including two long bubbles near the base.  The bottom is ground concave with the millefiori set close to the base (typical of Whitefriars type weights). 

This type of bottle typically carries an estimate in the $650 to $1,000 range in Selman's auctions. 

SOLD

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