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Sulphide Paperweights for Sale


Sulphides Paperweights are those that contain cast objects (animals, flowers, people) made of a ceramic material that has properties similar to the surrounding glass.  They are normally white, but are also sometimes colored or even painted.  The objects are cast in a mold that copied or made directly from a medallion, coin or sculpture.  Often the object is surrounded by a millefiori or lampwork garland, but it may also appear alone.  The finest sulphides are cast in a mold made by a skilled artist.  Sulphides are often closely related to historical events and famous people.

Sometimes a sulphide will have a silvery appearance due to a thin layer of trapped bubbles between the glass and the sulphide itself.  Sometimes the sulphide material is not compatible with the glass and a fracture may develop.

The technique of encasing sulphide figures in glass dates from around 1750.  Initially, the sulphides were found in glass plaques, flasks, goblets, and other objects.  Paperweights came later.  Sulphides are found in antique and modern paperweights from many factories.  Three French factories made sulphides in significant quantieies during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.  Midwest American makers also made popular designs during the same period.

You can read more about the Sulphide Paperweights in the books: If you are interested in purchasing any of these paperweights, e-mail me at: aport@paperweights.com
 
3144
Modern St. Louis Sulphide Amour Paperweight.   Circa 1979.  This is a modern St. Louis sulphide paperweight featuring a ceramic image of cupid set on a opaque pink ground and surrounded by a garland of lampwork flowers with millefiori centers.  The paperweight was issued in a limited edition of 400 in 1979.  It is faceted with a large top facet and six side facets.  It is signed on the bottom with a millefiori signature "SL 1979".

The conceptual design for the paperweight was Linda Pope-Selman.  Gilbert Poillerat sculpted the model for the image of cupid.  The sulphide bears the title AMOUR and the initials of the sculptor (GP).

Sulphides are cast objects (animals, flowers, people) made of a ceramic material that has properties similar to the surrounding glass.  They are normally white, but are also sometimes colored or even painted.  The objects are cast in a mold that copied or made directly from a medallion, coin or sculpture.  The finest French sulphides are cast in a mold made by a skilled artist.  Sometimes a sulphide will have a silvery appearance due to a thin layer of trapped bubbles between the glass and the sulphide itself.  Sometimes the sulphide material is not compatible with the glass and a fracture may develop. 

Large Size:  Just under 3 1/8" diameter by 1 5/8" high.  The bottom is ground concave.
Signature: Signed with a complex millefiori cane "SL 1979" on the bottom. 
Condition:  Excellent condition with no no cracks or chips.  No scratches found on inspection. 
Execution:  Perfect execution.

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Close-up view
Profile View
Signature cane on bottom
SOLD

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

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4635 Modern St. Louis 1953 Queen Elizabeth II  Coronation Commemorative Sulphide Paperweight.   Circa 1953.  This is a modern St. Louis sulphide paperweight featuring a ceramic image of Queen Elizabeth II set on a clear ground and surrounded by a garland of red, white, and blue millefiori canes.  It is signed on the base "ST. LOUIS CRISTAL FRANCE".  The sulphide has been treated to produce a silver finish.  An early example of St. Louis artistic accomplishment.  It is faceted with a large top facet and five side facets.  A significant historical paperweight.

According to the two books on St. Louis paperweights, the QE II sulphide was issued in an edition of 1,226 regular sulphides on a variety of grounds and with and without millefiori garlands.  There were also some overlay versions produced.  All were supposed to be marked "Couronnement 2.6.53 Saint Louis - France" on the back of the sulphide and reserved for the American market.  This was St. Louis earliest sulphide and one of the company's earliest modern paperweights.  It was much in demand and the famous French writer Colette requested one for her collection. 

Note:  The sulphide in this paperweight is not marked as described above with the special "Couronnement" marking.  It may have been an early sample or the literature may be incorrect and some may have been produced for other markets or escaped the special marking. 

Sulphides are cast objects (animals, flowers, people) made of a ceramic material that has properties similar to the surrounding glass.  They are normally white, but are also sometimes colored or even painted.  The objects are cast in a mold that copied or made directly from a medallion, coin or sculpture.  The finest French sulphides are cast in a mold made by a skilled artist.  Often a sulphide will have a silvery appearance due to a thin layer of trapped bubbles between the glass and the sulphide itself. 

Cristalleries de Saint Louis was founded in 1767 in Lorraine, which became part of France in 1766.  The region was already home to several glassworks.  Paperweight production started at St. Louis in 1845 and most likely continued until about 1860.  Although the modern production of paperweights started in 1952, the output of millefiori and lampwork paperweights was small.  Fewer than 400 lampwork and millefiori paperweights were made between 1952 and 1955.  They were not all signed or dated.  The most successful product of this early revival period was the Queen Elizabeth sulphide which was made to commemorate her coronation in 1953.  After 1955, no additional weights were made at St. Louis until 1965.  In 1965 the factory resumed production of lampwork and millefiori paperweights and then in 1967 they began a series of sulphide weights.  Finally, in 1970 they started producing annual limited edition paperweights. 

Large Size:  2 7/8" diameter by 1 3/4" high.  The bottom is ground concave. 
Signature: Signed on the base with the etched signature "ST. LOUIS CRISTAL FRANCE". 
Condition:  Excellent condition with no no cracks or chips.  No scratches found on inspection.  The picture of the base shows what appears to be a small nick.  It is a a tiny white "stone" in the glass just below the surface of the base.  This pot used to hold molten glass will sometimes throw off stones when it is first used. 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Close-up view
Profile View
Side view
St. Louis Signature and arrow pointing to "stone"
$295 postage paid in the US. 

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

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4413 Modern Baccarat Sulphide of John Fitzgerald Kennedy with Waffle Cut Blue Base.  circa 1964.  Modern sulphide paperweight featuring a three dimensional figure of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  The sulphide figure was modeled by Albert David in 1963 and it is signed at the base of the sulphide with an incised "A. DAVID" and a raised "63".  The base on this example is known as a waffle cut color base.  It gives this weight a special appearance.  The paperweight is faceted with one large top facet and six smaller side facets.  The weight is signed with a Baccarat etched logo in one of the facets.  It also has a paper label "MADE IN FRANCE".

As with most Baccarat sulphides of this period, the JFK sulphide was issued with a number of overlays and different base treatments.  There were 308 overlays (red and white and blue and white) and 3,572 non-overlay weights, of which only 211 had a waffle cut blue base like this example.

Baccarat was founded in 1776 in Alsace-Lorraine with the name of Verrerie de Sainte Anne.  The original location was near the town of Baccarat.  Today the firm is known as Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat.  Most collectors refer to three periods of Baccarat paperweight production.

  • 1845-1860 - Classic period
  • 1920-1934 - Dupont period
  • 1953-2002 - Modern period
This classification is definitely an over simplification.  The best millefiori and lampwork paperweights were made during the classic period (1845-1860).   Baccarat continued to make paperweights after the classic period, but little is known about the extent of the product line or who made the paperweights.  What is known is that by 1910, the offering in the catalog had dwindled to pansy paperweights, simple open concentric paperweights, and rock paperweights.  Popular lore attributes 1920-1934 Baccarat paperweights to a Mr. Dupont, who supposedly was the last worker at Baccarat to know the secrets of paperweight making.  These paperweights were sold at a Baccarat retail shop in Paris.  No collector or scholar ever met Mr. Dupont although at least one visited the Baccarat factory and asked to meet with him.  The weights stopped appearing in the shop in 1934.

New research of the Baccarat archives has identified the actual makers during the Dupont period as Joseph Boyé (1877-1948) and Louis Idoux (1882-1941).  Boyé is recorded as the maker of millefiori canes and millefiori paperweights during this period (1920-1934).  Very little is known about Mr. Boyé, but there is enough similarity in the millefiori canes to suggest that he had access to the original molds or some of the original millefiori canes from the classic period.  He later trained another glassworker, Georges Brocard, to make open concentric paperweights in 1946.  Armed with this knowledge, Brocard was influential in the revival of paperweight making at Baccarat in the 1950s.  Louis Idoux is recorded as making the Baccarat pansy paperweights during the 1920-1934 period.

In 1952, Paul Jokelson approached Baccarat with the idea of making sulphide paperweights again.  In 1953 Baccarat resumed paperweight production with a series of sulphide paperweights the first of which were the unsuccessful Eisenhower sulphide followed by the Queen Elizabeth coronation sulphide.  Millefiori paperweight production was resumed in 1957 and lampwork paperweights were re-introduced in the early 1970s.  Baccarat stopped making this type of fine glass paperweights in 2002.

You can read more about the Baccarat paperweights in the new book Baccarat Paperweights - two centuries of beauty by Paul Dunlop or one of the older books on paperweights in general, such as The Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights by Paul Hollister or World Paperweights by Robert Hall.

Large Size:  Just over 2 3/4" diameter by 1 7/16" high.   The paperweight is faceted with one large top facet and six smaller side facets. 
Signature:  The weight is signed with a Baccarat etched logo in one of the facets.  It also has a paper label "MADE IN FRANCE". The sulphide is signed with an incised "A. DAVID" and a raised "63".
Condition:   Excellent condition.  No damage found. 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Close-up view
Profile view
Bottom
Baccarat logo and label
SOLD

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

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3957 Magnum Maude and Bob St. Clair 1975 Sulphide Owl Paperweight. Dated 1975.  A very large egg shaped paperweight with a sulphide of an owl sitting on a branch in a snow covered woods.  The owl sulphide is painted.  The ground is a pleated crimp ground of brown and white glass.  The signature "MAUDE AND BOB ST. CLAIR 1975" is hot stamped on the base.  This paperweight is huge.  A great example. 

Sulphide Paperweights are those that contain cast objects (animals, flowers, people) made of a ceramic material that has properties similar to the surrounding glass.  They are normally white, but are also sometimes colored or even painted.  The objects are cast in a mold that copied or made directly from a medallion, coin or sculpture.  Often the object is surrounded by a millefiori or lampwork garland, but it may also appear alone.  The finest sulphides are cast in a mold made by a skilled artist. 

The St. Clair line (as far as paperweights are concerned) started with John "Pop" St. Clair, Sr. who worked at the George MacBeth Glass Works in Elwood from around 1903 to 1938.  Local natural gas production faltered in 1938 and the St. Clairs began to develop their ideas for a new business of their own.  Joe did the original experimentation and the business was formally started in 1941 in Elwood, Indiana.  John, Sr. and the brothers John, Jr., Joe, Ed and Bob all participated, while another brother, Paul, did not at first.  By 1944 St. Clair paperweights were being sold through Georg Jenson on Fifth Avenue in New York.  Joe retired for the first time) in 1971 and sold the factory to new owners in Elkhart, Indiana.  About the same time, Bob St. Clair and his wife Maude opened a new factory in Elwood.  Paul St. Clair retired from General Motors and joined Bob, along with Ed St. Clair and a nephew, Joe Rice.  Sometime later after Bob opened his factory, the new owners of the original factory sold the factory back to Joe.  So, for a while, there were two St. Clair Glass factories.  Joe St. Clair died in 1987. 

Very Large Size:   3 5/8" diameter by 4 1/2" high.  The base is ground flat with a matte finish.  It weighs just over three pounds.
Condition:  Excellent condition with no chips or cracks.  There are a few small bubbles in the glass.
Signature:  Hot stamped signature on the base "MAUDE AND BOB ST. CLAIR 1975". 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Another View
Still another view
Back view
Hot stamped signature on base
$125 postage paid in the US. 

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2132
Antique Clichy Sulphide Paperweight of Victoria and Albert. circa 1851.  Clichy Sulphide paperweight featuring Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and Prince Albert (1819-1861).  The sulphide is fairly high in the dome of the paperweight and is over a clear ground.  A wonderful example. 

A variation of this paperweight on a red colored ground and attributed to Clichy recently sold at a well known paperweight auction for $1,100 plus a 20% bidders premium.  At my asking price, this is a bargain for a paperweight in perfect condition.

The Clichy factory was founded at Billancourt near Paris in 1837.  Shortly after that it moved to Clichy-la-Garenne, which gave the factory its best known name.  They stayed in operation until about the 1870s. 

It is believed that this paperweight may have been made for the 1851 Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London.  Prince Albert conceived of the exhibition which was considered the first world's fair.  The exhibition was intended to advance the arts and sciences. 

The precise origin of this sulphide paperweight remains elusive. The Bergstrom Mahler Museum has an identical paperweight which they attribute to Clichy.  The Art Institute of Chicago has a version in which the sulphide was colored before being encased.  This paperweight, attributed to Clichy, was included in the 1978 Corning Museum of Glass "Paperweights - Flowers which clothe the meadows" exhibition.  The Jokelson Collection had a variation with an uncolored (white) sulphide over a green ground.  The Jokelson paperweight is also attributed to Clichy.  Most authors agree with the Clichy attribution, but there are some authors who attribute the paperweight to Baccarat in France and even to the New England Glass Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Ignore the glare from the lights.  It was difficult to photograph this paperweight due to the brilliance of the glass.  The sulphide is white but I have included some low light pictures to show the detail. 

Size:  Just over 2 3/4" diameter by just over 1 3/4" high.  The base is ground flat. 
Condition:  Outstanding condition.  No chips, cracks or scratches.  The paperweight has been professionally restored. 
Signature:  Unsigned, but I guarantee this to be an authentic antique paperweight, most likely from Clichy in France.  Circa 1851 
Execution:  Perfect, although there are some tiny bubbles in the glass. 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Closeup View
Another Closeup View 
Profile View
$945 postage paid in the US.

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

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2228
Antique New England Glass Company Sulphide Paperweight of Lajos Kossuth. circa 1851.  Antique Sulphide paperweight featuring Lajos Kossuth, former Governor-President of Hungary.  It is inscribed on the back "EX-GOVERNOR OF HUNGARY SET AT LIBERTY BY THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1851".

Kossuth was a political reformer who fought for liberty for Hungary and held the office of Governor-President from April 14 to August 11, 1849.  He was appointed to this position after the declaration of Hungarian independence from the Hapsburg Monarchy.  He was widely honored during his lifetime as a freedom fighter and advocate of democracy in Europe.  He demanded parliamentary government for Hungary and constitutional government for the rest of Austria. After abdicating the post of Governor-President he was effectively under house arrest until he was allowed to leave the Ottoman Empire in September 1851 on the American frigate Mississippi.  He then toured Britain and the United States in a futile effort to get support for his cause.  He won favor in New England and souvenirs and other commemorative items were created to celebrate his visit.  This paperweight was probably one of the commemorative objects created around the time of his visit.  Some authors suggest the inscription refers to US support of his cause.  Instead, I think it may refer to his rescue from house arrest by the US. 

New England Glass Company (NEGC) operated in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1818 to 1888.  You can read about paperweights from the New England Glass Company in the book by Hawley, The Art of the Paperweight  - The Boston & Sandwich and New England Glass Companies

Most texts attribute this paperweight to the New England Glass Factory.  It is believed that this paperweight may have been made for the 1851 Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London.  However, the attribution is subject to challenge and the precise origin of this sulphide paperweight remains elusive.  The Bergstrom Mahler Museum has an identical paperweight which they attribute to Clichy.  Hawley attributes this to NEGC in his 1997 book The Art of the Paperweight  - The Boston & Sandwich and New England Glass Companies.  However, in his latest 2011 book on NEGC, he states that no firm evidence exists for this attribution, except that the specific gravity and fluorescence match that of NEGC.  Hollister discusses this paperweight in his Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights and also states that their is no firm evidence tying the paperweight to NEGC or any other factory.  My own opinion is that the glass quality is more typical of NEGC than the French factories.  It may have originated in Europe or at another American factory.

Ignore the glare from the lights.  It was difficult to photograph this paperweight.  The sulphide is white. 

Size:  2 9/16" diameter by 1 11/16" high.  The base is ground concave.
Condition:  Outstanding condition.  No chips, cracks or scratches.  The paperweight has been professionally restored.
Signature:  Unsigned, but I guarantee this to be an authentic antique paperweight, most likely from the New England Glass Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Circa 1851
Execution:  Very good, although there are striations and bubbles in the glass.  Some of the Kossuth Sulphides have the name KOSSUTH on the edge.  It is not visible on this example. 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Close-up View
View of Back
Profile View
$295 postage paid in the US.

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
1215
Antique Bohemian or Belgian Colored Sulphide Paperweight of a Lady. circa 1850-1900.  Antique Sulphide paperweight featuring a colored sulphide of an unknown lady.  The sulphide has been painted or colored to highlight the lady's hair, hair ribbons, and clothes.  The sulphide is placed on a pink and green frit ground.  The maker of this paperweight is unknown.  Possibly it was made in Bohemia or in Belgium.  The paperweight has five rows of complex faceting with eight facets in each row, plus the top facet. An interesting addition to any collection of antique paperweights.

Sulphides are cast objects (animals, flowers, people) made of a ceramic material that has properties similar to the surrounding glass.  They are normally white, but are also sometimes colored or even painted.  The objects are cast in a mold that copied or made directly from a medallion, coin or sculpture.  The finest French sulphides are cast in a mold made by a skilled artist.  Often a sulphide will have a silvery appearance due to a thin layer of trapped bubbles between the glass and the sulphide itself. 

Large Size:  2 7/8" diameter by just over 1 3/4" high. The paperweight has five rows of complex faceting with eight facets in each row, plus the top facet.  The bottom is ground flat. 
Signature:  Unsigned.  I do not know the maker or country of origin with certainty.  I will however guarantee that this is an antique paperweight originating in Europe..
Condition:  Good condition.  There are numerous scratches, small nicks on the facets, and other wear. 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Close-up view
Profile view
Bottom
Side view
SOLD

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

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Revised 8/27/2016