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The Paperweight People

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Chinese paperweights - older (1900 to 1990)

Glass paperweights have been made in China since the early 20th Century. Some of the earlier lampwork and millefiori paperweights were made as copies of antique French and American items - most probably at the request of importers in the USA - and are well made, though not well enough made to be confused with originals by experienced collectors. But less experienced collectors, auction houses, and antique dealers can make mistakes about these and the wide range of millefiori paperweights that have been produced throughout the 20th century.

Some of the most recent production items are illustrated on the Modern Chinese Paperweights area of this website. There is widespread uncertainty about attributions, with some of the earlier millefiori paperweights identified as 'Bohemian' as well as antique French, and the recent trend for paperweights made in China to be sold in Murano - sometimes with Murano labels - confuses the matter further. Another challenge is to establish when particular designs were made.

What I would like to do is develop here a record of paperweights that bear 'Made in China' labels - or occasionally inserts bearing the word China - so that others can identify their Chinese paperweights with a reasonable degree of confidence. If you have a labelled weight, catalogue images, or other relevant material I would be very grateful for copies and permission to reproduce it.

Early paperweights (pre 1940)
Early Chinese millefiori paperweights

Chinese millefiori designs

Early Chinese millefiori paperweights
Early Chinese lampwork paperweights

Chinese lampwork flower

Early Chinese lampwork paperweight

Chinese lampwork pansy on latticino swirl

Early Chinese paperweight

Chinese millefiori with 'dove' canes

Early Chinese lampwork paperweight
Eleven Chinese millefiori
Early Chinese lampwork paperweight

Chinese garlanded nosegay

Chinese millefiori tree paperweight

Chinese millefiori tree

Chinese flower on spiral latticino paperweight

Chinese flower on spiral laticino

Early Chinese lampwork paperweight

Chinese inkwell / stopper

Uncertain date - made for a long period
Chinese peacock paperweights
Chinese peacocks

Middle period (1940 - 1960)
Early Chinese millefiori paperweights
Early Chinese millefiori paperweights

Later period (1960 - 1990)
Early Chinese millefiori paperweights
Early Chinese millefiori paperweightsEarly Chinese millefiori paperweights