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Chinese Paperweights for Sale


This group of paperweights is a representative sample of the Chinese Paperweights made in the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s as an attempt to duplicate 19th Century antique weights made in the United States and France.  Because they are almost 100 years old, they are very collectible.  Every collector should own a few of these as study pieces.  I have also included some other Chinese paperweights that are newer or uniquely Chinese.

The history of the early Chinese paperweights is mostly anecdotal as no written records have been discovered.  The story is that an American dealer sent examples of paperweights made by the New England Glass Company (NEGC), Boston & Sandwich Glass Company (B&S), Millville makers, and French factories to a Chinese factory and requested copies be made.  The results are interesting and sometimes confused with the originals by inexperienced collectors.  The earliest pictures of these paperweights appeared in the book American Glass Paperweights by Francis Edgar Smith published in 1939.  Smith was aware that at least one of the paperweights shown in his book was Chinese.  Since Smith was not an expert collector, this indicates that there was some general knowledge that these were Chinese prior to 1939.

In the United States, the Tariff Act of 1930 required that every imported item must be conspicuously and indelibly marked in English with its country of origin.  As a result, many of these Chinese paperweights are scratch signed on the bottom "CHINA".  Many are also not signed, suggesting that either they were imported prior to 1930 or the importer ignored the requirement.  Most likely the earliest Chinese paperweights were made prior to 1930.

The Chinese makers often combined design features found in paperweights from different makers.  For example they copied the latticinio grounds used by New England Glass Company and used them with copies of Baccarat Pansy weights.  The original Baccarat pansy paperweights never had a latticinio ground.  They copied the pedestal rose from Millville and then used the pedestal bottom with other weights.  It is fun to collect all the variations.

Most have a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass also has a soft almost oily feel. Frequently they have bubbles or debris in the glass.  And because of their age, many of these have minor scratches or other surface defects.

For more information on Chinese paperweights, there is a great chapter on Chinese paperweights in the book World Paperweights: Millefiori and Lampwork by Robert Hall.  The book includes a price guide.  For this and other great references on paperweights, check out my list of paperweight books for sale.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these paperweights, e-mail Allan Port at: aport@paperweights.com
 
 
3524 Chinese Millefiori Red Peacock Paperweight.  circa 1945 -1970.  This is a uniquely Chinese invention.  The paperweight is in the form of an upright peacock with its brilliant red plumage (train) on display.  The feathers have yellow and blue feather eyes.  There is a molded neck and head on the lower surface.  There are three types of millefiori used in the construction:  red feather canes, yellow and blue eye canes, and a single large mosaic cane for the body.  We don't know exactly when these first appeared but they were found in the US during the 1960s, so I believe this is a post WWII product.  There is a single flat facet on the lower edge to allow the paperweight to stand upright.  A fun collectible.

Chinese Paperweights were made in the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s as an attempt to duplicate 19th Century antique weights made in the United States and France.  Because they are almost 100 years old, they are very collectible and every collector should own a few of these as study pieces.  The history of the early Chinese paperweights is mostly anecdotal as no written records have been discovered.  The story is that an American dealer sent examples of paperweights made by the New England Glass Company (NEGC), Boston & Sandwich Glass Company (B&S), Millville makers, and French factories to a Chinese factory and requested copies be made.  The results are interesting and sometimes confused with the originals by inexperienced collectors.  The earliest pictures of these paperweights appeared in the book American Glass Paperweights by Francis Edgar Smith published in 1939.  Smith was aware that at least one of the paperweights shown in his book was Chinese.  Since Smith was not an expert collector, this indicates that there was some general knowledge that these were Chinese prior to 1939.

In the United States, the Tariff Act of 1930 required that every imported item must be conspicuously and indelibly marked in English with its country of origin.  As a result, many of these Chinese paperweights are scratch signed on the bottom "CHINA".  Many are also not signed, suggesting that either they were imported prior to 1930 or the importer ignored the requirement.  Most likely the earliest Chinese paperweights were made prior to 1930.

The Chinese makers often combined design features found in paperweights from different makers.  For example they copied the latticinio grounds used by New England Glass Company and used them with copies of Baccarat Pansy weights.  The original Baccarat pansy paperweights never had a latticinio ground.  They copied the pedestal rose from Millville and then used the pedestal bottom with other weights. It is fun to collect all the variations. 

In general, Chinese paperweights from the 1930s have a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass also has a soft almost oily feel. Frequently they have bubbles or debris in the glass.  And because of their age, many of these have minor scratches or other surface defects.  Chinese paperweights made in the 1970s and later usually have better quality glass and are free of debris. 

Large Size:  3 3/16" at the widest by 3" high by 1 3/8" thick.  The base is ground flat.  The lower edge has been ground flat to allow the peacock to rest upright.
Signature: Unsigned, but I guarantee this is a Chinese paperweight, made approximately 1960.  
Condition:  Excellent condition.  There are a few minor scratches on the base, but no other scratches or chips found on inspection.   

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Closeup
Back
Side
Profile
$35 postage paid in the US.    

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Chinese Millefiori Red Peacock Paperweight
1234 Chinese Cube Aquarium 1930s Paperweight with Sitting Buddha Figure.   circa 1930.  This is a Chinese invention.  It is intended to be placed  in an aquarium along with the rocks and plants.  This cube shaped paperweight features a painted sitting Buddha figure sitting on a mound of green grass or moss.  The cube has beveled edges.  Approximately cube shaped, but it is higher than it is deep or wide.  Novelty items like this started appearing in the US in the 1930s and some were sold at the 1939 World's Fair.  A fun collectible.

Chinese Paperweights were made in the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s as an attempt to duplicate 19th Century antique weights made in the United States and France.  Because they are almost 100 years old, they are very collectible and every collector should own a few of these as study pieces.  The history of the early Chinese paperweights is mostly anecdotal as no written records have been discovered.  The story is that an American dealer sent examples of paperweights made by the New England Glass Company (NEGC), Boston &Sandwich Glass Company (B&S), Millville makers, and French factories to a Chinese factory and requested copies be made.  The results are interesting and sometimes confused with the originals by inexperienced collectors.  The earliest pictures of these paperweights appeared in the book American Glass Paperweights by Francis Edgar Smith published in 1939.  Smith was aware that at least one of the paperweights shown in his book was Chinese.  Since Smith was not an expert collector, this indicates that there was some general knowledge that these were Chinese prior to 1939.

In the United States, the Tariff Act of 1930 required that every imported item must be conspicuously and indelibly marked in English with its country of origin.  As a result, many of these Chinese paperweights are scratch signed on the bottom "CHINA".  Many are also not signed, suggesting that either they were imported prior to 1930 or the importer ignored the requirement.  Most likely the earliest Chinese paperweights were made prior to 1930.

The Chinese makers often combined design features found in paperweights from different makers.  For example they copied the latticinio grounds used by New England Glass Company and used them with copies of Baccarat Pansy weights.  The original Baccarat pansy paperweights never had a latticinio ground.  They copied the pedestal rose from Millville and then used the pedestal bottom with other weights. It is fun to collect all the variations. 

In general, Chinese paperweights from the 1930s have a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass also has a soft almost oily feel. Frequently they have bubbles or debris in the glass.  And because of their age, many of these have minor scratches or other surface defects.  Chinese paperweights made in the 1970s and later usually have better quality glass and are free of debris. 

Size:  Just under 1 5/16" wide by 1 1/4" deep by just under 1 1/2" high.
Signature: Unsigned, but I guarantee this is a Chinese paperweight, made in the 1930s or later.  
Condition:  Very good condition.  There is one tiny fracture in a corner of a bevel (see red arrow in the pictures).  And also a few more minor scratches and nicks.  No other cracks or chips.  The glass has a slight green tinge and a soft feel. 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Side view
Base
Back view
Other side view with arrow showing fracture
SOLD.    

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Chinese Cube Aquarium 1930s Paperweight with Sitting Buddha Figure
1035 Old Chinese Two Color Fantasy Flower Paperweight with Leaves and Bud - Copy of Baccarat Antique.       Circa 1930.   This is a copy of a French Baccarat 12 petal fantasy flower paperweight with bud made in the classic period from 1845-1860.  The two color flower has a complex millefiori center cane, five leaves, and a stem.  The ground is clear.  The style dates from the 1920s or 1930s and is almost an antique. 

Note:  In this example the flower separated slightly from the stem during the stem during encasement.

Chinese Paperweights were made in the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s as an attempt to duplicate 19th Century antique weights made in the United States and France.  Because they are almost 100 years old, they are very collectible and every collector should own a few of these as study pieces.  The history of the early Chinese paperweights is mostly anecdotal as no written records have been discovered.  The story is that an American dealer sent examples of paperweights made by the New England Glass Company (NEGC), Boston & Sandwich Glass Company (B&S), Millville makers, and French factories to a Chinese factory and requested copies be made.  The results are interesting and sometimes confused with the originals by inexperienced collectors.  The earliest pictures of these paperweights appeared in the book American Glass Paperweights by Francis Edgar Smith published in 1939.  Smith was aware that at least one of the paperweights shown in his book was Chinese.  Since Smith was not an expert collector, this indicates that there was some general knowledge that these were Chinese prior to 1939.

In the United States, the Tariff Act of 1930 required that every imported item must be conspicuously and indelibly marked in English with its country of origin.  As a result, many of these Chinese paperweights are scratch signed on the bottom "CHINA".  Many are also not signed, suggesting that either they were imported prior to 1930 or the importer ignored the requirement.  Most likely the earliest Chinese paperweights were made prior to 1930.

The Chinese makers often combined design features found in paperweights from different makers.  For example they copied the latticinio grounds used by New England Glass Company and used them with copies of Baccarat Pansy weights.  The original Baccarat pansy paperweights never had a latticinio ground.  They copied the pedestal rose from Millville and then used the pedestal bottom with other weights.  It is fun to collect all the variations. 

In general, Chinese paperweights from this period have a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass also has a soft almost oily feel. Frequently they have bubbles or debris in the glass.  And because of their age, many of these have minor scratches or other surface defects.

Size:    2 11/16" diameter by 2" high.  The bottom is ground flat.
Signature:    Unsigned but I guarantee that this is from China and dates from about 1930. 
Condition:  Very good condition.  There are some minor scratches on the body and one 3/16" chip on one side.  The base has age appropriate wear.  As is typical to weights of this type, the glass has some debris and tiny bubbles.  As with Chinese paperweights from this period, this paperweight has a greenish tinge and a soft almost oily feel.   In this example the flower separated slightly from the stem during the stem during encasement. 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Close-up view
Profile view
Chip on side
Bottom view
$39 postage paid in the US. 

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
1002
Signed 1930s Chinese Closepack Millefiori Paperweight. c.1930. This is a copy of a French antique paperweight from 1845-1860.  Most likely it was based on a Clichy closepack design.  Clear ground.  A nice example with great color.

Please ignore the white areas, they are glare from the lights. 

Large Size:  2 7/8 diameter by just under 1 1/2"  high. 
Signature: Scratch signed "CHINA" on the bottom. 
Condition:  Very good condition with no cracks or chips.  Some very minor surface scratches.  As is typical of Chinese paperweights from this period, the glass has a slightly green tint.

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Profile view
Bottom view
$55 postage paid in the US. 

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
1588
Chinese Hexagon Aquarium Paperweight with Millefiori Canes.  circa 1930.  This is a Chinese invention.  It is intended to be placed  in an aquarium along with the rocks and plants.  This hexagon shaped paperweight features a close packed arrangement of millefiori canes on the base.  The edges are faceted and beveled.  Novelty items like this started appearing in the US in the 1930s and some were sold at the 1939 World's Fair, but I believe this one may be earlier.  A fun collectible.

Chinese Paperweights were made in the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s as an attempt to duplicate 19th Century antique weights made in the United States and France.  Because they are almost 100 years old, they are very collectible and every collector should own a few of these as study pieces.  The history of the early Chinese paperweights is mostly anecdotal as no written records have been discovered.  The story is that an American dealer sent examples of paperweights made by the New England Glass Company (NEGC), Boston &Sandwich Glass Company (B&S), Millville makers, and French factories to a Chinese factory and requested copies be made.  The results are interesting and sometimes confused with the originals by inexperienced collectors.  The earliest pictures of these paperweights appeared in the book American Glass Paperweights by Francis Edgar Smith published in 1939.  Smith was aware that at least one of the paperweights shown in his book was Chinese.  Since Smith was not an expert collector, this indicates that there was some general knowledge that these were Chinese prior to 1939.

In the United States, the Tariff Act of 1930 required that every imported item must be conspicuously and indelibly marked in English with its country of origin.  As a result, many of these Chinese paperweights are scratch signed on the bottom "CHINA".  Many are also not signed, suggesting that either they were imported prior to 1930 or the importer ignored the requirement.  Most likely the earliest Chinese paperweights were made prior to 1930.

The Chinese makers often combined design features found in paperweights from different makers.  For example they copied the latticinio grounds used by New England Glass Company and used them with copies of Baccarat Pansy weights.  The original Baccarat pansy paperweights never had a latticinio ground.  They copied the pedestal rose from Millville and then used the pedestal bottom with other weights. It is fun to collect all the variations. 

In general, Chinese paperweights from the 1930s have a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass also has a soft almost oily feel. Frequently they have bubbles or debris in the glass.  And because of their age, many of these have minor scratches or other surface defects.  Chinese paperweights made in the 1970s and later usually have better quality glass and are free of debris. 

Size:  1 5/8" at the widest by just under 1 5/8" high.  The base is ground flat.  The edges are beveled.
Signature: Unsigned, but I guarantee this is a Chinese paperweight, made approximately 1930.  
Condition:  Good condition.  There are a few minor scratches and two small chips.  The larger chip is in a top corner, the other is in the middle of a side facet.  The glass has a slight green tinge and a soft feel.   

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Closeup
Top view
Base
Side view
Larger chip
SOLD.   

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Chinese Hexagon Aquarium Paperweight with Millefiori Canes
2454 Chinese Concentric Millefiori Paperweight. c.1930. This is a copy of a Clichy paperweight from France made in the classic period from 1845-1860.  Clear ground.   A nice example although there is quite a bit of dirt in the glass. 

Size:  2 1/2" diameter by 1 1/3" high.  Not signed.  One small chip on the side plus some pitting in the glass. 

$35 postage paid in the US.

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
2496 Rare Chinese Copy of a NEGC Faceted Millefiori Nosegay Paperweight.  circa 1930.  This is an almost antique Chinese copy of a New England Glass Company (NEGC) Posy Paperweight made circa 1860.  It has the fancy NEGC quatrefoil faceting and setup.  The millefiori nosegay consists of three red, white, and yellow complex millefiori canes with four green leaves and a stem.  All this surrounded by two garlands of complex millefiori, one made up pink and blue flowers, the other made pink and white flowers with green centers.  This great setup is on top of a latticinio swirl ground.  There are twelve side facets (four large and eight smaller) plus the four part top facet with a notch between each.  This is a fantastic addition to any collection of antique paperweights.  In some ways, the execution of this example is better than the original NEGC, since NEGC examples usual have tipped or cracked canes and the posy is often smudged. 

Chinese Paperweights were made in the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s as an attempt to duplicate 19th Century antique weights made in the United States and France.  Because they are almost 100 years old, they are very collectible and every collector should own a few of these as study pieces.  The history of the early Chinese paperweights is mostly anecdotal as no written records have been discovered.  The story is that an American dealer sent examples of paperweights made by the New England Glass Company (NEGC), Boston & Sandwich Glass Company (B&S), Millville makers, and French factories to a Chinese factory and requested copies be made.  The results are interesting and sometimes confused with the originals by inexperienced collectors.  The earliest pictures of these paperweights appeared in the book American Glass Paperweights by Francis Edgar Smith published in 1939.  Smith was aware that at least one of the paperweights shown in his book was Chinese.  Since Smith was not an expert collector, this indicates that there was some general knowledge that these were Chinese prior to 1939.

In the United States, the Tariff Act of 1930 required that every imported item must be conspicuously and indelibly marked in English with its country of origin.  As a result, many of these Chinese paperweights are scratch signed on the bottom "CHINA".  Many are also not signed, suggesting that either they were imported prior to 1930 or the importer ignored the requirement.  Most likely the earliest Chinese paperweights were made prior to 1930.

The Chinese makers often combined design features found in paperweights from different makers.  For example they copied the latticinio grounds used by New England Glass Company and used them with copies of Baccarat Pansy weights.  The original Baccarat pansy paperweights never had a latticinio ground.  They copied the pedestal rose from Millville and then used the pedestal bottom with other weights.  It is fun to collect all the variations. 

In general, Chinese paperweights from this period have a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass also has a soft almost oily feel. Frequently they have bubbles or debris in the glass.  And because of their age, many of these have minor scratches or other surface defects.

Large Size:  Just under 3" diameter by 2" high. The bottom is ground concave.
Signature:  Unsigned but I guarantee that this is from China and dates from about 1930. 
Condition:  Very good condition.  There are some minor surface scratches and pinpricks and also some tiny pinpricks on the facets plus one 1/8" chip on a facet (see picture).  There is some debris or dirt in the glass as shown in the pictures.  As with all Chinese paperweights from this period, this paperweight has a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass has a soft almost oily feel. 

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
Bottom view
Picture of chip
$225 postage paid in the US. 

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
1447 Chinese Concentric Millefiori Paperweight. circa 1930. This is a copy of a Clichy paperweight from France made in the classic period from 1845-1860.  Clear ground. This type is not as common as the other patterned millefiori weights, nor is it as intricate.  The millefiori canes are simple canes.  Perhaps it was made later or perhaps by a different factory.

Small Size:  2 3/8 diameter by just under 1 7/8 high. 
Signature: Unsigned, but the attribution is guaranteed. 
Condition:  Good condition typical of Chinese paperweights from this period.  No cracks or chips, but it does have some scratches and surface abrasions mostly on the side of the paperweight.

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Another picture
$35 postage paid in the US. 

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
2238 Chinese Millefiori Perfume Bottle or Inkwell. c.1930.  Matching concentric millefiori pattern in the base and the stopper.  Each has four rings of millefiori around a central floral cane.  The base is footed.  I would call this bottle a scent or perfume bottle because of the long stopper that reaches almost to the bottom of the well.  A very desirable Chinese paperweight collectible.

This is a copy of a Whitefriars inkwell from about 1920.  You can see the Whitefriars version by clicking this link.  Note the similarity right down to the footed base. 

Size:  3 1/8" diameter by 5 1/2" high.  Excellent condition with only minor wear consistent with age.  As is typical of Chinese paperweights from this period, there is some debris in the glass and it has a greenish hue.

For comparable pricing, check lot 288 in Selman's Fall 2002 auction, in which a similar sized bottle brought $303 against an estimate of $275-$400.

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Picture showing stopper
Millefiori pattern in stopper
$150 postage paid in the US.     Price reduced (was $195)  

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger imageChinese Millefiori Perfume Bottle or Inkwell
1247 Rare Chinese Copy of a NEGC Faceted Millefiori Nosegay Paperweight (Excellent condition).  circa 1930.  This is an almost antique Chinese copy of a New England Glass Company (NEGC) Posy Paperweight made circa 1860.  It has the fancy NEGC quatrefoil faceting and setup.  The millefiori nosegay consists of three red, white, and yellow complex millefiori canes with four green leaves and a stem.  All this surrounded by two garlands of complex millefiori, one made up pink and blue flowers, the other made pink and white flowers with green centers.  This great setup is on top of a latticinio swirl ground.  There are twelve side facets (four large and eight smaller) plus the four part top facet with a notch between each.  This particular example is unusually large and is in exceptional condition.  A fantastic addition to any collection of antique paperweights.  In some ways, the execution of this example is better than the original NEGC, since NEGC examples usual have tipped or cracked canes and the posy is often smudged. 

Chinese Paperweights were made in the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s as an attempt to duplicate 19th Century antique weights made in the United States and France.  Because they are almost 100 years old, they are very collectible and every collector should own a few of these as study pieces.  The history of the early Chinese paperweights is mostly anecdotal as no written records have been discovered.  The story is that an American dealer sent examples of paperweights made by the New England Glass Company (NEGC), Boston & Sandwich Glass Company (B&S), Millville makers, and French factories to a Chinese factory and requested copies be made.  The results are interesting and sometimes confused with the originals by inexperienced collectors.  The earliest pictures of these paperweights appeared in the book American Glass Paperweights by Francis Edgar Smith published in 1939.  Smith was aware that at least one of the paperweights shown in his book was Chinese.  Since Smith was not an expert collector, this indicates that there was some general knowledge that these were Chinese prior to 1939.

In the United States, the Tariff Act of 1930 required that every imported item must be conspicuously and indelibly marked in English with its country of origin.  As a result, many of these Chinese paperweights are scratch signed on the bottom "CHINA".  Many are also not signed, suggesting that either they were imported prior to 1930 or the importer ignored the requirement.  Most likely the earliest Chinese paperweights were made prior to 1930.

The Chinese makers often combined design features found in paperweights from different makers.  For example they copied the latticinio grounds used by New England Glass Company and used them with copies of Baccarat Pansy weights.  The original Baccarat pansy paperweights never had a latticinio ground.  They copied the pedestal rose from Millville and then used the pedestal bottom with other weights.  It is fun to collect all the variations. 

In general, Chinese paperweights from this period have a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass also has a soft almost oily feel. Frequently they have bubbles or debris in the glass.  And because of their age, many of these have minor scratches or other surface defects.

Large Size:  Just under 3" diameter by 2 1/8" high. The bottom is ground concave.
Signature:  Unsigned but I guarantee that this is from China and dates from about 1930. 
Condition:  Excellent condition.  This is an unusually large example in exceptional condition.  There is some debris or dirt in the glass as shown in the pictures.  As with all Chinese paperweights from this period, this paperweight has a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass has a soft almost oily feel. 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
$295 postage paid in the US. 

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
1568 1930s Chinese Millefiori Brushholder Paperweight.  circa 1930-1940.  This is another uniquely Chinese invention.  This has also been described as a chopstick holder.  Novelty items like this started appearing in the US in the 1930s and some were sold at the 1939 World's Fair.  I call this shape the lotus flower shape.  It has a floral shape with applied petals around the outside. 

Size:  2 1/8" diameter by 1 1/3" high. 
Signature: Unsigned but I guarantee that this is an authentic 1930s Chinese paperweight. 
Condition:  Very good condition with no cracks or chips.  Some very minor surface scratches.  As is typical of Chinese paperweights from this period, the glass has a slightly green tint. 

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Another view
$39 postage paid in the US. 

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image1930s Chinese Millefiori Brushholder Paperweight

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