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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
 
 
1552 Chinese Brush Holder Paperweight with Colorful Bird on Engraved Flower.  circa 1940 or later.  This is a uniquely Chinese invention.  The form is intended to be a brush rest or chopstick holder with two notches on the top.  This version has a flower with leaves and stem engraved on the base and the brightly colored bird is standing upright on the flower.  An unusual combination of lampwork and engraving.  The paperweight is nicely beveled.  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. 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 later usually have better quality glass and are free of debris.  This paperweight probably dates from the 1940s or later. 

Size:  Just over 2 1/2 long by just under 1 3/8" deep by just over 1 1/8" high.  There is a flower with leaves and stem engraved on the base.  The form is nicely beveled.  
Signature: Unsigned but I guarantee this to be of Chinese origin from the 1940s or later.    
Condition:  Very good condition.  This paperweight has some light scratches and a few tiny pinpricks, but no significant damage.

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

Large picture
Other side
Front view
Base with engraving
Top view
$69 postage paid in the US.  

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Chinese Brush Holder Paperweight with Colorful Bird on Engraved Flower
1772 Rare Chinese Scramble Paperweight with "MADE IN CHINA" Signature Canes.  circa 1930.  A humorous addition from China.  Since this style was intended to be a copy of a French scramble or end of day weight from 1845-1860 (probably St. Louis or Clichy), it leaves you wondering why they chose to add the "MADE IN CHINA" canes at the bottom.  Perhaps it was a response to the US customs requirement that goods be marked with the country of origin in English starting about 1930.  Some importers complied by scratch signing the word CHINA on the bottom.  In any event, this is a rare and welcome addition to any collection of Chinese paperweights.  As with most Chinese paperweights, this paperweight has a light weight glass mixture that is high in soda and has a greenish tinge. The glass has a soft oily feel and there are some light scratches and small nicks.  This example is especially colorful.

Special thanks to another collector who pointed out that the words are actually word canes rather than painted plaques.  The lettering goes all the way through the white background from top to bottom.  You can see the letters in reverse from the bottom.  This is in contrast to a painted plaque where the letters would be visible on only the top surface.

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. 

Small Size:   Just over 2 diameter by 1 5/16"  high.  The base is fire finished flat. 
Signature:  Signed "MADE IN CHINA" on three white signature canes in the design. 
Condition:  Good condition typical of Chinese paperweights from this period.  Some light scratches and small nicks.  No cracks.  The glass has a soft oily feel.  There are bubbles and debris in the glass.

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Closeup
Profile
Base
Side view
SOLD

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Rare Chinese Scramble Paperweight with "MADE IN CHINA" Signature Canes
3525 Magnum Chinese Millefiori Scramble Paperweight with Tomato Red Ground.  circa 1960 - 1990.  This paperweight is a large scramble millefiori paperweight with an unusual opaque tomato red ground.  It is intended to replicate antique American and French millefiori scramble paperweights.  There are millefiori slices and twists in the design.  A fun collectible.

Note:  The condition is rated fair because of light scratches and abrasions on the surface.  In spite of this, it displays well.  Please review the pictures. 

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. 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 later usually have better quality glass and are free of debris.  This paperweight probably dates from the 1960s or later. 

Very Large Size:  Just under 3 1/4 diameter by 2 9/16" high.  The base is ground flat with a matte finish.  As is typical of modern Chinese paperweights, the base is not a perfect circle.   
Signature: Unsigned but I guarantee this to be of Chinese origin from the 1960s or later.    
Condition:  Fair condition.  This paperweight has light scratches and abrasions on the surface, but no chips or cracks.  It displays well.  Please review the pictures.

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

Large picture
Closeup
Base
Profile
Side view
SOLD.    

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Magnum Chinese Millefiori Scramble Paperweight with Tomato Red Ground
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
1241
Chinese Aquarium Type Brush Holder Paperweight with Wing On Label.  circa 1940 or later.  This is a uniquely Chinese invention.  The form is intended to be a brush rest or brush holder or even a chopstick holder.  This version has two fish swimming around orange foliage, a motif mimicking a design used in aquarium displays.  This example, although it has some damage, is interesting because of the partial red paper label, which reads "THE WING ON CO., (SHANGHAI?) MADE IN CHINA".  A large building is also depicted on the label.  The label identifies the seller (or distributor), not the manufacturer.  The Wing On Co. was one of the four largest department stores in Shanghai from 1918 until it was nationalized in 1966.  The company started out as the Wing On fruit store in Australia in 1897.  A fun collectible.

Note:  This paperweight has one large chip (7/16") on a corner of the base plus two other tiny chips on the base. 

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. 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 later usually have better quality glass and are free of debris.  This paperweight probably dates from the 1940s or later. 

Size:  Just over 2 7/8 long by just under 1 3/16" deep by just over 1 1/16" high.
Signature: Signed with a partial red label "THE WING ON CO., (SHANGHAI?)  MADE IN CHINA".   
Condition:  Good condition.  This paperweight has one large chip (7/16") on a corner of the base plus two other tiny chips on the base.  No other damage found on inspection.

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

Large picture of the paperweight
Other side
Chip on base
Base with label
Profile
Another view
SOLD

Click on the picture to see a larger image.

Click on the picture to see a larger image
Chinese Aquarium Type Brush Holder Paperweight with Wing On Label
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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Revised 5/8/2020     IE