Gingham

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Object Name: 
Paperweight
Title: 
Gingham
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
95.3.62
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 5.9 cm, Diam (max): 8 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
about 1845-1855
Credit Line: 
Purchased with funds from the Houghton Endowment Fund
Web Description: 
In the mid-19th century, as paper became cheaper and mail services improved, writing letters became a popular pastime. Glassmakers produced thousands of brilliantly colored weights to hold down papers on writers' desks. The earliest datable paperweights were made in Italy in 1845. Soon afterwards, paperweights were manufactured in other parts of Europe and in the United States. This example, the famous "Gingham" weight was made at the Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint-Louis, France, c. 1845-55. The famous Saint Louis “Gingham” overlay, the only example of its kind known to exist, is a masterpiece from the classical period of French paperweight making. It was probably produced as a prestige piece, designed to demonstrate the skills of the craftsmen, rather than as a commercial work. This weight features a tall bouquet and a double overlay cut in a pattern resembling a gingham fabric. The double overlay was likely achieved by gathering the two overlay colors of glass together and then blowing a bubble. This was folded over the colorless core with the bouquet, enclosing the piece. When the object had been annealed, the opaque overlay colors were cut away with a small wheel to produce the gingham pattern latticework. The weight was then reheated and encased in a layer of colorless glass.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Lindon, Maurice, Former Collection
Kaplan, Leo, Source
1995-09-29
Category: 
Primary Description: 
Paperweight, "The Saint Louis Gingham." Colorless, transparent and opaque polychrome glass; lampworked, fused murrine; furnace-worked; double-cased overlay; cut, polished. Paperweight enclosing an upright bouquet of six gentian-type flowers in dark blue, brick red, ochre, and white, with yellow centers surrounded by six petals in shades of blue, salmon pink, and ochre within a wreath of pointed leaves. The flowers were encased, and then covered with blue and white overlays, which were cut in a gingham pattern. The base is cut with a star; unsigned.
Venue(s)
Corning Museum of Glass 2006-11-16 through 2007-03-18
West Bridge Exhibit
Escort Guide to the Galleries (2013) illustrated, p. 35, top; BIB# 134015
Escort Guide to the Galleries [V4/2013] (2013) illustrated, p. 35, top; BIB# 134856
Glass: A Short History (Smithsonian Books edition) (2012) illustrated, p. 86; BIB# 130360
Glass: A Short History (The British Museum edition) (2012) illustrated, p. 86; BIB# 135965
Corning Museum of Glass (2009-01) illustrated, p. 7; BIB# 109342
The Top Twelve Antique Paperweights (2005) illustrated, pp. 75-76; p. 75, fig. 8;
Recent Important Acquisitions, 38 (1996) illustrated, p. 238, #21;
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 1995 (1996) illustrated, cover, p. 1;
Paperweights of the 19th and 20th Centuries (1989) p. 28; Back Cover; BIB# 33486
The Art of the Paperweight: Saint Louis (1981) Front Cover; BIB# 30349
Flower Pictures in Glass (1979-12) illustrated, p. 222;
Paperweights: A Lesson in Collecting Economics (1979-11) illustrated, p. 12B; BIB# AI62046
We Were Missed illustrated, p. 3; BIB# 38464