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Identifying Clichy Paperweights

by Mary Haberstroh

Clichy paperweights were manufactured during the same time period Baccarat made their paperweights. Clichy was in operation from 1837 to 1885 at Clichy-la-Garenne, France, before it finally merged with Cristaillerie de Sevre. During the eleventh and twelfth centuries, this suburb was where the kings resided. Clichy became the second factory in France to manufacture glass paperweights. Millefiori paperweights were made by Clichy between 1846 and 1857 at affordable prices which kept the company afloat during the economic depression in France.

Clichy paperweights differed from other paperweights made during the time in several respects. Clichy used boracic glass instead of lead crystal, making a substantially lighter weight paperweight. The canes and colors used were generally brighter than Baccarat, combining two dark colors together in one cane. The trademark cane is known as a rose shaped cane, frequently used in many paperweights. Clichy also utilized narrow cane twists threaded through one another, solid color star canes with a dot of a different color in the center, and mold shaped canes where the center part was usually raised and in the color yellow. The majority of millefiori canes made by Clichy were opaque instead of clear. Lacy backgrounds were also utilized, commonly referred to as the latticinio design. Clichy paperweights were rarely dated but they were signed with the letter C and even incorporated the design of C in several paperweights. The signature of the letter C usually appeared in the color of black, green or red in the center of a cane.

Overlay paperweights were also made by Clichy and are of the double overlay variety. The opaque glass formed the outside overlay. Colors used in this process were light or dark blue, rose pink, or green. The center canes were arranged in a mushroom style raised from the pedestal-like stem. The trademark Clichy rose also appeared in these overlay paperweights.

A number of Clichy paperweights and their designs are described below:

One paperweight has four concentric circles: a circle of roses near the perimeter of the paperweight around a central design of smaller floral canes in three circles. These are set on a white latticinio background.

A Clichy paperweight has a flower in the center with lavender canes making up the flower petals, and green lampwork glass forming the leaves. The background is turquoise blue.

Another paperweight also having a flower in the center, a purple and yellow pansy, is set against a double white latticinio background.

A large Clichy paperweight has a spray of millefiori flowers and green lampwork leaves in the foreground against a clear background. Three of the flowers are white with green centers, two are white with blue centers, and one is pale pink with a green center. The largest cane is near the stem, colored rose pink with a yellow and white center.

Another paperweight with a floral cluster bouquet combined millefiori canes with lampwork glass. A pansy, blue flowers, white flowers, and a Clichy pink flower are combined together with a pink ribbon around the stems.

A faceted Clichy paperweight has the trademark rose in the center and two concentric circles of canes around it. The outer circle has five red canes alternating with ten white canes. The inner circle is made up of light green canes.

Another paperweight containing six facets has two concentric circles of canes. The inner circle is made of pink and green rose canes. The outer circle has bright green designs interspersed between five purple designs with green centers.

One unusual Clichy paperweight has a pheasant design of lampwork glass in the center of the paperweight. A white background and two garlands of pink canes, and green canes, complement the pheasant.

A paperweight has two interlaced loops of millefiori canes, one green, the other red and white. The first circle of canes in the center is white and purple, surrounded by pink rose canes, then a circle of blue flowers. The reverse side of the paperweight shows white filigree canes running across the weight.

One paperweight has five punties (a punty is an indentation in the glass made by a metal rod where the glass is held while it it pliable to shape) with a blue background and a figure of a man in cameo style in the center of the paperweight. The man is surrounded by small pink floral canes with bigger green canes located at regular intervals.

Price values for nineteenth century Clichy paperweights range from eight hundred dollars into several thousand dollars. A few price values are listed below:

A paperweight, 2 1/2" in size, has pink flowers, green flower in outer ring, with an inner circle of purple and green canes with a pink and green rose in the center of the design: $1,000.

A purple and white flower in the center, surrounded by blue floral canes, a second circle surrounding the first circle, has pink canes. The third circle is spaced from the second circle showing latticinio background in white. Third circle has green, and purple canes. $2,500.

A scrambled millefiori paperweight, approximately 3" in size, with roses and glass ribbons, $1,600.

About the Author

Mary Haberstroh lives in Tucson, Arizona and she is a collector of millefiori paperweights. She can be reached at: daryavaush@yahoo.com

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