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Identifying Twentieth Century Perthshire Paperweights

by Mary Haberstroh

Perthshire created some of the most exquisite, high quality paperweights of the twentieth century. Perthshire began in 1968 by Stuart Drysdale in Crieff, Scotland. The company's first workers came from Vasart Glass and Strathearn Glass in Scotland and included John Deacons, who would later open his own company, and Peter McDougall, who made beautiful millefiori weights with the smallest of canes in his designs. Jack Allan, who worked under Salvador Ysart, also joined Perthshire and became its foremost glass maker. Perthshire also produced weights in the lampwork style, creative fruit weights as well as flower weights. Since 1972, Perthshire used silhouette canes in the Baccarat style. Most pre-1979 Perthshire weights have a "P" cane to designate the company and the year it was made. For example, a paperweight might be signed P1970. Scrambled weights were also made, imitating the nineteenth century Baccarat and Clichy paperweights.

A 2001 special commemorative Perthshire paperweight.
Photo courtesy of Allan's Paperweights.

McDougall's paperweights at Perthshire were very detailed and his trademark small star canes in pastel colors are popular among collectors. His small canes were very detailed, showing every star and flower inside the cane. Some of the weights also have fluted edges, making them quite decorative. He would also combine pastel colored canes with ribbons twisted throughout the weight design, achieving a stunning effect. Some of the paperweights had a cobalt blue background, possibly in the style of Bristol, England, glass weights.

Perthshire closed their factory in 2002 but many of their paperweights are readily available through modern paperweight collector sites and auction sites like eBay.

Some paperweight descriptions:

A paperweight with six facets has millefiori canes tightly packed in pastel shades of green, yellow, pink, and blue with small twist canes places at regular intervals in several rows of canes.

Another paperweight has a center design of red, yellow, and blue canes creating a bouquet on top of a white latticinio base. The canes of this paperweight start at the very edge of the paperweight, are set in a total of four rows, with larger canes forming six four-flower bouquets positioned in front of the inner row. The colors of the bouquet canes are: blue, green, and yellow. Between each of these bouquets is a pink and white swirled ribbon.

A 1985 paperweight has two lampwork pansies and two circles of canes in blue, pink, and light green. The design is laid against a blue background and there is a punty at the top of the weight.

A 1972 paperweight has a white center cane with blue stars and white stars alternating in three more circles then a row of pink stars in the last circle. The background is blue.

A 1987 limited edition weight made for the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum gift shop has an emerald green background with a millefiori cane of a tree in the center and is surrounded by white and red canes, green and white star canes, and red and white star canes with ribbons throughout the weight.

A 1983 paperweight has tightly packed canes in yellow, yellow and red, blue, green and white. A glass multicolored ribbon borders the perimeter of the base. A date, P1983 appears on a cane to one side of the paperweight base.

A 1986 paperweight has tightly packed multicolored canes. The canes contains designs of arrows, stars, and flowers.

A 1977 paperweight has a faceted blue overlay with an encased double overlay of pink and white with a blue flower and green leaves in the center.

A 1978 paperweight has a faceted double overlay of red and white with a dragonfly in lampwork glass hovering over a small bouquet of flowers in the center. The bouquet is in blue and white, yellow, and pink. There is a white honeycomb cane center with eight green leaves. Signed P/P 1978 and is one of a kind.

A paperweight dated 1969 bears a crown motif with red, white and blue ribbons twisted with alternating white latticinio ribbons. Signed P1969.

A 1980 paperweight has a lampwork fruit design of a pear, orange, lemon, and cherries against a double swirl white latticinio background.

A 1975 paperweight contains scrambled multicolored millefiori canes. Signed P1975.

A 1982 paperweight has a wide top punty, with six facets on the side. There is a cane with the letter P in the center of the paperweight. Amber and white canes form an eight-point star. There are two concentric circles, the first is of green canes, the second one is of blue and white canes.

A 1970 paperweight has an amethyst overlay with a wide top punty, and five round side punties. There is a compound center cane with five spaced millefiori canes. This weight is signed P1970.

A 1971 paperweight has a crown motif against an amethyst background. There is a circle of green and white canes on the base perimeter of the weight.

A few price values of Perthshire paperweights:

A weight with fluted edges has tightly packed concentric circles in pink and white, light blue and white, white and dark blue with a “P” cane in the center of the design. Price value: $75.00

A crown paperweight dated 1969 has red and blue twisted ribbons and opaque white twisted ribbons with a white cane at the top has a price value of: $500.00.

A tightly packed millefiori cane weight with star canes in lime green and white, yellow and white, pink and white, with a red P cane in the center of the design has a price value of: $90.00.

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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