Collectible Paperweights - Running out of Time!
They are popular for many things including their brightly coloured designs, aesthetically done motifs, a myriad zany patterns or even subtly etched crystal. While a hobby for some and almost a necessity for others, the sheer charm of collectible paperweights is unmatched. Although, almost obsolete or redundant in form today, paperweights played an important role in the lives of people, in history. In fact, the amount of detailing on some pieces was so complex that it is not surprising that collectible paperweights are so highly coveted.
Though the exact date of the introduction of these unique pieces of art remains unknown, records show that in the early 19th century, the upper and middle classes of Victorian Europe used paperweights as a fashionable accessory, mainly while writing letters. Inspired by the ancient glass making methods of lamp-work and millefori, the first documented appearance of paperweights was at the 1848 Exhibition of Austrian Industry held in Vienna.
Soon the production and collection of paperweights turned into a multi-million dollar industry. Today you can learn a lot about collectible paperweights as there are many avenues that showcase them. Major museums around the world house rare and classic pieces, while numerous centres have been created, which promote artistes who practise this forgotten art form. Apart from this, many galleries often organise exhibitions of collectible paperweights, and visiting these will help you understand the nuances of this form of art.
Joining with hobby groups is another great way to get your basics down, as you meet like-minded people with whom you can exchange ideas, talk about the right places to get good deals and much more.
Like all other forms of art, collectible paperweights also come in different forms, so you could either decide to collect only one category, or collect an eclectic mix of paperweights. Some of the more popular forms of collectible paperweights are, stained, embossed, spiral exteriors or bubbles inside and shapes as varied as oval, cubes, round or star.
A parameter that will help you valuate a collectible paperweight is its maker. Now this skill is sharpened mostly by experience, but here are a few tips. A smooth and conclave bottom means that it is of Scottish make; the flat and shiny ones are from Italy while those from China have dull and rough surfaces. With so many fake pieces flooding the markets, it's important to select the right piece as your collector's item. Remember that workmanship, uniqueness and subtlety of design determine value, while dates, name of the manufacturer; signs of damage or uneven elements in design are other important pointers that need to be checked. Enough research and a keen eye for detail are definite must haves, so you can select only genuine collectible paperweights.