10 of the finest paperweights

With so much variety, paperweights are fun to collect - here's our pick of the best antique, vintage and modern examples

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It’s hard to say when paperweights came into being: probably the first person whose papers blew away in the breeze grabbed the nearest stone. But the earliest decorative examples were made in Venice by glassmaker Pietro Bigaglia, dated around 1843. Oddly, Venetian scholars were not impressed and the trend for these weighty desk companions did not catch on. It was a different story in France however. Three glass factories, Clichy, Baccarat and Saint-Louis, picked up on the idea and produced near to 25,000 weights between 1845 and 1860.

Glass paperweights are the most collectable, but stone, metal and ceramic versions are equally eye-catching. And with winter winds on the way, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t lose the newspaper…

1

Saint-Louis faceted mushroom paperweight, c1850

1

£4,000, Fileman Antiques

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01903 813229; filemanantiques.co.uk

2

Silver elephant paperweight, c1906

2

£650, Steppes Hill Farm Antiques

10795 470699; steppeshillfarmantiques.com

3

Green glass paperweight, c1880

3

£205, Jonathan Swire

01253 721576; jonathanswire.co.uk

4

Silver chess piece paperweight, c1920

4

£1,795, AC Silver

0191 240 2645; acsilver.co.uk

5

Strathearn glass paperweight, c1970

5

£95, Lorfords

01666 505111; lorfordsantiques.com

6

‘Occhi’ paperweight by Fornasetti

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£80, Amara

0800 587 7645; amara.com

7

‘Autumn Squirrel’ paperweight

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£129, Royal Crown Derby

01332 712800; royalcrownderby.co.uk

8

‘Dandelion Head’ paperweight by Hafod Grange

8

£30, National Trust Shop

0300 123 2025; nationaltrust.org.uk

9

‘Owlet’ paperweight by Iittala

9

£192, Intu

0333 344 3179; intu.co.uk

10

‘Coral’ paperweight

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£16.90, India Jane

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020 8799 7166; indiajane.co.uk