Glass paperweights have been a popular collectable for well over 200 years.
A particular style is the millefiori in which coloured glass rods are set into clear molten glass to form patterns of flowers, fruit or abstract shapes. This style was developed in the 18th century by Venetian glass makers and the art peaked around the 1850s.
Many paperweights are round but other shapes such as mushroom and tiered are also popular.
Older glass paperweights may be heavier than later items as the glass as the glass contained a percentage of lead oxide.
The weights from the French factories of Baccarat (founded in 1764), St Louis (founded in 1767) and Clichy (founded in 1837) are highly prized. Similar styles were made by early in the 19th century by American companies.
In choosing a paperweight, always avoid chipped and cracked weights and choose those where the design is centred within the glass.