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Planning Retirement Online

Family Treasures - Edition 17
                                       May 2005

Miller's Price Guide 

Purchase Miller's Price Guide 2004/2005

Family Treasures 17

Jill Churchill, who writes on antiques and collectables for YOURS magazine, continues her series .    





What goes around comes around. Paperweights, so unfashionable in, say, the 1980s, when computers were inching onto our desk-space, now come into their own again. So it’s worth having a rummage in cupboards and drawers if you know there’s one lurking there.





The best of these little glass works of art come from France. In all of them, coloured glass “canes” are enclosed to make a picture or a pattern within a clear dome. The rarest will be about 150 years old, marking the golden age of three rival firms: Baccarat, Clichy and St Louis. A fairly simple Baccarat, 2 inches high, can be worth about ?1,000. It will have the letter B, and sometimes a star, cut into the base.



Fruity numbers

More complex or rare ones can fetch as much as ?5,000. Another thousand-pounder, this time by St. Louis contained cutely modelled fruit on what’s called a “muslin” ground - swirled white glass canes to you and me. This had a slightly higher dome and an SL monogram. A rare St. Louis might be ?6,000.

A modest multi-colour job, by Clichy, had a concave base and was worth ?300. Look for the letter C or perhaps Clichy incised underneath. If you have one with a swirled pattern (collectors are that fussy) it could fetch ?1,000, maybe more if in “typical” shades of pink and green.

Not in the fifty-plus age group

What about a weight bought new less than half a century ago? Look for a PY or the initial H set somewhere in the glass canes. You might have a very desirable piece by Paul Ysart, who started designing in Scotland in 1932. Ysarts are becoming a bit of a cult with their brightly striped and boldly flowered designs. A 1950s example can be worth ?300 and rising.

And, as always, beware of imitations. I’d be wary of any paperweight that looks tall in profile and narrow towards the base, rather than being a true dome. If you can, find a guaranteed-genuine example in a sale room and lift it up. It should be heavy, compared to anything repro. That’s what you might call weighing up your chances.


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Family Treasures - 17

For subsequent editions - see the laterlife interest index



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