The Glass Gallery / L.H. Selman LTD just put the whole of Larry H. Selman’s seminal book, “The Art of The Paperweight” online. All pages and pictures from this book are now totally free and available through the new ebooks section of our website. In fact, we recently began to digitize our entire library of paperweight related books. For the first time ever, this encyclopedic collection of valuable writings will be made available to the entire paperweight community and the general public. This includes books by Rick Ayotte, Art Elder, Larry Selman, and many others. Thousands of pages in all. We invite you to enjoy and share these new ebooks; and we welcome your careful review of “The Art of The Paperweight” and other books, as we release them over the coming months.
For you especially, the devout paperweight aficionado, please know that although we were careful in our scanning and book conversions, the process of pushing old printed pages for best online reading is not perfect. We know there may be mistakes, feel free to let us know what you find so we can make this an even better resource. We will review all your posted comments, including anything you care to let us know about errors and corrections.
“I admire glass paperweights primarily because they are the culmination of some 2,000 years of glassmaking artistry and experimentation. When one looks at paperweights in terms of the history of glassmaking, one realizes that there is little that makes them unique. The workmanship in a millefiori paperweight, for example, is no better than that perfected for the production of inlay plaques in ancient Alexandria in the first century B.C. During the Renaissance, Italian glassmakers also created millefiori canes that are nearly as complex as those made in midnineteenth century France, and they even encased them in decorative solid globes. The lampworked flowers found in paperweights are no more elaborate or delicate than the minute human figures created in Nevers, France, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There is, then, nothing new about paperweights.
Nevertheless, they are unique and important. The dome of colorless crystal provides the magic. One cannot easily see how the glassmaker formed and enclosed the tiny figures in the glass, or even even comprehend how small they really are because the solid dome magnifies everything within and forms a barrier to our touch. Cut facets, which appear to increase the number and reduce the size of the decorations, also add to the mystery. Visitors to our Museum stand in front of our paperweight display and ask, how were they made?”
from the Forward to “The Art of The Paperweight” by L.H. Selman
excerpted and reposted with the permission of The Glass Gallery / LH Selman LTD
Forward by Dwight P. Lanmon, Director of The Corning Museum of Glass