Old dates in modern weightsBy

Old dates in modern weights

During the 1970s, Venetian glass workers made many custom items for American wholesalers of antique reproductions. Many pieces of 19th century glassware were copied including paperweights. A number of new paperweight styles were made with encased "dates" in imitation of famous antique paperweight makers like St. Louis and Baccarat. While not a problem for paperweight specialists, the new dated weights are frequently sold for old by general line dealers and auction houses through lack of knowledge. Telling the older dated weights from the new copies is relatively easy if you know what to look for.

Year dates in the modern Italian weights almost always appear on a single cane. That is to say that the four numbers composing the year all appear on the surface of one relatively large cane. The new single "dated" cane is generally the same diameter and thickness as the decorative canes within the same weight.

Virtually all year dates on canes in antique paperweights are made with only one number per cane. In other words, year dates in old weights are generally made up of four canes with one number per cane. The individual canes used for date years in old weights are generally much smaller than the decorative canes within the same weight.

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Fig. 1 (New) This modern millefiori paperweight is "dated" in large numerals 1852. It was actually made in the 1970s.

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Fig. 2 (Old) Original Baccarat weight with date numbers made from individual canes. About twice times actual size.

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Fig. 3 (New) New date years generally appear on a single cane about the same size as all the other canes in the paperweight.

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Fig. 4 (Old) Old date years generally appear with one number on one cane. Old date canes are usually much smaller than the other canes in the paperweight.

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Fig. 5 (Old) Genuine old year date on separate canes. Compare small size of date canes to decorative goat cane on left.