paperweights: Harry Carraluzzo

Harry Carraluzzo (b. 1923) worked with glass from the age of 15, beginning in Vineland, NJ, then the epicenter of the glass industry in America. After serving in WW2, he returned to glass work in Wheaton, where he continued in the glass business for another 20 years. He was once shown a footed rose made in Millville many years earlier by Ralph Barber and told that no one since Ralph Barber had be able to make such nice crimp rose weights. The challenge was on, and after much trial and error, he was successful. Harry didn’t sign his weights but made a signature X or cloverleaf at the pontil break. (Be careful not to confuse with Larsen.) Mr. Carraluzzo was featured in Jean Melvin’s essential work, American Glass Paperweights and Their Makers. Ms. Melvin had a hard time tracking him down to his new place of employment in Toledo, another glass hub. This is not in her book, but I have correspondence from an old-time collector from the 1960s stating that Carraluzzo was fired from Wheaton because he was making paperweights using their equipment and glass. He made just a few weights after leaving Wheaton. His best work is quite good and fills the historical niche between the early crimp flower weights of Ralph Barber and later-made crimp flowers.

PW2821. Millville 15-petal Orange Rose Museum Piece. Well-made footed crimp rose. It is unsigned but the maker is Harry Carraluzzo (b. 1923). Nicely made South Jersey crimp rose. Condition is excellent, light shelfwear. Snapped pontil in the style employed by Mr. Carraluzzo. Ball is 3 inches in diameter; foot is 2 13/16 inches in diameter; 3 inches tall; one pound and six ounces. $600
Provenance: Made late 1965 at J. C. Wheaton factory. Sold by dealer Herbert Bobbitt in 1967 to Mr. William Blanning of Washington, D. C. Selling price was $125, which inflation renders as $955 in today’s money. I had spoken with Mr. Blanning but never met him.
Sold at auction after Mr. Blanning’s death [Weschler’s in D.C. 2013].
I bought it at the auction along with some other great weights, enough that they also gave me all of Mr. Blanning’s collection notes, which is where I got the information about Harry leaving Wheaton.

PW2904. Millville 15-petal Orange Rose Magnum Museum Piece. Well-made, large footed crimp rose. It is unsigned but the maker is Harry Carraluzzo (b. 1923). Nicely made South Jersey crimp rose. Condition is excellent, light shelfwear. Snapped pontil in the style employed by Mr. Carraluzzo. Had sticker when I got it. Ball is 3 3/8 inches diameter; foot is 3 inches in diameter; 3 11/16 inches tall; two pounds and one ounce. $550