paperweights: Val St. Lambert, antique

Val St. Lambert, Belgium is not as well-known as its French counterparts, but they made many beautiful weights in designs not previously attempted. Good quality antique Val St. Lambert weights are difficult to find. Their weights were normally larger than others and more half-domed shaped, making the design fill the entire space of the weight with bright colors, from any perspective in the room.

Dunlop in The Dictionary of Glass Paperweights, knows of weights made at Val St. Lambert as early as circa 1850. He references several periods of glass paperweight production, most of which was off the books, meaning the weights were made by glass workers on their lunch hour or after hours as a way to make some extra money and as enjoyment. They knew of the work being done in France and not doubt wanted to try out their skills on these exciting innovations. Concerning the weights I have listed here, Dunlop writes: “The weights most associated with this maker are large weights, with a flat base, usually with the design set on a colored ground, having a twisted ribbon torsade at the edge. We believe these were made in the early 1900s. These are known in relatively small numbers, indicating they were ‘lunchbox’ or ‘off-hand’ weights. Very few duplicates are known.”

I will add here that as a very close observer of the paperweight market over more than a decade, I believe these to be rare, especially the great ones like these.

ABOVE: PW3153. Val St. Lambert, Belgium Magnum Museum Piece, circa 1890- 1900. Five cross canes within a spectacular, colorful pattern, on dreamy yellow ground. It has two torsades: one is white with spiraling filigree and sits between the center cane and the outer canes and the other is multi-colored and circles the edge of the base. Flat base with a ground and polished concave pontil. Excellent condition. 3 5/8 inches in diameter; 2 inches tall; one pound and thirteen ounces. SOLD