Glossary of Paperweight Identification Terms

Drawn from and adapted under fair use copyright law-link from
Paperweights for Collectors, Lawrence H. Selman and Linda Pope-Selman, 1975,
Paperweight Press, P.O.Box 400, Santa Cruz CA 95060
The Paperweight Connection Welcome to the L. H. Selman Ltd. Online Paperweight Gallery
with additional items as noted in each item.
GGNJ - Glass Gaffers of New Jersey
MF - my interpretation or explanation

Revised 2002-11-15, 2003-08-15

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Glossary Center

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A
AIR RING
an elongated air inclusion encircling a weight near the base, usually above and below a torsade.
ARROW CANE (or CROWSFOOT)
a millefiori section made from rods containing a three-pronged arrow motif.
AVENTURINE
glass with a sparkling appearance caused by the addition of metallic crystals to the melt,
B
BASAL RIM
the ring around the bottom of a concave base where the paperweight comes into contact with the supporting surface.
BASE
the bottom of a paperweight.
BASKET
(a) an outer row of millefiori canes, pulled together underneath the motif to form a staved enclosure for the decorative element(s); (b) a latticino ground pulled down in the center (as in St. Louis and American fruit weights); (c) a latticino ground with a "handle" of twisted filigree extending above the motif,
BOUQUET
a floral design comprised of more than one flower.
BOUQUET DE MARIAGE
a mushroom-motif in which the tuft of the mushroom is composed of white stardust canes.
C
CANDY
adjective commonly used to denote scrambled millefiori weights.
CAMEO INCRUSTATION
another term for any type of sulphide object.
CANE (or FLORET)
The small piece of a molded or bundled glass rod that has been pulled out so that an intricate pattern appears in cross-section, (Refer to Chapter I for more detailed description of the cane-making process.)
CARPET GROUND
an overall pattern of identical millefiori canes used as a backdrop for a pattern of other canes or a representational element.
CHEQUER WEIGHT
a paperweight in which the millefiori canes are separated by short lengths of latticino twists in a checkerboard fashion.
CINQUEFOIL
a garland having five loops.
CIRCLETS
small circles of millefiori canes.
CLEAR GROUND)
term used for a weight in which the motif rests on clear glass.
CLOSE CONCENTRIC MILLEFIORI
a common spacing scheme in millefiori weights: tightly packed concentric circles of canes around a central floret.
CLOSE MILLEFIORI
general name for any spacing scheme in millefiori weights which features a tightly packed random arrangement of millefiori canes.
CLOSE PACKED MILLEFIORI
same as close millefiori.
COLOR GROUND
term used when transparent or opaque colored glass has been used as the background for a paperweight motif.
COGWHEEL
millefiori cane which has been molded with a serrated edge. This type of cane edge is quite common on silhouette canes.
CONCENTRIC
general name for any spacing scheme in millefiori weights which features concentric circles of canes placed around a central cane or cluster of canes. Concentric weights ate either "open" (circles spaced relatively far apart) or "close" (circles close together), or "spaced" (millefiori canes set equal distances apart in vaguely defined concentric circles).
CROWN
glass above the motif, also called the "dome."
CROWN WEIGHT
a type of paperweight in which alternately colored and lacy white twisted bands radiate from a central floret near the top of the dome, flow down the sides of the weight, and converge again near the base.
CROWSFOOT
See ARROW.
CRYSTALLO-CERAMIE
The patented name and process developed by Apsley Pellatt. See SULPHIDE.
CUSHION
ground on which the decorative element(s) of a paperweight rests. It is usually convex in appearance when viewed through the top or sides of the weight.
CUTTING
grinding the surface of a paperweight for ornament.
D
DEVIL'S FIRE
interiorMantle ornament showing devil's fire color in sharp spikes, more or less swirled [GGNJ] color bits on the bottom of the clear glass are pierced with a long thin tool, carrying the color up into the clear in a slender spike - with air in the spike originally - it may be worked out. [MF]
DIAMOND CUTTING
a many-faceted cutting pattern used to decorate the outside of a weight: four or five-sided small "windows" next to one another may cover an entire weight.
DOME
see CROWN.
DOORSTOP
a very large paperweight. These were manufactured primarily by English bottle-makers and mid-western American glass houses.
DOUBLE OVERLAY
See OVERLAY.
E
EDELWEISS CANE
a white millefiori cane of star shape surrounding a core of bundled yellow rods - resembling the Swiss national flower.
ENCASED OVERLAY
see OVERLAY.
END OF DAY
see SCRAMBLED.
F
FACET
the level or concave surface formed when the side or top of a paperweight is shaped with a flat or rounded grinding wheel.
FILIGREE.
see LACE.
FLASH
a thin coating of transparent glass applied to the base of a paperweight, or over the entire weight in the case of certain overlays.
FLORET
see CANE.
FLOWER WEIGHT
a paperweight in which a single flower is the central motif. Rose
FLUTING
term for a pattern of deep narrow grooves usually cut vertically on the outside of a paperweight.
FOOTED
descriptive term for a weight having its own pedestal which is flanged at the bottom.
FOUNTAIN
[MF] the central color is shaped like water rising from a fountain sprinkler head, arching up, out and down. If the center is level, see Mushroom and if segmented, see Umbrella
G
GARLAND
general name for any spacing scheme in millefiori weights which features one or more undulating chains of florets forming a pattern.
GAUZE
see LACE.
GRID CUTTING
term for set of shallow narrow grooves cut into the base of a paperweight to form a grid.
GOLDSTONE,
a gold aventurine glass used primarily by Italian glassmakers.
GROUND
see CUSHION.
H
HAND COOLER
an egg-shaped paperweight, once a common accessory for ladies.
HOBNAIL
term for set of V-shaped grooves cut into base of paperweight at right angles to each other, forming a grid pattern.
HONEYCOMB CANE
a type of millefiori rod, the cross-section of which resembles the cell pattern of a honeycomb. This cane is a Baccarat specialty.
I
INTAGLIO
a deterioration either pressed or cut into the base of a piece of glass.
J
JASPER GROUND
paperweight backdrop formed by a mixture of two colors of finely ground glass.
K
L
LACE (FILIGREE, GAUZE, MUSLIN or UPSET MUSLIN)
white or colored glass thread spiraled around a clear rod. Short segments are used to form a paperweight ground.
LAMPWORK
term for manipulation of glass by means of a gas burner or torch; a process of creating representational paperweight subjects.
LATTICINO
a swirl or spiral arrangement of many white or colored threads of glass used as a paperweight ground. Lace (see above) is a type of rod, while latticino is a type of pattern.
M
MACEDOINE
adjective used to describe a paperweight containing primarily filigree twists.
MAGNUM
a paperweight with a diameter exceeding 3 inches.
MANTLE WEIGHT
Decoration intended to be view from the side on a mantle, usually footed, see image at Devil's Fire GGNJ, Pl.14
MARBRIE or MARBLED
descriptive term for an unusual paperweight design consisting of colored bands emanating from a cane at the top of the weight and running along the sides to the bottom, often in a looping pattern. The decorative elements of a marbrie weight are close to the surface of the dome.
METAL
old fashioned glassworkers' term for glass.
MILLEFIORI
from the Italian phrase for "a thousand flowers." Used to describe the composite glass cross-section used in most antique glass paperweights. (Refer to Chapter I for details on the manufacture of millefiori canes.) [MF page on making one.
MINIATURE
a paperweight with a diameter of less than 2 inches.
MOSS GROUND
a paperweight ground consisting of canes made up of green rods, If such canes are centered on an "edelweiss cane," the ground is referred to as a "prairie ground."
MOTIF
the design; the internal decoration of a paperweight.
MUSHROOM WEIGHT
a paperweight containing an upright mushroom-shaped tuft of millefiori canes. [MF] A fountain in which the arched color is worked to a mushroom shape [GGNJ] OR a weight where the outer glass is mushroom shaped; as I make [MF]
MUSLIN
see LACE.
N
NOSEGAY
term for a paperweight motif consisting of a flat bouquet using millefiori canes as flowers, set on a spray of green leaves.
O
OVERLAY WEIGHT
a paperweight that has been coated with one ("single overlay"), two ("double overlay"), or three ("triple overlay") layers of glass and then had windows cut in it to allow visual access to the inner motif. "Flash overlays" are coated with translucent glass before cutting. "Encased overlays" ace double overlays with an additional thick layer of clear glass added before cutting.
P
PAPERWEIGHT
for the purposes of this book, a glass sphere or plaque enclosing decorative elements such as millefiori canes. lampworked motifs of colored glass, sulphide portraits, or metallic motifs.
PANEL WEIGHT
a paperweight in which clusters of similar canes form alternating sections separated either by exposed sections of the weight's ground, filigree twists, canes or rods,
PASTRY MOLD CANE
a millefiori cane which flares ("skirts") out at its basal end; this type of cane is found particularly in Clichy weights.
PATTERNED MILLEFIORI
general term for any spacing scheme in millefiori weights which features ordered groupings of florets forming a design.
PEDESTAL WEIGHT
see FOOTED WEIGHT.
PICTORAL WEIGHTS [GGNJ]
a scene, like a house and a well with Home Sweet Home, in colored glass is picked out in colored glass on a white background. "Hundreds of such county-fair souvenirs were made" 1860-1920 laid out on a ready made intaglio-cut steel plate, "paint by numbers" Superior weights have more imaginative scenes which may be upright not flat. [GGNJ p.260]
PIEDOUCHE
French term for footed weight.
PINCHBECK WEIGHT
not a "true" paperweight as defined above, because not entirely enclosed in glass. A metallic disk with a raised design is covered by a magnifying glass lens, all resting on a pewter or alabaster base.
PONTIL SCAR
the characteristic mark in the center of a weight's base, where the weight was separated from the rod that had supported it during production.
PRINTY
Circular concave cutting on the outside of a paperweight - a type of window or facet. Also sometimes "punty."
PROFILE,
the shape of a paperweight as viewed from the side.
Q
QUATREFOIL
a four-lobed design used as (1) the central element of a millefiori cane; (2) a faceting scheme for the exterior ornamentation of some paperweights; (3) a garland pattern.
R
RIBBON
a flat cane, sometimes twisted, used in crown weights, torsades, and chequer weights.
ROCK GROUND
a granular, uneven paperweight ground formed with unfused sand, mica flakes, and green glass. It is sometimes used alone and sometimes as a supporting backdrop for snakes or salamanders.
ROD
a cylindrical length of glass, most often containing a simple molded design of more than one color; the basic component of a millefiori cane.
ROSE [GGNJ]
A weight with a single flower, perhaps with a couple of leaves, made with a "crimp" that pushes petal shaped colored glass up into the clear, which is then worked to shape, encased, leaves added, and further encased. [MF] Modern flower weights often contain lampworked flowers, instead of crimped.
S
SAND GROUND
see ROCK GROUND
SCATTERED MILLEFIORI
a somewhat irregular spaced concentric millefiori pattern.
SCRAMBLED MILLEFIORI
a millefiori paperweight design in which whole and broken canes, and sometimes white or colored "lace," are jumbled together to fill the weight.
SET-UP
used interchangeably with "motif" to denote the central element(s) in a representational weight.
SIGNATURE CANE
a millefiori cane bearing the logo, name or initial(s) of the weight's factory of origin or the artist who created it.
SILHOUETTE CANE
a millefiori cane which in cross-section reveals the silhouette of an animal, flower, or human figure.
SINGLE OVERLAY
see OVERLAY.
SPACED CONCENTRIC MILLEFIORI
a common spacing scheme in millefiori weights: individual florets are spaced widely and equidistantly in separated circles. (MF created by having clear casing on the individual florets.)
SPIRAL
an opaque glass thread wound around a clear rod.
STAR CUT,
a many-pointed star incised into the base of a weight for decoration,
STAR DUST GROUND
a ground made up of white star rods.
STAVE
a flattened glass tube, such as those used to form Clichy roses.
STRIAE (or STRIATIONS)
streaks of glass of different optical quality caught in the dome of a paperweight. Striae can give the glass a sugary or grainy appearance which is undesirable.
STRAWBERRY CUT (or STRAWBERRY-DIAMOND CUT)
term for a set of grid cuts made in a paperweight's base.
SULPHIDE (CRYSTALLO-CERAMIE or CAMEO INCRUSTATION)
a three-dimensional ceramic medallion or portrait plaque used as a decorative enclosure for paperweight or other glass object.
SWIRL WEIGHT
a paperweight design featuring opaque colored rods of two or three colors radiating in pinwheel fashion from a central millefiori floret. The design in a swirl weight has a flat appearance.
T
THUMBPRINT CUT
an oval, elongated concave window.
TORSADE
an opaque glass thread loosely wound around a filigree core, usually found near the base of a mushroom weight.
TREFOIL
a garland with three loops.
TUFT
see MUSHROOM WEIGHT.
U
UMBRELLA
[MF] when the central color of a Fountain is segmented like an umbrella, the center depressed or not [GGNJ p.260]
UPRIGHT BOUQUET
a three-dimensional grouping of canes and stylized lampwork flowers set on a bed of leaves.
V
W
WHORL ROD
a millefiori cane component with a spiral-like cross-section. Often this is used as the center of a cluster of star rods.
WINDOW
see FACET.
X
Y
Z