It is very hard to decide just where to start with my paperweight collection. From my last post you can see that there is a plethora of subject matter about collecting paperweights. There are as many paperweight makers as there are paperweights it seems but not all maker’s are created equal. One of my personal favorites is William Manson Sr.
William Manson’s career in glass began in 1966 when he joined the Caithness Glass Co. in England, as an apprentice glass blower. He trained under the watchful eye of a master glass blower, Paul Ysart. William was introduced to the art of making glass paperweights. He left the company in 1970 with Ysart and began a journey of intensive training from Ysart for four more years before returning to Caithness in 1974 as the director of their Limited Editions department using many of his own designs and expertise.
William has a unique style all his own. His pieces include lampwork flowers surrounded by garlands of millefiori canes as well as nature weights such as salamanders, fish and swans.
Usually made in Limited Edition sizes of 150 his weights are signed with a WM cane and sometimes dated. Occasionally you can find pieces personally signed by William. The number of the weight in the LE is usually written on the bottom of the weight. What I like most about his PWs is the glass encasement. The glass is heavy and very clear. Always well polished and faceted.
My first William Manson Sr. Paperweight:
“Pansy Paperweight” made in 2000 and hand signed by William Manson Sr.
Often paperweights have a story behind them and this next weight has a nice story. An excerpt from the dealer I purchased it from:
Willliam Manson, Sr. Limited Edition of 20, Museum piece. Silkworms on Mulberry leaves. A tribute to the silkworm weight made in the Pantin factory in France in the late 1800s. It is one of the most interesting and historically significant paperweights in the world, and there is only one. It sold at auction in 1953 to King Farouk of Egypt, but because he was forced to abdicate his throne that very day, he was unable to pay the dealer. It subsequently sold to Paul Jokelson, and later at auction in 1983 it sold for $143,000. The muslin ground evokes images of fine silk. Since I knew I would not be able to afford the original, I asked Willie Manson to make for me an exclusive limited edition of Silkworms eating Mulberry Leaves as a tribute to this great paperweight. I think Willie did a great job – of course, he did – he is a true master. 2 3/4 inch diameter; 1 7/8 inches tall; 13 ounces. Condition: Pristine/New/Perfect. “WM” cane. “William Manson Snr 2009 4/20”
A beautiful Manson Sr. weight “Silk Worms” 2009, Limited Edition, 4 of 20.
This next PW is an older edition and has excellent color combination. Another plus of Manson weights is his use of color.
Manson Sr. “Clematis” PW. WM and date cane “1980”. Limited edition of 150. This one is #34.
I consider this next weight to be a very special Manson paperweight, made in 2010 it is an edition of 1. Meaning it is the only one made. There are no others like this one.
“Three Roses with buds and Blue Dragonfly” an exceptional PW by William, signed on base, edition 1/1 as well as the WM signature cane. You can expect to pay in the four digits for a one of a kind Manson Sr. weight such as this one. If you inspect the wings of the dragonfly closely you will see they are lattacino.
I will continue to purchase William Manson Sr. paperweights to add to my collection. His work reminds me of the old French lampwork weights that sell for 1000’s of dollars a piece. You would be hard pressed to find another English Master glassmaker who’s work is as well done.
Some recent additions to my William Manson Sr. paperweight collection. All are hand signed and marked with the WM signature cain. You can see more of my collection at my eBay store “Kelekchens”
Check out all of my paperweights that I now have for sale at my eBay store “Kelekchens”. Place your cursor on my assistant “the duck” and enter. Go to Paperweight Kelekchen or you can contact me through this blog under comments. Thanks for reading my blog.
Until next time Happy Collecting and remember “the best is yet to come”