Wonderful Rare Pinchbeck Gold Tone Antique Glass Paperweight - image 1 of 6

Wonderful antique Pinchback paperweight, please read below for information. This one is a glass globe on pewter with an incredibly detailed, wood carved setting covered in bright gold. The detail is very finely carved, I wish the photographs could show more, it is truly wonderful in person. Shows a man with horse and child. Measures 3" wide x 1 1/2" tall. In great condition for it's old age, with only a few nicks in the glass and I think the base may have been reattached.

Information about Pinchbeck found on Pinchback Paperweights site:
"Pinchbeck is an alloy of Copper and Zinc that looks like gold when used in paperweights. PINCHBECK paperweights were made in England and France about the year 1850, and they were so called because each of them has at least a particle of the pinchbeck alloy in it somewhere.

All weights of this class require close study in order to appreciate their features, and to understand the reasons for the very substantial value which the best of them have come to have in the market for art objects.

The construction of pinchbeck weights was by no means an easy task, but required much skill and patience. The workman began by molding or sculpturing the pictorial subject which was to be enshrined in the glass. Then a cast had to be made in order to form the mold. The next step was to place over the mold a sheet of the pinchbeck gold; and this had to be burnished into the mold until the full design and all the delicate details had been worked out. Then it was lifted from the mold, and the reverse or finished side had to be subjected to such tooling and chasing as was required by the individual subject. It took a great deal of care and clever craftsmanship to avoid breaking or puncturing the thin sheet of metal, and to keep from stretching or distorting it in any way. Inexpertness at any stage of fabricating the weight could easily ruin a design or bungle the construc­tion.

One style of pinchbeck has a complete gold setting This gold is applied over a carved wooden mold, as in the former weights, but without a trace of any added color. They have the same form of glass on top and a pewter base which invariably is covered with red velvet, now worn by age, of the same style that appears sometimes on the smaller colored weights.

The gold subjects usually portray people, and some are even copies of noted paintings. The contour of these weights resembles a bit of fine Swiss carving, and as you closely examine one you are given the impression of a beautiful gold relief plaque.

Each of these weights is unique. No two are alike, although this is not to say positively that duplicates may not occur. Their uniqueness, of course, goes far in accounting for their interest to collectors.



Gary Germer

Wonderful Rare Pinchbeck Gold Tone Antique Glass Paperweight


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