Looking at crystal paperweights especially “millefiori” crystal paperweights is just like snorkeling over a coral reef. These high quality paperweights are everything but paperweights. They are rather an excuse to show off skill acquired through the centuries. In fact, it took several decades to recover all the sophisticated paperweight manufacturing techniques of the classical period. The meticulous skill of crystal paperweights making deals with the art of encasing crystal canes, stylized crystal flowers, figures, and other elements in clear crystal.
Paperweights making especially millefiori paperweights making during the classic period (1840-1860), was the task of three outstanding crystal factories in France: Saint Louis, Baccarat, and Clichy. The crystal factory of Saint Louis resumed the production of paperweights in 1953 after an eighty six years gap.
Since 1953, Saint Louis has periodically produced sulphide paperweights in regular and overlay treatment. However, they discontinued their production until June, 1967. The rediscovery of the manufacturing process and the techniques that had permitted the creation of these small masterpieces of the nineteenth century was not quick and easy. It has been achieved nevertheless. The rediscovery of the forgotten millefiori, lampwork, and sulphide paperweight making techniques took almost 15 years. It was not until 1970 that Saint Louis began producing quality weights on a regular basis. Saint Louis paperweights makers prove that their skill is equal to that of their predecessors.