images on this website are copyrighted by Papier Presse 2014
In 1837, in South Boston, Deming Jarvis founded his third glass factory, which would ultimately be known as Mount Washington Glass Works. He had been one of the founders of New England Glass Company, had started Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, and would later in his life start Cape Cod Glass Company. Mt. Washington had an even more complicated history than other glassworks, changing names, owners and locations numerous times.
Presumably the weights attributed to Mt. Washington were an off-hours production by one of the glassblowers working there in the 1890s as only a few dozen weights are known. Nicholas Lutz worked there from 1892 through 1895 with a man named Emil Avinwell who later worked at Union Glass Company in Somerville where Lutz had gone to in 1896. As several of the “Mt. Washington” roses have touches which point to Somerville (such as small simple clematis blossoms surrounding the rose or a small bird flying in front of one) it is possible that all of these weights were made there.
The artist who made these weights was a master lampworker. The weights are large, colorful and bold. As a group they are the finest weights made in the United States during the 19th century, with motifs which are very three-dimensional. A painterly approach to weight making was taken with the rose weights made here. One, two or three surreal butterflies may hover around the “realistic” rose, which may in turn be held by a small impressionistic hand. Colorful berries may be placed around the blossom which may have gently unfolding lavender petals or heavily ruffled yellow, orange and white ones. The heavy stem is usually flanked by two buds, often in contrasting colors. This blend of reality and imagination is the stuff dreams are made of. There is no question, these are fine art.
Excerpted from The Dictionary of Glass Paperweights, Paul H. Dunlop, Papier Presse 2009.
At the left is an example of a unique fruit & flower weight (for illustration only, as this weight is not available) made by Mt. Washington. This is one of only a few dozen weights known from this maker. As these are very rare items and sell quickly it is unlikely that we will ever list any here. If you are interested in adding a Mt. Washington piece to your collection, please contact us.
call (800)227-1996 10AM till 10PM EST M-Sat. to inquire about Russian weights we may have