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On February 16, 1818 New England Glass Company “NEGC” was incorporated in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its four partners, including Deming Jarvis, had purchased the property of a defunct glass company at public auction, three months earlier. This new company, known as Cambridge or NEGC, was called “one of the most extensive flint glass manufactories in the country...” within its first year of operation. Jarvis left NEGC in 1825 to found Boston & Sandwich Glass Company. Prosperous from the first, NEGC’s work force quickly rose from 40 to over 500 by 1850. In 1888 in response to a strike, Libbey closed the company and moved to Toledo, Ohio where he continued making glass.
NEGC production of classic style paperweights began in 1852, and most likely continued until the glassworks closed in 1888. Their weights are never signed but a date cane 1852 is sometimes seen. A good variety of millefiori weights were made here. Cane colors have a “peppermint” quality with a liberal use of white. Silhouette canes include a bee, eagle, (both black and white), heart (eight varieties), and a rabbit which is also seen in black or white. Extremely rare silhouettes also include a butterfly, dancing man, a man on a horse, and less elegant, rat, spider, and turtle.
Most flower weights from NEGC are poinsettias which are seen in white, yellow, sky blue, deep blue, pink, red and violet. Mixed fruit weights, set on a filigree cushion, are the most common weights made here. Most designs were set in clear glass or on a filigree cushion, including rare two or three color filigree. Upset muslin and colored grounds are very rare. A few patterned millefiori designs, upright bouquets and mushrooms were finished with a single or double overlay, usually cut very elaborately.
Excerpted from The Dictionary of Glass Paperweights, Paul H. Dunlop, Papier Presse 2009.