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Pantin, like many other glassworks, changed owners, names and locations a number of times during its years of operation. It was founded in 1850 in La Villete, France, then a suburb, now a part of Paris by E.S. Monot, as Monot and Company. In 1859 the company moved to Pantin, another suburb of Paris which has subsequently become part of Paris. Scientific glass as well as some of the finest “fancy glass” produced in France was made here. By 1878, the year we are most interested in, Mr. Monot had been joined in business by a partner, Mr. F. Stumpf, and his own son. The works was now known as Monot, pére et fils, et Stumpf, Cristallerie de Pantin. Its glassware was compared favorably to Clichy and it won a gold medal for its “fancy glass” at the Exposition Universelle in Paris that year.
It is at this exhibition that we find the first mention of glass paperweights made at Pantin. In a report made to the United States Commissioners to the Exposition, a U.S. representative, Charles Colné, writes about paperweights of solid glass containing flowers, fruit, snakes, lizards etc.. The years 1878-1880 are probably accurate paperweight production dates at Pantin. These dates are documented and the number of weights attributed to Pantin is small which would indicate a short period of production.
During the classic period some recognizable, but heavily stylized, flowers were included in paperweights. Pantin was the first weight maker to create weights with realistic motifs. Translucent, gossamer petals, drops of dew on a plant, partially eaten and torn leaves, a translucent leaf which folds in front of a flower—are all touches which add realism which had not previously been seen in paperweights. We also see for the first time in these weights, lampwork which is wonderfully three-dimensional!
Excerpted from The Dictionary of Glass Paperweights, Paul H. Dunlop, Papier Presse 2009.