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In 1967 Stuart Drysdale, a self proclaimed country lawyer and businessman, who was the manager of Strathearn Glass (formerly Vasart Glass) saw a copy of the July 1965 issue of Woman’s Day magazine. That issue featured an illustrated article on the antique glass paperweights in the collection of the Bergstrom Art Center (now called the Bergstrom-Mahler Glass Museum). Even though he now had been the manager of a glass company that made paperweights for seven years, he had no idea before seeing this article, that antique paperweights existed, or of the artistic possibilities that making weights offered. This article challenged him, and he in turn challenged his craftsmen to make fine paperweights as exemplified in the article. When the owners of Strathearn were not supportive of this new venture, Mr. Drysdale left with a few of the top craftsmen to form Perthshire Paperweights in 1968. This glassworks, devoted solely to making paperweights and related items, was located in Crieff, Scotland. Perhaps because of this unique beginning, the artists and craftsmen at Perthshire were encouraged to experiment. It did not take long for Perthshire to become a leading producer of fine paperweights.
Perthshire produced four types of weights: (a) decorative weights in large quantities for the gift shop market (b) regular limited editions of medium priced weights which may be repeated in following years (c) special annual limited editions and (d) one-of-a-kind weights which were made as prototypes, on commission, or donated to or sold at special events.
Following Stuart’s death in 1990 his son Neil took over the operation of the glassworks. Neil died in 2001 and the Perthshire factory closed a few months later on January 25, 2002.
Excerpted from The Dictionary of Glass Paperweights, Paul H. Dunlop, Papier Presse 2009.