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Dating your Union/Somerville Paperweight

There were a great number of personalized and dated paperweights made in Union/Somerville factories in the first quarter of the twentieth century. A good example is Figure 1.

Figure 1
Figure 1
click image to enlarge

Figure 1 is not dated. It does contain several distinctive elements that, if a reference paperweight that is dated contained similar elements, a rough date could be assumed for the paperweight. The larger the sample of dated examples, the better the chances are of dating the paperweight.

Figure 2
Figure 2
click image to enlarge

Figure 2 is dated and contains several of the distinctive elements that are similar to the ones in Figure 1 (note the flowers with the white and colored petals). Without too much difficulty, one could assume that the date of the paperweight in Figure 1 would be similar to that shown in Figure 2.

Union/Somerville Paperweight Galleries

The following web pages provide pictures of a number of Union/Somerville paperweights from a number of collections around the United States. They are all dated and are arranged in date order. Over the course of the dates covered, it is clear that several hands were involved in making the weights and several approaches were used in the lampworking techniques. These differences can provide the guideposts for associated a technique with a date for your paperweight.

Additional Information:

Eight collectors have contributed photographs of their Union paperweights. They are illustrated in a PDF file that can be downloaded and printed on your color printer.

P.S. Please be patient! This file is large (see file size below), and can take a little while to load.

  • UnionPaperweights (PDF: 3,249KB) This eight-page document has pictures of over 160 Union/Somerville paperweights.

  Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view our sample Union paperweights. If you don't already have it, get it here for free! Get Acrobat Reader

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