A Pantin salamander magnum paperweight, 19th century, 10.7cm diameter
Lot 243
A rare Pantin magnum salamander paperweight, second half 19th century
Sold for £42,000 (US$ 70,594) inc. premium
Lot Details
A rare Pantin magnum salamander paperweight, second half 19th century
The reptile formed with a black body and a tail enamelled with yellow spots and two red eyes, flanked by a red and a white Kingcup flower each with a yellow stamen, growing from long leaves, set on an opaque-white ground mottled with moss green grass on buff-coloured sand ground, 10.5cm diameter by 8cm high


  • These highly sought after paperweights, with their characteristic three-dimensional designs and varied colour schemes, are attributed to the Pantin factory, about which little is known. Other than a few articles written by glass scholars, the only significant documentary evidence available is the report provided by Charles Colné, Assistant Secretary to the U.S. Commissioners representing America who attended the Universal Exposition of 1878 in Paris where Pantin exhibited their wares.

    According to C.Revi, 'The Fourth Factory', Bulletin of the Paperweight Collectors' Association (June 1965), p.5, there was an exhibit that included "a paperweight containing lizard of coloured glass...". Unfortunately, no visual evidence of this weight was provided in the report to determine which of the known reptile weights he was referring to. See Dwight Lanmon, 'A Pantin Discovery' Annual Bulletin of the Paperweight Collectors' Association (1981), where the author considers 'these lizard or salamander weights to be the greatest technical achievements of 19th century paperweight makers.." In the well-known exhibition Paperweights: 'Flowers which clothe the meadows', held at the Corning Museum of Glass in 1978, nine of the thirteen known examples were brought together. The present lot was not among them.

    In recent years examples have been sold at Sotheby's New York, 29 April 1998, lot 239, from the Fairchild Collection, 16 June 1999, lot 70 and at Sotheby's Olympia, 17 December 2003, lot 295.