Paperweights are beautiful, hand crafted objects which are often used for decoration in a home or office, or for their original purpose of weighting down letters or papers to ensure they don’t blow away, but there are many other interesting facts about glass paperweights that you may not know, so here are a few interesting facts.
Paperweights can sometimes be a fire hazard, hard to believe I know, but a combination of different circumstances can lead to disaster. In June 2010 a £750,000 family home was destroyed due to a simple paperweight, no one was hurt. Fire-fighters fought for five hours to calm the blaze, and on inspection said the fire had started due to a simple paperweight. The paperweight had been displayed on a window sill and during a heat wave it has magnified the sun’s rays onto a pile of books causing the fire, a very unfortunate string of events indeed.
As well as this you might be interested to know that in September 2008 a paperweight led to the evacuation of the huge JFK airport. The airport officials thought they saw a suspicious device which led to the entire terminal being evacuated and no flights being allowed to enter or leave the terminal. Once official had checked the ‘suspicious’ package they discovered that they were in fact paperweights.
Paperweights were also used in the 1800’s by royalty as decorative objects, and in fact a paperweight bought about the untimely death of Paul 1st, Tsar of Russia, who reigned from 1754 till 1801. The Tsar or king as this might be more commonly referred to today was killed when a chase ensued in his bed quarters after a conspiracy was set up against him. He was chased around the room by the men until he tripped and fell, which then lead to a gilt and bronze paperweight falling on him.
As we all know paperweights come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and even the world famous jewellers Tiffany’s create specialist paperweights, such as the limited edition Star Wars Death Star engraved paperweight, released to coincide with the major blockbuster film. In this sense paperweights are often collector’s items and come in a variety of themes, from films to world cup style paperweights; there is surely something for everyone.
So as you can see from these interesting news stories not only are paperweights beautiful and decorative objects they also carry a lot of history and can be a great conversation starting point. As well as this they make the perfect gift, such as corporate paperweights for a colleague.