What is it and What’s it Worth?

If you ever run across a paperweight that looks like the one in our photo, GRAB IT!  You may have found a paperweight made by Paul J. Stankard, and if you did, then you have a winner.  Stankard is known as the “father of modern glass paperweights,” and his work appears in over 60 museums around the world. The glass flowers in his paperweights look so real, some people actually thought he had found a way to put real plants into the glass. 

This exquisite Paul J. Stankard art glass paperweight featuring wild raspberries and their blooms sold for $590 in February 2019.

Our Worthopedia has over 600 Stankard glass paperweights listed.  Keep reading to take your knowledge of Stankard glass paperweights to the next level.  ENJOY!

History

Paul Joseph Stankard, known in America as the “Father of Modern Glass Paperweights,” specialized in flamework and is best known for his ability to encapsulate floral and other botanical themes in clear glass.

Paul J. Stankard was born on April 7, 1943, in Attleboro, Massachusetts. He attended Salem County [New Jersey] Vocational Technical Institute earning a degree in scientific glassblowing.  After graduation, he spent 10 years creating scientific instruments for a variety of companies.

Stankard established a small glass blowing shop in his garage.  He focused on creating glass paperweights.  While exhibiting at a craft show on the Atlantic City boardwalk, Stankard met Reese Pailey, who became his principal sponsor.

Just look at the detail! This squash blossom design sold for $975 in February 2019.

Stankard created exact miniature glass replicas of the flora and fauna that appeared in his paperweights.  Many individuals questioned how he could encase natural plants in glass.

Stankard trained a number of his children.  Christine Stankard Kressley and Pauline Stankard Iacovino are examples.  Other glass artists, such as David Graber, work at his studio.

Stankard’s paperweights are included in over 60 museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian, and Musée des Arts Décorative in Paris.

What to Look For

Paul Stankard continues to make paperweights.  Prices for his work range from the high hundreds to the low tens of thousands.  Modern examples are available through art galleries and gift shops that feature his work.

The secondary market for Stankard paperweights is highly speculative.  Many examples that have appeared on the secondary auction market have sold below their initial retail price or were passed.

If buying a Stankard paperweight for investment purposes, purchase examples with a high level of artistic workmanship.  Focus on one-of-a-kind design as opposed to examples that closely resemble previous work.

Rounds are the most common, but this block-shaped paperweight sold for almost $9500 in February 2019.

Stankard also worked in a variety of shapes.  Round weights are most common.  Cubes, especially from the “Bouquet” botanical series are prized by collectors.

Marks

Stankard paperweights are marked with a glass cane inside the design and a signature etched on the outside bottom of the piece.

The Paul Stankard mark. 

Close up of an actual Stankard mark.


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