Recommended Reading

There is an old saying — "Knowledge is Power" — and that is certainly true about many things but especially important when you begin to collect paperweights. While paperweight collecting is continuous and a joyously ongoing process, there are a number of reference books that should be beside every collector as they develop their collections.

Many of the great "classic" paperweight reference books may be out of print at any point in time — the good news is that they are quite regularly featured by the PCA Registered Dealers as well as on the popular internet book sellers and on-line auction sites. The problem of "which reference books to buy" is a good one and we surveyed many of our collectors to determine several lists for books that ranged from the "must have" to the esoteric, intended for the advanced collector. The results of that survey are available for downloading as a .pdf file: RecommendedBookList (PDF:88KB).

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Some of the most useful books for the beginning and intermediate collector are shown below (although even the most experienced collectors constantly refer to them). The covers shown may not always be what you will find: many of the books are sold on the internet without dust jackets. The books are not shown to scale.

Rick and Pam Pfliger
The Signature Detective: A Field Guide to Glass Paperweight Artists, Houses, and Studios & The Identification of Their Artworks
© 2018 — published in paperback and available through Amazon

This is a handbook for identifying the signatures of glass paperweight artists in North America. An expanding edition that embodies an ongoing effort.

Paul Hollister
Encyclopedia of Glass Paperweights:
© 1969

One of the first reference books printed that attempted to cover the whole area of glass paperweights. Some areas have received significant research since publication and the information has been updated. It still is a "must have" reference and a very valuable and interesting book to read and an 
excellent reference for paperweight collectors.


George Kulles
Identifying Antique Paperweights:
Identifying Antique Paperweights:
Identifying Antique Paperweights:
Less Familiar
© 1985

The pictured book is one of three "must have" reference books written by this well known author and speaker. These volumes provide thoughtful, detailed information and insight on how to identify the maker of paperweights by reviewing the "inside" information — the information provided by the millefiore or lampwork living in the paperweight.


John D. Hawley

The Boston & Sandwich and New England Glass Companies
© 1997

Some of the most attractive and interesting paperweights made in the classical American period of the last half of the 1800s were made at the Boston & Sandwich and New England Glass Companies. This is the first and best reference about these two great factories.

Collaborative Effort
Glass Paperweights of the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum
© 1989

One of the most exciting collections of paperweights on public display is the Bergstrom collection displayed at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah, Wisconsin. This book contains over 1,000 good photographs of paperweights and paperweight objects with identification and short descriptions of each item. Excellent reference and wonderful eye-candy.

Sibylle Jargstorf
© 1991

This book contains a wealth of information and photographs about European paperweights and paperweight objects. Several maps help locate factories and their inter-relationships with each other. Some great photographs of what are currently called "Bohemian" paperweights.

Lawrence Selman
The Art of the Paperweight
© 1988

An excellent summary of both Classic Period and Contemporary paperweights, this book is a valuable reference for both beginning and experienced collectors.

Andrew H. Dohan
The Dictionary of Paperweight Signature Canes
© 1997

Containing information on paperweight makers from A to Z, this is a must-have book for every serious collector's reference library.

Paul H. Dunlop
The Dictionary of Glass Paperweights
© 2010

A highly detailed and superbly illustrated reference that every collector will appreciate and use.