Pantin Magnum salamander paperweight offered for $50,000

A Pantin Magnum salamander weight will lead an online paperweight auction at Christie's that closes on April 20.

Pantin was founded in Paris in 1850 and built a sterling reputation for its premium quality glass paperweights.

Pantin salamander weight
Pantin produced some of the world's most desirable paperweights

The most famous of these display salamanders, only around 14 of these rare weights are known to exist.

The director of New York's Corning Museum of Glass explains he "consideres these lizard or salamander weights to be the greatest technical achievements of 19th century paperweight makers."

The present lot is valued at around $30,000-50,000, but has the potential to go for more. It last sold for £22,000 ($31,674) at Gildings in 2007.

One buyer paid a record $156,500 for another salamander paperweight at Sotheby's New York in 1998.

It might surprise you to learn that that's not even the world record for a paperweight. That stands at $258,500, set for a Clichy basket weight at Sotheby's in 1990.

A paperweight by Clichy offered in the sale is likely to prove another hit with buyers.

It's expected to sell for around $15,000-20,000 and displays a bouquet of flowers, a motif that features in most Clichy paperweights.

Paris was home to a burgeoning luxury paperweight industry in the 1800s, although it had largely died out by the turn of the century.

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