What some might consider a simple desk accessory has been locked in the treasure vaults of kings and collected by some of the world's most famous personalities. Glass paperweights originated in France around 1845, when glass factories such as Baccarat, Saint Louis and Clichy competed to create the world's finest crystal luxury items. Water sets, tableware, and desk accessories such as inkwells, led to the creation of presse-papiers.

These relatively affordable objets d'art were developed as elegant gift items, and exhibited to great acclaim in London's Great Exhibition of 1851. After that, the factories competed to outdo each other, creating intricate designs in grand presentation pieces which are highly sought after in today's market.

Glass paperweights can be found in museum collections around the world, including the Corning Museum of Glass, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Wisconsin. They have been collected by kings, American presidents, writers, such as Colette and Truman Capote, and investors, such as Arthur Rubloff - all people who became fascinated by these small, complex pieces of art which Capote described as "...rather like frozen snowflakes, dazzling patterns frozen forever."

To illustrate Capote's admiration, we invite you to put the world on pause for a few precious minutes to enjoy the following from the Glass Paperweight Foundation.