A Good Quality Victorian Dark Patinated Cast Iron Paperweight in the Form of a Ladies Hand c.1870-80

Origin: English
Period: Late Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870-80
Height: 5”
Width: 2.5”
Base Diameter: 1.5” (all at extremities)

The good quality dark patinated cast iron novelty desk or paperweight, finely modelled as a dainty female hand to a bejewelled lace cuff, having a cabochon ring to the index finger and on a circular base, survives from high Victorian England.

In very good condition, the piece has expected wear and a lovely dark and rich tinted patination that comes with all un-cleaned pieces of this age. There are a few very small dinks commensurate with daily use.

One does see this type of female hand also represented more commonly in paper clips of this period but rarely to this level of sophistication. The casting is very sharp. Fanniere Freres of Paris made a fairly similar paper-weight in 1880.

Amidst the decorative excess that typified Victorian times, paperweights provided a respite of exquisite craftsmanship and conservative artistry. They became a popular gift item to be given to family or loved ones and were sold in stationery stores, and fine glass shops throughout Europe and Great Britain, and eventually in America.  

A superbly decorative yet functional piece of Victorian desk furniture, and of fine quality, making humble paper that much more of an attractive proposition.