The Perthshire Paperweight Company was founded in 1968 by Stuart Drysdale. He cherry-picked the best staff that he had formerly managed at Strathearn Glass (earlier Vasart), when it became clear that the then-present owners (William Teacher’s Ltd) had no real interest in sustaining glass paperweight manufacturing. Drysdale acquired an old school in Crieff, a few miles to the west of Perth, fitted it out and relocated his workforce.
Production at Perthshire included crown paperweights, close packed paperweights, spaced paperweights on latticino backgrounds (also known as muslin or lace), lampwork and panelled paperweights – all of which were exceptionally well-executed.
It took just two years for the company to become recognised as one of the leading paperweight manufacturers, to such an extent that their small premises proved far too small, and they had to move to a new site in the town where production could be ramped up to a more commercially viable scale.
As with the majority of other paperweight producers, Perthshire produced ‘limited edition’ small production runs of just a few different designs each year, specifically to serve collectors and ensure that the market for them remained buoyant. These accounted for around 25% of the manufactory’s annual production, with the remainder being ‘commodity’ pieces, mostly for the export market.
Even these ‘mass produced’ paperweights were of an exceptional quality, with the company excelling in all aspects of paperweight production, be it traditional millefiori and lampwork or innovative cased examples made from multiple layers of glass.
Many Perthshire paperweights exhibit the clever use of cut facets which act as ‘windows’ to enhance the appearance of the content of the globes. Whether it’s a tropical fish tank, detailed lampwork floral arrangements or more classically-styled, tightly packed millefiori canes with multiple gridles, a Perthshire version of any type of paperweight is likely to be a particularly fine example.