The New Bedford Museum of Glass
Forum Archive
Dutch Paperweight? (Post 2009, 01-11.1)
Member Allan Port sends two photographs of a curious glass object recovered about five years ago from a vessel wreckage site at the Berbice River (near the old Dutch settlement of Fort Nassau) in Guyana, former British Guiana. The object measures 3.0 x 8.5 cm, with a shear mark on the underside measuring 3.5 cm. The Dutch apparently occupied the area throughout the 17th century, and the glass appears to correspond to "black glass" Dutch bottles of the period. But with whom did the owner of the glass correspond? Although the object looks like a paperweight, letter writing was uncommon in the 17th century and weights intended to hold down correspondence are considered to be a later development. What other function might the object have served?
(above) Underside of the unidentified glass object showing a pronounced shear mark