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The paperweight evolved during the industrial revolution with a well-defined function, to keep correspondence in place with the ever-present gusts of winds in breezy households and offices. In the mid-1800s, a new industry emerged in France that transformed these simple glass or metal objects into glorious works of art. In a paperless, technology-driven society, the paperweight might seem like a relic of the past, but Saint-Louis, the crystal company owned by Hermés, has teamed up with Perrin and Perrin to create funky modern riffs on this traditional staple. Martine and Jacki Perrin spent months observing the company’s master glassmakers at work in the paperweights workshop, the jewel in the Saint-Louis crown.

The Perrins are confirmed autodidacts, and for forty-five years they have pursued a joint quest to discover a variety of writing styles in several mediums. In the 1980s they explored the calligraphy of the Far East, taught by a master who uttered not a word, and in the mid- 1990s they turned their attention to glass. The function of the object and personal encounters with the Saint-Louis craftsmen inspired the duo to create black and white designs meant to evoke the art of writing. The three models of paperweights: Rift, Mesa, and Lapilli, reveal perfectly orchestrated chaos encased in crystal. Each weight is numbered and limited to seventeen examples. After this fall, the lost art of letter writing might not be lost for long.