Fuschia Bouquet on White Latticinio Saint Louis, circa 1845-55
technique frequently used in paperweightmaking is latticinio or latticino (Italian
for milk food). Originally an ancient Roman technique, it was later perfected
in Venice during the sixteenth century. By the end of the eighteenth century,
however, the latticinio technique was no longer is use; the method of its creation
technique was rediscovered in the next century, shortly before the first paperweights
were produced. Latticinio backgrounds were made by "collapsing" a filigree rod.
A filigree rod was made by arranging thin rods of white or color upright in
a mold, plunging a gather of molten glass into the mold, and attaching a second
pontil rod so that the gather could be stretched and twisted to make a cane.
Short lengths of fine latticinio were used as a filigree background (called
upset muslin) for many designs. Other lengths were used as twisted ribs in crown
weights, and as torsades (an opaque thread loosely woven around a core of filigree,
usually on a mushroom weight).
variation in the process of making latticinio produced a latticed ground. In
creating this ground, a hollow, cylinder-shaped mold was lined with opaque threads
of glass. A clear glass bubble was blown into the mold, picking up the threads.
The bubble was then twisted and collapsed on itself, producing a flattened latticed
glass disc. examples of this style are found in a Clichy weight and a Saint
Louis weight in the collection.