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The Cover
September 10, 2008

Pièdouche Paperweight

JAMA. 2008;300(10):1119-1120. doi:10.1001/jama.300.10.1119

There is no kind of precious stone which cannot be imitated by the industry of the glassworkers . . . but consider to whom did it first occur to include in a little ball all the sorts of flowers that clothe the meadows in spring.—Marcantonio Sabellico, De Situ Urbis Venetae, circa 1495

Glass paperweights have been classified as functional art, although their function is absurdly simple—to sit on and hold down papers of interest, something that every housecat can do. Their appeal as art, however, is personal, and for me the fascination began in childhood.