Mid Century Steuben Style Excalibur Paperweight

PRESENTING a LOVELY Mid Century Steuben Style Excalibur Paperweight.

Inspired by the HIGHLY COLLECTIBLE Steuben piece known as ‘Excalibur’ … “In the Arthurian legend only a true king can withdraw the sword from the stone. In James Houston’s contemporary interpretation of the myth, the sword is a letter knife and the stone is a paperweight. From Steuben.” …… this piece is a Japanese version of the Steuben great !

Probably made circa 1970 in Japan and the sword handle has ‘Japan’ inscribed thereon.

The base is a solid piece of rock style crystal with a central hole with bubble in the center of the rock. The Silver and brass sword (which acts as a practical letter opener) sits in the hole.

The crystal is unsigned.

The Steuben original would have 18 carat gold on the sword handle.

Steuben originals are worth thousands !


Excalibur (/ɛkˈskælɪbər/) is the legendary sword of King Arthur, sometimes also attributed with magical powers or associated with the rightful sovereignty of Britain. Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone (the proof of Arthur’s lineage) are sometimes said to be the same weapon, but in most versions they are considered separate. Excalibur was associated with the Arthurian legend very early on. In Welsh, it is called Caledfwlch; in CornishCalesvol (in Modern Cornish: Kalesvolgh); in BretonKaledvoulc’h; and in LatinCaliburnus.

The name Excalibur ultimately derives from the Welsh Caledfwlch (and Breton Kaledvoulc’hMiddle Cornish Calesvol), which is a compound of caled “hard” and bwlch “breach, cleft”.[1] Caledfwlch appears in several early Welsh works, including the prose tale Culhwch and Olwen. The name was later used in Welsh adaptations of foreign material such as the Bruts (chronicles), which were based on Geoffrey of Monmouth. It is often considered to be related to the phonetically similar Caladbolg, a sword borne by several figures from Irish mythology, although a borrowing of Caledfwlch from Irish Caladbolg has been considered unlikely by Rachel Bromwich and D. Simon Evans. They suggest instead that both names “may have similarly arisen at a very early date as generic names for a sword”. This sword then became exclusively the property of Arthur in the British tradition.[1][2]

Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his Historia Regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain, c. 1136), Latinised the name of Arthur’s sword as Caliburnus (potentially influenced by the Medieval Latin spelling calibs of Classical Latin chalybs, from Greek chályps [χάλυψ] “steel”). Most Celticists consider Geoffrey’s Caliburnus to be derivative of a lost Old Welsh text in which bwlch (Old Welsh bulc[h]) had not yet been lenited to fwlch (Middle Welsh vwlch or uwlch).[3][4][1] In the late 15th/early 16th-century Middle Cornish play Beunans Ke, Arthur’s sword is called Calesvol, which is etymologically an exact Middle Cornish cognate of the Welsh Caledfwlch. It is unclear if the name was borrowed from the Welsh (if so, it must have been an early loan, for phonological reasons), or represents an early, pan-Brittonic traditional name for Arthur’s sword.[5]

In Old French sources this then became EscaliborExcalibor, and finally the familiar ExcaliburGeoffrey Gaimar, in his Old French L’Estoire des Engleis (1134-1140), mentions Arthur and his sword: “this Constantine was the nephew of Arthur, who had the sword Caliburc” (“Cil Costentin, li niès Artur, Ki out l’espée Caliburc“).[6][7] In Wace‘s Roman de Brut (c. 1150-1155), an Old French translation and versification of Geoffrey’s Historia, the sword is called CalabrumCallibourcChalabrun, and Calabrun (with variant spellings such as ChalabrumCaliboreCalliborCaliborneCalliborc, and Escaliborc, found in various manuscripts of the Brut).[8]

In Chrétien de Troyes‘ late 12th-century Old French Perceval, Arthur’s knight Gawain carries the sword Escalibor and it is stated, “for at his belt hung Escalibor, the finest sword that there was, which sliced through iron as through wood”[9] (“Qu’il avoit cainte Escalibor, la meillor espee qui fust, qu’ele trenche fer come fust”[10]). This statement was probably picked up by the author of the Estoire Merlin, or Vulgate Merlin, where the author (who was fond of fanciful folk etymologies) asserts that Escalibor “is a Hebrew name which means in French ‘cuts iron, steel, and wood'”[11] (“c’est non Ebrieu qui dist en franchois trenche fer & achier et fust“; note that the word for “steel” here, achier, also means “blade” or “sword” and comes from medieval Latin aciarium, a derivative of acies “sharp”, so there is no direct connection with Latin chalybs in this etymology). It is from this fanciful etymological musing that Thomas Malory got the notion that Excalibur meant “cut steel”[12] (“‘the name of it,’ said the lady, ‘is Excalibur, that is as moche to say, as Cut stele‘”).

In Arthurian romance, a number of explanations are given for Arthur’s possession of Excalibur. In Robert de Boron‘s Merlin, the first tale to mention the “sword in the stone” motif c. 1200, Arthur obtained the British throne by pulling a sword from an anvil sitting atop a stone that appeared in a churchyard on Christmas Eve.[13] In this account, as foretold by Merlin, the act could not be performed except by “the true king,” meaning the divinely appointed king or true heir of Uther Pendragon. As Malory related in his most famous English-language version of the Arthurian tales, the 15th-century Le Morte d’Arthur: “Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born.[14][note 1] After many of the gathered nobles try and fail to complete Merlin’s challenge, the teenage Arthur (who up to this point had believed himself to be son of Sir Ector, not Uther’s son, and went there as Sir Kay‘s squire) does this feat effortlessly by accident and then repeats it publicly.

The identity of this sword as Excalibur is made explicit in the Prose Merlin, part of the Lancelot-Grail cycle of French romances (the Vulgate Cycle).[15] In the Vulgate Mort Artu, when Arthur at the brink of death he orders Griflet to throw the sword into the enchanted lake; after two failed attempts (as he felt such a great sword should not be thrown away), Griflet finally complies with the wounded king’s request and a hand emerges from the lake to catch it. This tale becomes attached to Bedivere instead of Griflet in Malory and the English tradition.[16] However, in the Post-Vulgate Cycle and consequently Malory, early in his reign Arthur breaks the Sword from the Stone while in combat against King Pellinore, and then is given Excalibur by a Lady of the Lake in exchange for a later boon for her (some time later, she arrives at Arthur’s court to demand the head of Balin). Malory records both versions of the legend in his Le Morte d’Arthur, naming both swords as Excalibur.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excalibur

Mid Century Steuben Style Excalibur Paperweight.

Provenance: From a Private Dallas Collection.

Condition: Near Mint.

Dimensions: 4″ Wide, 3″ Deep and 8.25″ Tall (with sword in)

4″ Wide, 3″ Deep and 3″ Tall (crystal)

Sword is 8″ Long and 2″ Wide.


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