100 unusual paperweights that push the boundaries of design

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The humble paperweight has been an essential for any desk for over a century, holding down sheets of paper and stopping them from blowing away in a sudden breeze. The first were made in the "classic" years between 1845 and 1860, originating from factories in France. But what about today?

A recent exhibition at the Fisher Parrish gallery in Brooklyn, NYC celebrated the antique device with 100 contemporary artists and designers redefining the small weighty object with their own unique and often wonderfully wacky creations.

Simply named The Paperweight Show, the exhibition of original small works featured artists such as Aaron Elvis Jupin, Andrew Ross, Chris Beeston, Elise Peterson, Huy Bui and Pat Kim. From recreated petrol cans to alien creatures, these artworks will surprise and delight.

Matthew Ronay

Matthew Ronay

Alex Reed

Alex Reed

Katherine Gray & Eric Huebsch

Katherine Gray & Eric Huebsch

Matthew Palladino

Matthew Palladino

Zoe Fisher from the Gallery said: "The paperweight is a small weighty sculpture to which we have ascribed one very simple function (a somewhat obsolete function today).

"From clearly 'designed' and functional works, to more conceptual explorations of a specific function, The Paperweight Show aims to engage both established and emerging artists and designers in an important dialogue – pushing your own disciplinary boundaries and allowing for a deeper understanding of the object."

Katy Cowan

Manchester, England,