A Rare Early 20thC Glass Domed Snow Globe


Origin: English
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: 1920-30
Height: 3 inches
Diameter: 2.25 inches (at base)

The early glass domed snow globe on turned wooden beech base having a ceramic depiction of a seaside bay with cliffs amongst water within, survives from the first quarter of the twentieth century.

In super condition, the globe has not been repaired or restored in any way, much of the water remains and the snow chips have not deteriorated. As such, the globe works as it would have done almost a century ago.

It is unclear when the first snow globes were invented, but they began to appear in the early-nineteenth century in France. It is possible that they were designed as a successor to the glass paperweight, which had become common at the end of the eighteenth century. Snow globes became extremely popular following the Paris Universal Expo of 1878 and within a year there were already half a dozen companies in Europe producing snow globes. Originally, and just like this example, snow globes were made from a heavy lead glass dome on a sealed ceramic base, filled with water. The snow was created from fine pieces of porcelain, sand or bone chips. This example would more than likely have been a souvenir from a British seaside resort such as Penzance.

Early snow globes are excessively rare and this proves a truly enchanting object. Surely nobody ever outgrows a snow globe?