A Rare Victorian Christmas Decalomania Glass Sphere c.1890

Origin: English
Period: Late Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1890-1900
Diameter: 4.5” (with stopper)

The hand-blown glass sphere or globe, with Christmas themed applied decoupage decoration with a wide variety of parrots, flowers, letters, greetings and riddles, with foiled gold stars, to a snowy white ground, the whole with a stopper to its neck, surviving from the zeniths of nineteenth century England.

The condition is largely what one would like and expect to find in an original antique example with some lifting to the paper and foils, with one human face missing, but overall it remains very original and intact. The softwood stopper is probably later.

Decoupage, from the French ‘to cut’, can trace its roots to the twelfth century in China and Siberia, where Nomadic tribes cut out felts that they used to decorate or honour the tombs of the dead. Women who considered themselves fashionable used cut-outs to dress up screens and furniture with unique designs and this trend hopped over to using witches type balls as we see here. The craft was especially popular with England's upper and growing middle classes.

Due to their fragility not many of these spheres have survived, much like the snow globes of the era, and are now highly prized.

A wonderful Christmas gift.