I do love a dome and I do love anything gold (Edd does affectionally sometimes call me Goldmember which I am not a fan off, unlike Edd I am also not an Austin Powers fan) I digress. There is a domed piece of history that keeps calling to me and that is the Globe de Mariée it seems to be full of so many things that I love.
We get asked a lot about what they are and as they are just so interesting I thought I would write a bit about them.
The Globe de Mariée is a wonderful object with an individual tale. They were made in France in the 18th and 19th century as a marriage keepsake to commemorate the day of the wedding and the couples future hopes and dreams. Thus making each one a treasured item of a couple who’s life is now past. As with any antique you are only a keeper at this time hopefully it will go on much longer than yourself and to have something like these pieces that can show a little glimpse into someone else life and a moment in history but without a huge Antique price tag I think is pretty special. The basic setting was often gifted to the couple this would include the glass cloche, the pillow and the gilt flowers. However each part was chosen for the specific couple as each piece has a meaning. The central mirror is supposed to reflect the sole and is seen in pretty much all Globe de Mariée’s, there are often to the sides small mirrors which would represent the number of children the couple were hoping for. There is usually a velvet cushion most often in red but occasionally peach, beige and light blue too this is where the brides tiara would be placed after the wedding ceremony and kept. The tiaras were most often made out of wax flowers and although they are often discolored can still be found in amazing condition. What I always look for and really like to find is when they also have wax earrings attached the the pillow, it is not seen so frequently but I just think it adds something extra special. The pillow and mirrors are surround by gold plated foliage with many aspects signifying something different. Daisys would represent purity and innocence, Roses Eternal love and the leaves the longevity of the marriage. There is often the traditional four leaf clover for luck and good fortune as well as sheaves of wheat for fertility. In everyone I have ever seen or we have had go through the shop there has always been a bird. Most commonly a bird holding a laurel wreath in its mouth to symbolize making its nest and the woman building her family.
When we buy a Globe de Mariée there are many things we look for as they are hard to find in good condition. Firstly the glass cloche dome should be if original in a very thin glass which had been hand blown so there would often be small imperfections on the glass, we always look to get a the inside piece with its original dome and base where possible. We look for no breakages to the golden foliage often edges can be broken off, they are often bended in the wrong direction too which is not too much of a problem if it has to been bended to much the metal is very pliable and we would always when cleaning a dome make sure all the parts are bent into their right place. The cushions can often be very threadbare which I dont really mind but can put some people off. Like I said before the cushions in red is what you see most and the other colours are much rarer.
In the home
They look great in the home in their original state on a mantle piece or side table. The work well in large collections of objects or just by themselves do be aware though that too much sunlight will dull the cushion further. If you have one with the little in it you can always add to it yourself and make it your own keepsake. Or I think even better start putting one together as a gift, surely a wedding gift too for a very special couple.
I just wanted to add in this amazing photograph from French photographer Louis Clergeau it is of his store and studio also selling jewelry and Globe de Mariée’s also. This was taken in the 1920’s so as the domes were falling more out of favour but still a very traditional gift and display piece.
I hope this has given a small insight into the history of the Globe de Mariée and it has made excited to hunt for some more .