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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Romance: French Globe de Mariee, Marriage Globe

This weekend is my 11th wedding anniversary to my kind husband. He really is a kind person, something that should be high on the dating list. Apparently, he loved me at first sight, he denies this but I know it is true! I will get him to admit to this one of these days! 
we look so young!

 So, in honor of our anniversary I have this beauty of an item to show you! An antique French Wedding Globe or Globe de Mariee. These are the most special display pieces for a married couple to mark the occasion of their wedding and life together. Over the years symbols, such as flowers from the wedding bouquet, lock of hair from their children and jewelery would be placed and protected on these stunning keepsakes. 
my globe de mariee

The globes originated in France in the late 1800's through the early 1900's. After being crafted of thin metal and then covered in a ormolu (the gold overlay) and sculpted by a jeweler, each globe would be unique to the couple but most had  birds, mirrors and a velvet covered "seat" to hold personal items. The velvet was usually pink and red but blue and gold were also popular choices. Each gilded decoration symbolized something:

trees for strength!

bird with laurel wreath and daisy detail

birds with laurel wreath: wishes for children
trees: strength and longevity
daisies: innocence, purity
roses: everlasting love
cherries: protection against bad fortune
leaves: longevity of the marriage
sheaves of wheat: fertility and resurrection of life

detail of velvet, original wax flowers

The mirrors also hold meaning with their shape, number and position.
centralized mirror: reflected the soul
small diamond shape: number of children desired
rectangular  mirrors: number of years of courting before marriage

Typically they sit under a glass dome, the way a piece of art would sit for protection and admiration. They are most rare pieces of history. To get your hands on one is difficult, especially one with the glass dome intact. A true find!

side profile

I have always been fascinated with the Globe de Mariee, as it is as romantic as it is beautiful. They are little treasure boxes of love and history wrapped in a beautiful package. What romantic wouldn't LOVE it! 

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