How To Collect Snow Globes

It was in middle of 1800’s when snow globes first appeared.  Immediately after that, they became quite popular.  Initially, they were introduced as paper weights.  Soon after, they turned to be well-loved as home ornaments.  Nowadays, they are also referred to as snow domes, snow shakers, water balls, water domes, or blizzard weights.

Interestingly, the earlier snow globes had water inside.  Eventually, the water filling was replaced by light oil.  When the light out became unfashionable, the water filling returned.  But during that time, water was already mixed with an antifreeze, either with a glycol or a glycerin. 

Contemporary snow globes are synthetic-made, in and out.  They also contain flitters.  The filters are primarily china and porcelain chips, metal flakes, ground rice, bone fragments, or minerals known as meerschaum.  

Here are some tips on how you can kick-off your snow globe collection:

  • Determine your reason for pursuing your passion for snow globe collection.  Are you going to amass them purely for personal enjoyment?  Or, are you thinking of making good money from the collection that you are about to build?  Or, both?  Your reason is certainly going to set the kind of time you wish to invest or the extent of effort you intend to exert.
  • Decide on the specific snow globe theme that you want to put together.  Are you interested to have those snow globes with Christmas motif?  What about those pieces with famous building?  Or, perhaps, the kitsch ones?
  • Be familiar with the snow globe assortments.  They are available in varied shapes.  Some are egg-like or dome-like.  If they are not spherical, they are called “figurals”.  They are shaped like pyramids, cubes, bottles, or whatever you can imagine.
  • Know more about the premium snow globes.  Eye them out.  Although they are often advertised, their quantity is limited.  They are only available in a short span of time.
  • Favor the snow globes that are made of glass.  They are a lot more precious compared with those that are made of plastic.  Make sure that their bases are either Bakelite, wood, or ceramic.
  • Be particular about the manufacturer and/or the country where your snow globes originated.  For example, if they were 19th century France made, you can expect them to be mounted on a marble base or a thin porcelain.  Keep them in good condition.  They are really valuable.  Meanwhile, if you compare Hong Kong-made snow globes, they are going to stand out vis-à-vis the German pieces.
  • Scout for the one-of-a-kind snow globes.  They are easy to spot because the figures or figurines inside them are hand-painted.  They are more valuable compared with the mass-produced pieces.  They are of better quality and they look more beautiful.

You can source your snow globes almost anywhere.  They are readily available in gift shops, truck stops, theme parks, airport centers, and souvenir stores.  You can also have them in your community antique stores, flea markets, and trade shows.  Of course, you can likewise check out interesting stuff from on-line auctions every now and then.


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