Friday, November 8, 2019

Decorating With The French Globe de Mariée

In 18th century France it was tradition for a newly married couple to create something called a Globe de Mariee. This was a way for them to display and protect items or wedding souvenirs chosen by the two of them that reflected their love for each other and the beginnings of their life together. The Globe de Mariee would be kept and treasured through the years as a record of their marriage.

I fell in love with these marriage domes some time ago but only recently was able to find one at an affordable price. Since I researched them while looking for one myself, I thought it might make a good topic for a blog post. I hope you will enjoy learning about these traditional French displays and the loving thought that went into them.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

This is the Globe de Mariee I just purchased at an incredible price. It came from Écurat, France and this style is from the era of Napoleon III. These domes have a way of making you fall under their spell! UPDATE.....Recently I found a French wax bridal headpiece to go on my crown cushion. I found it in a vintge clothing booth and was able to get the bride's headpiece, gown, and a picture of her wearing it all for less than the headpiece usually sells for. I was delighted! My new project involves making a display of it all.

Lisa Farmer-Eye For Design

I only have the interior of the globe de mariee called the garniture. I still am looking for a dome to fit it. It is 20 inches tall and the closest I have found is 18 inches. I found the perfect one in France but they wouldn't ship to the US. I will have to show some patience on this one!! The glass domes are hard to find.

Since they are highly collected, it is getting hard to find globes de mariee and antique bridal pieces in good condition at affordable prices. The domes are extremely fragile, so to find the original globe with all it's parts is rare. Today you have to build your own from antique pieces you find. It's what I am attempting to do.

The first glass domes appeared in the 1850s and were manufactured in Paris. Glass dome fashion was a very popular trend during the late 1800's in France as well as other European countries. Originally designed to protect clocks it was only a matter of time until globes de mariee were covered by glass domes.

The families of the bride and groom would have commissioned the creation of the globe de mariee to a jeweler or watch maker. 

The globe de mariee would have been proudly displayed in a room like the salon or dining room. Also they found places of prominence on mantles and even dressers.

The interior of the globe de mariee, is called the garniture and had significant meaning. Choosing the items for the garniture was taken seriously and was a project carefully attended to by the bride as well as the groom.

The velvet or silk cushions were usually red although pink, white, blue, burgundy, and gold were also produced.

via Pinterest

The bridal crown or tiara would have been made from wax orange blossoms which reflected virginity.........

via Pinterest

and would have resided on the tufted velvet cushion of the garniture of the globe de mariee. Her gloves, the grooms corsag, etc would have also been attached to the cushion

The large central mirror represented the reflection of the soul and symbolizes the truth.

Sometimes they were etched and some were even painted.

The small diamond-shaped mirrors located on these antique globes de mariee indicated the number of children the couple hoped to have. The couple who owned my globe wanted a big family....six children.

via Pinterest

Rectangular mirrors signified the number of years between the couple’s meeting and their promised marriage.

via Pinterest

The trapezoidal mirror at the bottom of this globe de mariee would have symbolized perfect agreement between the two people entering into marriage. This particular style globe has a vertical tufted crown cushion that the headpiece would be pinned to.

The globe de mariee would always have a gold bird or dove looking over the nest below. This represented love and peace in the home.

The leaves on the globe de mariee represented the hoped for longevity of the marriage union. Daisies would indicate purity.

This one has oak leaves which represented strength. My globe de mariee has ivy leaves that stood for commitment. Roses signified eternal love.

The globe de mariee's oval mirrors were always donated by the bridesmaids for good luck.

Globes de mariee make great old world vignette accessories.

Very ornate and fine examples of the French tradition of the globe de mariee wedding keepsake.

I adore them and think they make lovely conversation starters.

I also like the uniqueness of the globes de mariee. They are not cookie cutter decor. Each one is different so you have something nobody else has.

Globe de mariee heaven!! This is another site you might want to visit if you are mesmerized by these lovely wedding souvenirs.

The all white Swedish/Gustavian style interior is also a lovely setting for the display of a globe de mariee.

Dispaly a globe de mariee alongside some lovely vintage lace in keeping with the wedding theme.


Throughout their lives the couple would add special items that meant something to them to their globe de mariee. Items might have been locks of hair, pictures, little intimate treasures, and even ormolu charms associated with marriage.

The globe de mariee.......a great way to strike up a conversation AND add a bit of history to your interiors!

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This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

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