Antique French Marriage Globe

Minimum Donation €263.76

A stunning Napoleon lll antique French Marriage Globe dating from around 1880 and in its original condition, the cushion was used to display either the wedding bands during, or the bride’s crown or headpiece after, the ceremony. Both original filigree edged mirrors are in place, with no chips, and the gold filigree still fully intact around the edges of both mirrors. Looks wonderful in classical or contemporary interiors. This example has a well worn but original red silk cushion in place. The delicate gold metal filigree leaves and bird carrying a ring surround the original bevelled mirror. There are delicate white and blue (forget-me-not) porcelain flowers down both sides of the frames – a stunning confection from a bygone era. This beautiful example has not been modified or updated, preserving its value and integrity; and if you are looking for perfection and immaculate items, then it is not for you. However this beautiful example is in great condition for its age and suitable for the classic or contemporary interior H:43 x W:25 x D:20cm. Red cushion H:25 x W:12.5cm Weight 438g

Only 1 left in stock


The tradition of the Globe de Mariée began in France, in the 1800′s. It was a display for married couples, to preserve their wedding souvenirs as well as tell the story of their wedding and life together. Often placed prominently in the formal dining room, it held the bride’s crown, or bridal tiara made from fresh or wax orange blossoms, and at times her wax floral bouquet with the groom’s wax flower corsage. The bride and groom chose items for their personalized display such as mirrors, porcelain pieces, and ormolu (gold plated) cut-outs. Each had a special and very personal meaning to them and it was a symbol that told the story of the bridal couple. Over the years special items were added; photographs, little locks of their babies’ hair, jewellery, more ormolu symbols. Each was carefully pinned to the velvet or silk cushion, most of which were red, although pink, blue and gold were also produced. During the height of their popularity in the Napoleon III era, there were many ready-made bases couples could pick from, then add their choice of gilded symbols, mirrors, porcelain flowers, and other gilt decorations, making each one of these highly personal, and unique. After all the ormolu pieces were attached by the Jeweller, the display piece was covered with a very fine, thin and handblown glass dome.
Each symbol had meaning:
The Bird: the symbol of love
Leaves: longevity of the marriage union
Orange Blossoms: virginity
Roses: for eternal love
Daisies: for purity and innocence
Ivy Leaves: commitment to each other
Lime Leaves: symbolized fidelity
Oak Leaves: for strength and longevity of the couple
Chestnut Leaves: for links to others
Fig Leaves: for prosperity
The tree: a symbol of love and strength
Four Leaf Clover: good fortune (luck)
Sheaves of Wheat: fertility, and also to the resurrection of life
Cherries: for protection against bad fortune
Clusters of Grapes: prosperity
The Dove: symbolized the desire for peace in the home
The Bird holding a laurel wreath: symbolized that, as a bird makes its nest, so does the woman build her family
Each mirror also had meaning:
The central (largest) mirror evoked the reflection of the soul, symbolizing the truth
Rectangular mirrors were related to the number of years between the couple’s meeting and their promised marriage
The oval mirrors were good luck gifts offered by the bridesmaids
The number of small diamond-shaped mirrors represented the number of children the couple wished to have

Additional information

Weight 0.75 kg