Globe de Mariage ~ Globe de Mariée (and Ulla's Class)

Flicker Photo Link

The tradition of the Globe de Mariage (or Globe de Mariée) began during the nineteenth century in France. It was a display for married couples to preserve their wedding souvenirs. Usually the bridal crown or the bride’s bouquet (made from fresh orange blossoms or wax flowers) took center stage in these amazing displays. The flowers sat on a cushion of velvet or silk. The color of choice for the cushion was often red, pink, blue or gold.

Photo Fete et Fleur Designs

More items from cherished moments were added over the years: baby’s first hair clipping, special photographs, and jewelry. These beautiful globes were always displayed proudly and prominently in the home.

During the height of their popularity, crafters designed ready-made bases. The couple could then add their choice of mirrors, porcelain flowers, and brass stampings in the form of leaves, berries, and birds.

Each Globe de Mariage was unique, as couples could choose the symbols for their personal display. The choosing of these symbols was extremely important, since each ornament represented something special.

The meanings behind symbols

The orange blossom for virginity

The rose for eternal love

The daisy for innocence or purity

Ivy leaves symbolized commitment

Lime leaves symbolized fidelity

The tree was a symbol of strength and love

Ears of wheat were symbols of fertility or referred to the resurrection of life. They often represented the number 7 to recall the 7 days of the week.

Four-leaf clovers, a symbol of good luck

The fig leaf for prosperity, often paired with clusters of grapes

The oak leaf for longevity and strength to the couple

The presence of a bird holding a laurel wreath meant that as the bird makes its nest, the woman builds her family. A dove expresses the desire for peace in the home.

Photo Fete et Fleur Designs

Joined hands symbolized the union of the couple

The meaning of the mirrors and their shapes:

The shapes, numbers and positions of mirrors had varied meanings in the overall composition of the Globe de Mariage.

The central mirror evokes the reflection of the soul, the truth

Rectangular mirrors were related to the number of years between the couple’s meeting and the 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 for

The trapezoidal mirror symbolized the perfect agreement

I hope you’ve enjoyed the history of this beautiful French wedding tradition.

Creating with Miss Ulla

Months ago Miss Ulla and I got together to create our own French wedding displays. I photographed the results below.

Ulla’s is the purple velvet and mine is the blue silk.

Photo Fete et Fleur Designs

Photo Fete et Fleur Designs

Here is my chair, devoid of decoration. I have to confess it is still in this unfinished state.

Photo Fete et Fleur Designs

Now for the really exciting part of this post. Ulla will be teaching a class at the Castle on how to create your own Globe de Mariee! Her students will be using gorgeous hand dyed silks and velvets, and the most wonderful collection of gold Dresden available. The class is scheduled for Thursday, September 10th.

Here is the finished chair sample that Ulla made for her class. Please visit here for more information and photos.

Photo Ulla Norup Milbrath

Have a great weekend!

All historical text was combined and/or translated from French into English from the links below:

L’amour sous verre

Le Globe de Mariée

For some more fun, click here for my Hubby's latest blog post.


LiLi M. said...

Thanks for this wonderful eyecandy and interesting post. I think I will create my own globe de Mariage one day, thanks for inspiration! Hope all is well with you.

BellaRosa said...

Nancy thank you for sharing that beautiful lesson. I wish these classes were closer...well I guess I could always fly :) If you take the class, take lots of pictures and share them with us. Hmm I wonder if I have a dome large enough to make one of those...Be loved. Rose

btw that was a great post your husband wrote had me smiling even at this hour :)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Exquis! Merveilleux, chic! These are so lovely. My girlfriend Julie collects these vintage pieces and has several of them in her home....they are wonderful. I love the little I wish I had time to make things! School starts next week and prepping for it is a monster of a chore! Take care, Anita

Lori said...

honestly i never heard of these or saw anything like them Nancy...they are gorgeous...i love the idea of them and how they were added to over time...the story of your life as a couple preserved under a glass dome...i love it...the chairs are really beautiful...i hope when you finish yours, you will share it again!!!

LW said...

My heart be still, yet another class I wish I could attend…
If wishes could be wished, I would wish that you and Ulla would do an online class.

Thank you for the wonderful information about this beautiful French item.
As I was reading your post, I thought about all the tiny trinkets that one saves over a lifetime
and how incorporating them into an art piece like this would be such fun.

Have a wonderful and joyful weekend my dear friend…


Gabriela said...

Hello Nancy,

This globe is fabulous!

~ Gabriela ~

Ulla said...

Nancy! What a beautiful post! I love seeing and reading your version of the history of these amazing treasures...
You are my treasure!

Gina Jolliffe said...

Beautiful work. I'm lucky enough to have a 19th century globe in really good condition. I bought it in France through eBay and the postal servive delivered it perfectly. I love them and their heritage.

Our Hands For Hope said...

I don't know what is more stunning...your photos or the art! I am green with envy that you two have the opportunity to create together like this. Wow.

Salone Di Petros said...

Thank you for showing this the chair is so delicate and beautiful! and thank you for stating the history, very interesting, things I never knew.
Sincerely Jonny

Mélanie A. said...

Very interesting post. I love ulla's art and you did a very terrific job...Beautiful

pchickki said...

What a fascinating post. I never knew about the globe. Bring it back Nancy,

Richard Cottrell said...

I have a new blog you might like to visit. Thanks, Richard.