Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh…

Here’s an early nod to Christmas. Snow-domes aka snow-globes, snow-storms or water-globes are  spheres enclosed with water where the water serves as the medium through which the “snow” falls.  Snow-domes first appeared at the Paris Universal Expo of 1878, and became popular in England during the Victorian era. By the end of the 19th century Erwin Perzy, a producer of surgical instruments, invented the so-called Schneekugel (snow-dome) and was the first to patent it. (The production of the ‘snow’ is still a secret). Perzy and his brother Ludwig opened a shop in Vienna where the family business is still operating.

Many people collect snow domes, especially those collected as souvenirs through overseas travels. I have seen a cabinet of these in a cardiac/catheter lab of a major specialist hospital. As a patient or carer for someone undergoing intensive surgery, it is lightening and refreshing to see that dedicated medical professionals have a great sense of humour and when on vacation they remember those back at home whom they work with or deal with in the public sense and can give someone a chuckle or a smile in great times of need by bringing these back and displaying them in display cabinets. – Well done to them, – I say. (See more “Collectibles” in my ‘is it art collection?”)

But it doesn’t stop there.

  • Snow-domes have had amazing cameo appearances in film, and yet none have one an Oscar.  One of the most famous snow dome scenes features in the opening of the 1941 classic,  Citizen Kane where, Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) drops a snow-dome as he dies.
  • The 1996 special edition VHS release of Fargo includes a snow-dome, which, when shaken, stirs up both snow and “blood”.
  • Richard Gere’s character kills his wife’s lover with a snow-domes in the film Unfaithful.
  • In the final episode of the second season of Glee (“New York”), Finn (Cory Monteith) is holding and playing with a snow-dome of New York City, in the library, near the end of the episode.
  • Lastly, In the BBC black-humoured comedy,  The League of Gentlemen, Tubbs and Edward, who run the Local Shop, are obsessed with stopping “non-locals” from purchasing anything in their shop, in particular a collection of snow-domes (which they refer to as “Precious Things”), often accusing them of attempting to shop-lift and commenting – (“He covets the precious things of the shop“). If you like The League of Gentlemen, see my next post.

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“Is It Art?”

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