March 21, 2017

Domes and Cloches

I was at the beach this weekend – brutally windy with some rain – and so we went shopping. I found something that I seem to have started collecting. Yes, I do collect some things, I don’t just sell everything. I found a great glass dome, the third one I’ve found in a few weeks, remarkably!image

The two glass domes on the left were the start of the collection. The smaller one is about four inches and the larger, about seven inches.

The one on the right, with the lights in it, is actually a cloche. These are little bee or fairy lights, and are electrified, not battery-operated like so many other sets. They throw off an amazing amount of light!

My friend who wrote the late, lamented blog, House of Beauty and Culture, and who bought and sold Victorian taxidermy, gave me this explanation: Domes are of a higher quality glass and were used to display and protect. Cloches were utilitarian and much thicker and heavier and usually have a topknot.

The cloche with the lights is a heavier glass, which is engraved with vines, leaves and flowers, and it has a topknot. Although the footed glass plate under it came with the cloche, it probably wasn’t original to it.

About a week or so ago, I was in a thrift shop and spotted a hideous plastic-gold clock inside a tall glass dome. So I chucked the clock into the trash and kept the dome and the wooden base. The new dome is about ten inches. image

Finally, over the weekend, I spotted another glass dome, this one about 14 inches high and much “rounder” at the base than the others! It came with a wood base, and I am actually thinking about painting all of the bases black, just so they are a little more uniform. I didn’t add the base to the top-most dome, as I thought it might be overkill!

I wanted to add something inside. I had a dead rose in a tiny silver vase, but it was too tall, so I took the rose out, cut off the stem and laid it inside the dome.image

I still have one more dome! It’s wider and taller than any of these, and is in another room with a late 1800’s hallmarked English teapot under it. IMG_0711

Here are some other great-looking domes from my blog:

Creel & Gow in NYCimage

Multiple domes with bee or fairy lights lights. Ditch the antlers though!image

Garden cloche from Trade Secrets a few years ago.image

Cake stand cloche from Halcyon House antiquesimage

Cloches in clear and blue at Ladew Garden Daysimage

At John Derian in NYCimage

Victorian domes at John Derianimage

Some of the Victorian ones skeeve me out a little, imageand others I have seen are so twee as to make you ill, imageso I am trying to find a balance in using mine. Any suggestions?


  1. I have several cloches and domes, some of which are from Roost. Mine house minerals, shells, pine cones and lights. I love all of them and even enjoy them empty.

    1. I am still searching for the right thing for mine. I just added the picture of my teapot under the dome.

  2. Hello Meg, You were lucky to have found so many domes in a row. I tried to find one last summer with no success, when I wanted to give a small antique to a friend and was looking for a suitable display. (I ended up going modern and getting an acrylic cube--kind of museum-like.)I could definitely use more domes; I have lots of stuff to put in them, plus they look good together.

    1. It's funny how I find things in waves! So I am getting while the getting is good!

    2. That is so often true--now that I think of it, most of the wooden vinaigrettes that I just wrote about were located within a certain band of time--now they are hard to find and too expensive! --Jim

  3. Hi Meg,
    Please tell us about the lights in the dome. Thank you!

    1. I added a link to them above! If you can, get the ones without batteries. Each string uses six AA batteries, so electric is much more efficient!


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