San Francisco Music Box Company

Frequently Asked Questions about Snow and Water Globes
January 10, 2016 – 05:26 am

A.) I just started Snow Globing, what advice can you give me for my new-found hobby? Snow Globing can be a fun hobby, a profitable enterprise, or even both! The best advice we can provide is to buy the items that "speak to you". And by that we mean the ones that you find intriguing, beautiful, or complimentary to your own collection. Collecting, while often about numbers, is also about the synergy between the pieces. Some people go for a certain theme; collecting a Snow Globe from each state, for example. Others collect from a certain time period, country, or even manufacturer. Some just plain snatch up any Snow Globe they come across! But the good thing is, ultimately it's about what brings you pleasure. So if you're new to collecting, start with some of our best sellers. And if you're a seasoned collector, make sure you've got one of each item in our catalog!

b.) How do I take care of my Snow Globe?
While you're going to want to display your Snow and Water Globes, you'll definitely want to keep them in an area that's temperature controlled, and out of direct heat, sunlight, or cold. The reason for this is that while the liquids in almost all new globes are synthetic, older ones contained actual water. And as we all know, with enough heat, water evaporates. This leaves unsightly bubbles in your globe, lowering its value and aesthetic. And you might want to consider keeping them in a cabinet of some sort, with doors on it; especially if you live in a part of the country that's prone to earthquakes!

c.) What are the most popular kinds of Globes? All globes tend to be essentially the same construction, with the differences being in the theme. Those themes are primarily either: There's no specific date for when the first Snow Globe was created, but all evidence seems to indicate that they were originally made by French artisans in the 1800's. One story is that they were first developed as complicated and ornate paperweights. During the Victorian period in the late 1800's, they became popular in England, often called "Snowstorms". And shortly after the turn of the century, pieces started making their way across the ocean to America.

  • Seasonal/Holiday
  • Promotional/Characters
Seasonal or Holiday-related globes include more than just Winter and Christmas themed ones. There are even Halloween themed globes! Promotional globes include everything from cheaply constructed trinkets given away by stores or in support of certain products as a means of advertising, to ornate and highly detailed globes involving popular fictional characters such as The Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter.

d.) Are there any dangers involved with collecting Globes? Well unlike bungee jumping or shark fishing, collecting globes is generally a hobby for those with a spirit on an even keel. However, there are some things you should consider.
Fragility: Some globes, especially older ones, are very fragile. So you should take care to ensure they're stored or displayed in a spot where they're not likely to be bumped or jostled. If they fall, there's a good chance of having broken glass on the floor (not to mention a wet mess).
: Many newer snow globes have switched from water to glycol, otherwise known as Antifreeze. This allows the "snow" to remain suspended for a while longer in the "air", and mitigates problems from temperature extremes. However, glycol is toxic and has a sweet taste, which can be inviting to many pets and small children.
Temperature Extremes: Older globes, containing water, will obviously need to be kept out of temperatures below freezing. Heat will also cause the liquid in many to evaporate. And what's even weirder, although unlikely, is the risk of your globe catching the sunlight just right and acting as a magnifying glass, causing a focused beam of heat to be applied to whichever surface is in its path. We don't expect that this should be a major concern, but it's something to think about. Besides, you'll want to keep your globes out of direct sunlight anyway, to keep their colors from fading over the decades.

e.) Are there any Snow Globe collector communities online that I can join? At the moment we haven't found any with a sizable number of members. But fear not, we're working on one ourselves for our dedicated customers and fans of globes everywhere. Keep an eye on this space for future announcements!
f.) What's the world's largest Snow Globe? The largest Snow Globe ever was displayed in 2007 in New York city as a means of promoting tourism. Although, factually it isn't a true Snow Globe (since it does not contain water or another liquid), which is why the folks at Guinness did not certify it as the world record holder.

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