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I acquired this a while ago and have searched endlessly for similar items to identify it with no luck. The glass globe is two pieces held in a metal stand. Initially I thought it was used as a container for something but it is too difficult to open unless it held something that doesn't need to be removed regularly. The metal stand has three rams heads. Above each ram is a threaded piece that can be unscrewed to loosen the brackets holding the top half of the dome in place. The glass is hand blown, very thick, and decorated with a green tinted pattern. The globe is about 4" in diameter, overall height to the top of the finial is about 5 1/2". Any ideas?

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Wow, That is an interesting piece, and I've not seen one before. So, this is just a guess. I'd say era is Victorian, probably English, cut and etched, might be Webb. The use? That is another guess on my part. I'd say to hold a specimen (scientific or sentimental , hair etc) so it would not require opening except for occasional cleaning.

The stand is odd though. Can't say I've ever seen something glass placed on a less than sturdy surface. Unless it once sat upon something else?

Can you tell us where you found it, (place to please) anything on history or former owner? Also any markings at all on the metal or the glass?

There are no markings on the stand or glass that I could find. The stand is very strong and steady with the glass securely attached. The "legs" look like kind of like a draped swag but are not moveable so it stands well with no worry of tipping.  It seems complete. I don't see any evidence that it was attached to, or sat on anything else. I like the idea that it could have held like hair or?...  I thought Victorian era as well. Thank you so much for looking. What a fun website this is! Glad I found it.   

I was wondering if it might be a Victorian closed globe terrarium.  I put those words into google and came up with several terrariums, including this one: http://www.museumoutlets.com/unique-metal-home-accessories/unique-v...

Your Welcome Dawn, and it's very nice to meet ya!

BTW- Can you tell us where you found your cool globe? Was it in USA or? I'm just curious, I like to hear how people find their treasures!

And, I think Betty might be onto something as well! It's very small for a Terrarium, but the Victorians were crazy for science of all kinds, and all things sentimental, so all are very good possibilities!

I think we are definitely getting closer. It wouldn't hold anything very large. I think the fact that the glass has the ornate etching which would prevent seeing the item inside very thoroughly might be a clue. Also, probably not liquid since the glass seam is in the center (I was thinking apothecary show globe). Nothing to hold an item in a specific place or position inside the globe. 

Vicki - I am in the USA and purchased it with a bunch of other items from an estate. My understanding is the person at some point collected and/or sold antiques so who knows where he/she got it from. 

While most terrariums were/are larger, I have found some listed with diameters of 4 inches or less.  The etching does seem to be a problem for seeing anything that might be inside.  I am not saying that it must be a terrarium, just that the only reason I can see for ruling the idea out would be the etching - but that would rule out putting anything inside. :-)  Best wishes in your search!

Hello Dawn, welcome to the group.

I've found a photo of something similar to your item online, which is from Fabergé... a caviar server.

I agree it looks 19th century Victorian era. And Vicki's guess about storing some sentimental object seems right (too ornate and hard to see to hold a scientific object). Instead of hair, maybe to hold a dried flower - like from a wedding or dance?

I really appreciate all the replies. It does have the look of the caviar server but most likely not since it's not hinged or easy to open. I'm so surprised that I haven't been able to find a photo of something more similar. I did find a couple butter holders that had a similar rams head decoration on the legs but again the lack of a hinge and difficulty in opening it would prevent that it be for anything used daily or perishable. As far as hair goes, I am mostly finding jewelry or flatter wall hanging type displays. Didn't find anything that would be displayed tabletop like the container I have. It does seem it must hold something otherwise wouldn't they have just created a glass ball in one piece? I really enjoy finding an item and discovering it's purpose but it gets frustrating when I fail, lol.  

Have you asked anyone at the Corning Museum of Glass?

Is it possible that the upper half has corroded into place, requiring you to loosen the threaded pieces to remove it? Perhaps the narrow ring at the bottom of the upper glass is supposed to lift out of the wider ring but is stuck in place. Originally, the threaded pieces then would have been loosened only if it became necessary to further disassemble the rings.

Can describe, or show with photos how it opens?

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