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The Collectors: Vintage Snow Globes

Dec 10, 2010

by rikrak handmade and vintage goods

Is there anything more magical then the whimsical miniature world of a snow globe? Perhaps it’s a bustling city quietly frozen for just a moment, or a cozy cottage fixed in time. Each teeny tiny scene is a perfect microcosm, evoking scenes around our globe peacefully covered in beautiful snow. Now I present to you the charming, international snow globe collection of jewellery artist Jennifer Cowgill.


Who (are you)? I am Jennifer Cowgill and I sell jewelry here on Etsy as Polestar.

What (are you collecting)? I collect kitschy snow globes and travel memorabilia.

When (did you start)? I started collecting these types of things when I was very young, around 7 or 8. My dad was in the Air Force and he traveled all over the world. My favorite thing he brought back was a dead piranha from South America, toothy, mouth agape, completely shellacked and glued to a mounting board. My love for trinkets from around the world developed from the random gifts my father brought home to me. Eventually, I started collecting snow globes because they are portable and easy to pack.

How (many do you have)? Right now I have about 50, but I’ve broken and lost just as many to evaporation over the years.

Where (do you find them)? Half of them are places I’ve been and the other half are destinations visited by my friends and family who are kind enough to bring back a souvenir to me.

Where (do you keep them)? Presently, they are on a display shelf in my office.

Collectors_snowglobe_3.jpgWhat (‘s a crazy/interesting story behind one)? It’s not so crazy, but I love the Seattle globe where the couple is sitting in the snow with their coffee, rain slickers and umbrellas. I hear Northwesterners don’t use umbrellas though.

What (piece would you like to add)? I would love a globe from the Middle East. I may be acquiring one from Israel soon!

Collectors_snowglobe_4.jpgWhich (one is your favourite) and why? I love the Space Shuttle globe. The Shuttle will be retiring soon, and the globe will be a representation of an exciting era for space exploration.

What (else do you collect)? I collect vintage buttons and have recently started a handmade plush and amigurumi collection.
Thanks so much, Jennifer. Just as magical as her collection is Polestar’s sparkling shop, filled with enchanting jewellery perfect for any festive occasion. I wish the joys and magic of the season to you all!

What holiday goodies do you collect? Please tell us in the comments below. We’d love to hear!

I’m Kristal Davis (a.k.a. rikrak) and I just love seeing what folks are collecting. I feel it tells us a little bit about what inspires them. The Collectors series, first published on my own little blog is 11 and a half quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they’re collecting — apart from their art supplies!

The Collectors Series | Vintage Snow Globes


  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 8 years ago

    Who doesn't love a great snow globe :) Great finds!

  • dkalvarez

    dkalvarez said 8 years ago

    What a neat little article. Thanks!!

  • theoldlady

    theoldlady said 8 years ago

    Very neat! I also collect snow globes. I have a preference for the cheap plastic ones. It's so funny to see snow coming down on scenes with rainbows or tourists. This spring I lost my favourite one - "Don't Mess With Texas" to breakage. Oh well, such is the way of snow globes...

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    aBreathofFrenchair said 8 years ago

    What a fun collection!

  • HappyHuismus

    HappyHuismus said 8 years ago

    Fabulous collection Jen! What a fun post, thanks!

  • vivikas

    vivikas said 8 years ago

    Wow... that DIY snow globe kits is pretty cool!

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 8 years ago

    The snow globes make for wonderful nostalgic memories! I always enjoy rikrak's collectors series. :)

  • oldworldprimitives

    oldworldprimitives said 8 years ago

    This post brought me back to childhood when I used to collect snow globes too! Sadly they have all been lost over the years (memories of my little brother tossing his down the stairs to see what would happen...). Now I collect Santa dolls and figures.

  • ladaworks

    ladaworks said 8 years ago

    I have globes for golfers :)).

  • QueenofCuffs

    QueenofCuffs said 8 years ago

    Beautiful miniature worlds - what a great collection. I collect thimbles (and also pigs) Is what you collect a reflection of your personality???? Hmm. . .

  • doveandflower

    doveandflower said 8 years ago

    Jennifer, I've been admiring your creations for a while now. What an awesome list! Totally out of left field, but now I want my own collection. It's so magical watching the snowflakes fall! I think maybe I'll start with the fox globe. Cute Cute Cute

  • PoleStar

    PoleStar said 8 years ago

    Thank you Kristal, I am honored to have participated. I love the collector series and it was fun showing off my collection. Jen

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 8 years ago

    One word "FUN"

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 8 years ago

    Jennifer, agree with you as well, like the Seattle globe, what a unique collection you have, now I need to start a collection of ???? something...thanks for sharing, you've got an amazing shop too...xo

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 8 years ago

    nice collection...I haven't had a snow globe since I was a kid. love your beautiful jewelry too!

  • halfmoonroad

    halfmoonroad said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the peek into your little world.

  • iragrant

    iragrant said 8 years ago

    An interesting collection Jen, and dead piranha from South Africa? That's sound very exotic too:))) What goodies do I collect? Well I love Indonesian traditional antique batik:)

  • joyoustreasures

    joyoustreasures said 8 years ago

    Very neat!

  • ViviansKitchen

    ViviansKitchen said 8 years ago

    Brings back memories ♥

  • retroreclaim

    retroreclaim said 8 years ago

    these globes are so awesome! such great finds! I can always appreciate a great collection.

  • corrnucopia

    corrnucopia said 8 years ago

    Beautiful collection! There's something so magical and timeless about snow globes.

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the info.

  • MerCurios

    MerCurios said 8 years ago

    I used to collect musical snow globes!! Agreed, they are so magical. Alas, I am down four with all the moving through the years. I have a carousel horse that I've had since I was a child; a Macy's Snow Globe from 2000(?) with the a mini NYC skyline inclusive of the word trade center - this was pre 9/11; comedy/tragedy masks & Cinderella's castle from Disney's Magic Kingdom. LOVE, LOVE LOVE them all!

  • KnotOriginal

    KnotOriginal said 8 years ago

    What a sweet collection, Jen! You heard right about Seattlites not carrying umbrellas.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 8 years ago

    Snow globes are fascinating! What child hasn't been mesmerized by shaking one?

  • PearsonMaron

    PearsonMaron said 8 years ago

    So good. Snow globes are the best!

  • whitehaus

    whitehaus said 8 years ago

    love them!

  • cottonbirddesigns

    cottonbirddesigns said 8 years ago

    Lovely collection!

  • AudreyGardenLady

    AudreyGardenLady said 8 years ago

    Wow this is so cool Jen! I have always been fascinated by snow globes too and wondered how the person who evented them came up with the idea. I have 2 collection fetishes: swans and very old family pictures. I even have a few tin types!

  • seasonsart1031

    seasonsart1031 said 8 years ago

    Love snowglobes we just started collecting last Christmas.:)

  • AdeloCreations

    AdeloCreations said 8 years ago

    very sweet collection!

  • ThisYearsGirl

    ThisYearsGirl said 8 years ago

    what a great collection! I love snow globes too :)

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 8 years ago

    I love snow globes but they always remind me of the Twilight Zone episode It's A Good Life.

  • moonovermaize

    moonovermaize said 8 years ago

    What a fun collection!

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts said 8 years ago

    Oh, what a fun collector item! Snowglobes make you nostalgic and cheerful...even the tacky, touristy kind can lift your spirits. Great article.

  • TheCottageCheese

    TheCottageCheese said 8 years ago

    Great collection! I found a snowglobe in a little souvenir shop on the tiny island where my husband and I got married. It' a tropical sunset theme in colors of yellow and orange. It's the only tacky thing that I truly love. (We displayed it on the food table at our otherwise classy wedding reception).

  • genisepark

    genisepark said 8 years ago

    A super collection.

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 8 years ago

    oh i love snow collection is small compared to jens - but magical and loved just the same!! thanks, kristal - i too love to see what others are collecting!

  • jelijulie

    jelijulie said 8 years ago

    Very cool!!! I will have to send this article to my friend who collects snow globes.

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 8 years ago

    Congrats Polestar...big fan. Shake it up!

  • pulpandpaisley

    pulpandpaisley said 8 years ago

    Great article! My stepmom has just started a snow globe collection for my daughter:)

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    Fab collection! I love the idea of making your own snow globe. Hope you get your missing Middle East snow globe soon!

  • robotinside

    robotinside said 8 years ago

    I, too, have a snowglobe colletion- over 200 at last count. I had mentioned to a friend how much I love them and she brought back 2 from a Chicago trip. From there, it snowballed ha! I haven't had them on display in a couple of years since my office was converted into a little girls room :) My very favs are on display in my workshop space. I have thought about selling them- I have a whole vintage Christmas collection. But I may give them as gifts instead.

  • artsylois

    artsylois said 8 years ago

    I started my daughter on her own collection from all our travels, she's 14 now and has a nice collection. Glad to see there are others out there that love snow globes!

  • julieincharge

    julieincharge said 8 years ago

    Great post! I do love a good snow globe collection.

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 8 years ago

    what a fun collection! they must be popular to collect because i never see them out when i'm thrifting.

  • michabella

    michabella said 8 years ago

    I absolutely adore snow globes! Thank you for sharing your collection Jen :)

  • alphabetsali

    alphabetsali said 8 years ago

    I LOVE snowglobes. I collect them. Every time i travel someplace new i search out a globe. They look so pretty on the shelf.

  • VelveteenHabbit

    VelveteenHabbit said 8 years ago

    OOOOOOOH!!! I love love love glass domes snow globes teeny tiny scenes in glass--this was so beautiful to see--lots of oooooooooooo's and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah's from me!

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez said 8 years ago

    How fun!

  • AZCreativeStudio

    AZCreativeStudio said 8 years ago

    So festive!!! I love it!

  • chasedreams

    chasedreams said 8 years ago

    Love it!

  • expressyourself

    expressyourself said 8 years ago

    Wonderful collection!

  • QuiltedNoodles

    QuiltedNoodles said 8 years ago

    What a fun collection! And you are correct Pacific NW'ers do not carry umbrellas - only the tourists do! My quirky collection is shot glasses (I know, I know!) They are small and do not take up a lot of display space. I have my collection hung on the wall in vintage wooden soda crates. My favorite is from Guam with a Gecko on it. (from my military son)

  • bijouxdellostregatto

    bijouxdellostregatto said 8 years ago

    Beautiful collection!! I love snow globes!

  • LittleMissDressUp

    LittleMissDressUp said 8 years ago

    How awesome- I love snow globes too!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 8 years ago

    What fun collections! Congrats on the feature :)

  • globalshakeup

    globalshakeup said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the wonderful mention! Many of these beautiful snowglobes are for sale on our website, We have DIY kits and photo snowdomes too!

  • Katiew83

    Katiew83 said 8 years ago

    Great little read! I love Jennifer's store, I go back often!

  • Raceytay

    Raceytay said 8 years ago

    I love snow globes! Whenever I'm in a snow squall at work and I look out the window it feels like I'm living in one of these little treasures. Thank you for sharing, Rikrak and Jen!

  • MademoiselleChipotte

    MademoiselleChipotte said 8 years ago

    I'm a collection's collector :-))) I love this series ! Thank you so much for the mention. Merciiii... MademoiselleChipotte ;-)

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 8 years ago

    well done Jen!! nice to see your collection! I like snow globes too! but I don't have any because I get a bit panicky when they have animals in them under all that water and no air to breathe :)

  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    TheLittleRagamuffin said 8 years ago

    I had a dream last night that I lived in a snowglobe...

  • jen4eternity

    jen4eternity said 8 years ago

    Nice article! Thanks so much for including my mini penguin snowglobe in the related items!

  • nine20nine

    nine20nine said 8 years ago

    thank you! for adding my globe :)

  • trillity

    trillity said 8 years ago

    Wow, I totally want to collect snow globes now! They are beautiful...

  • CaptainCat

    CaptainCat said 8 years ago

    this is an awesome feature! loved it! thank you!

  • amyawalters

    amyawalters said 8 years ago

    a very lovely collection! i collect them too, heart breaking when they break, amazing how thin the glass ones are!

  • allthepreciousthings

    allthepreciousthings said 8 years ago

    I love these! FYI - if you sell these- in Australia we call them "snow domes" (might be useful for additional tagging to help sales!)

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 8 years ago

    Nice collection Jen! I love snowglobes and have one sitting next to the computer. It's a great way to destress. Happy Holidays. xo

  • VanDykeJewelry

    VanDykeJewelry said 8 years ago

    Nice collection, and some great photo's, thank you.

  • sevenply

    sevenply said 8 years ago

    My three year old Loves snow "globs" ,as he say's it!

  • BunacatVintage

    BunacatVintage said 8 years ago

    Cute snowglobes! Lovely jewelry as well!

  • lingeron

    lingeron said 8 years ago

    great great timing - I happened to make my first snow globe today ! thanks for including my photograph in your blog xx

  • jillmccp

    jillmccp said 8 years ago

    How do you display them?

  • CreaShines

    CreaShines said 8 years ago

    What a super hobby and writeup! Beautiful photos Jen :) Thank you so much for giving me my first Storque appearance, squeee!

  • shop1848

    shop1848 said 8 years ago

    Wonderful collection, so charming!!

  • LifeInASuitcase

    LifeInASuitcase said 8 years ago

    There is an entire collection of these at the library in my building at college! I think they are fab!

  • CleanWired

    CleanWired said 8 years ago

    This definitely brings me back! I remember being little and waiting for the snowglobes to make their annual appearance.... One of my happiest memories was getting my very own Precious Moments globe to look at all year!

  • DIVINEsweetness

    DIVINEsweetness said 8 years ago

    snow globes always makes my tummy tingle with excitement!!!.. Why? because in my head, i always imagine that if i peek closely, i'm pretty sure i might see something "magical" and moving inside the tiny landscapes! rikrak, thank you so much for including me in this great, holiday perfect, article =) btw, your shop is holiday perfect!! love your snow globe CreaShines, always a big fan of yours =)

  • rakshniyavintage

    rakshniyavintage said 8 years ago

    that's a pretty cool collection! It's also cool that you get to recap where you've been

  • dkshopgirl

    dkshopgirl said 8 years ago

    I LOVE snowglobes!!! great collection :-)

  • jaipuronline

    jaipuronline said 8 years ago

    vary interesting..........

  • Piggy

    Piggy said 8 years ago

    I love love snowglobes especially the ones with white snow like bits. :D

  • unflappableproducts

    unflappableproducts said 8 years ago

    my favorite snow globes are the musical ones

  • treasuredarling

    treasuredarling said 8 years ago

    Fun collection!!

  • IndyGrrrlProductions

    IndyGrrrlProductions said 8 years ago

    Amazing! I love snow globes : )

  • secretjewellz

    secretjewellz said 8 years ago

    Wonderful collection. I love snow globes.

  • JKLEncaustics

    JKLEncaustics said 8 years ago

    What a nice craft. They are beatiful

  • metroretrovintage

    metroretrovintage said 8 years ago

    I've always adored snow globes! We also used to make them with baby food jars. Lovely collection! :)

  • lulusmuse

    lulusmuse said 8 years ago


  • 4blankwalls

    4blankwalls said 8 years ago


  • LucyHarpo

    LucyHarpo said 8 years ago

    My favorite snow dome ever is one a friend made for me. It is made in a straight sided jar, there is a brain inside and a label that says "Abnormal Brain DO Not Use".

  • picturesofsilver

    picturesofsilver said 8 years ago

    Oh I was 6 yrs old when I dropped my snow globe on the floor furnace. I carried it everywhere I went! Yrs later, when they put in central air & heat, dad retrieved the inside pieces and gave them to me. I kept the little seahorses for many years. Thanks for the walk down memory lane :)

  • sophisticatedwedding

    sophisticatedwedding said 8 years ago

    super cute!!!

  • eleuthera

    eleuthera said 8 years ago

    I'm a snow globe collector too! My husband & I both travel and each year we compete for the 'best' snow globe for the collection. It must include a place name, we love the ones which include games, calenders etc. I reckon I am bound to win this year with a little creation I bought in features the local Madonna, the snow is gold AND it's a pen holder. Yes, I may bang on about the wonder of hand made but I'll go into any cheap & nasty tourist shop if it has a snowglobe in the window!

  • jewellerytreasures

    jewellerytreasures said 8 years ago

    what an interesting collection love snow globes!

  • sunkae

    sunkae said 8 years ago

    ***So nice...!***

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