In the early 1800s, French artisans began to perfect the creation of solid glass paperweights embedded artfully with all manner of colourful objects whilst, at the same time, in Central Europe, craftspeople were blowing graceful glass domes to protect and magnify all sorts of items, from religious relics to clockwork movements.
Nearly a decade later an enterprising Parisian manufacturer got the idea of encasing tiny ceramic models of the brand-new Eiffel Tower in palm-sized glass globes, magnified with water and fake snow. Mounting them on ceramic bases, he peddled them as souvenirs of the 1889 Paris Expo. The inexpensive snowdomes sold like hot cakes and marked the beginning of the surge in snowdomes - still ubiquitous in our tourist spots - as travel souvenirs.
This exhibition features work inspired by these popular treasure-like miniatures that are collected by millions and adorns our houses.
Image: Patrick Cox, Wit, Irony and Footwear, published by Thames and Hudson
Book Cover: Snowdomes by Nancy McMichael, published by Abbeville Press
Photo: Colin Davison
Image: Richard Clegg, Snow Dooms, Photo: Clive Rowat
Image: David Emerick, Photographs from Snowdomes by Nancy McMichael, published by Abbeville Press