What’s With the Viennese Snow Globes?

Visitors in Vienna have so many choices as to souvenir items they can bring home and will make them remember their trip to the Austrian capital. But perhaps, one that will surely stand out when kept as your own treasured gift and displayed at home or to be given as a gift to a family member or friend is the snow globe.

Erwin Perzy I is the man behind the first Austrian snow globe. It was in 1900 when Perzy created this décor with the Basilica of Maria Zell as his first design using ground rice as the snow. He was then living in an area near Schonbrunn. Perzy’s first glass globe featured a gypsum base, measured 40 mm in diameter and was black.

By 1920, he was making snow globes in three different sizes – 20, 40 and 60 mm. Then in 1970, more sizes were created (35mm, 45mm, 80 mm). Seven years later in 1977, Perzy produced his first largest snow globe measuring 120 mm. Since that time, the designs have also improved. There have been snow globes for many popular films, some have industry logos and large companies have also ordered their share for their giveaways.

Among the available sizes, though, the 25 mm is considered one of the best selling. This was produced since 1995 to replicate the original snow globe made by Erwin Perzy I.

This artistic man also became a recipient of a special award from Kaiser Franz Josef I because of his unique designs as a toymaker. Did you know that up to this day, the snow globe is being produced by hand only? And it is still being made in the same house in Vienna where Perzy started his artwork.

The snow globe is said to have originated in France in the early 19th century. It was displayed at the Paris Universal Expo in 1878 and a year after, about five companies were already making and trading it in Europe.

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