A yard globe, also known as a gazing ball, lawn ball, garden ball, gazing globe, mirror ball, or chrome ball, is a mirrored sphere typically displayed atop a conical ceramic or wrought iron stand as a lawn ornament, and is often cited as a premier example of camp or kitsch. more...
Its size ranges from 2 to 22 inches in diameter, with the most popular gazing ball being about 12 inches (33 cm). Gazing balls were traditionally glass but can now be stainless steel, ceramic, or stained glass.
The history of a Gazing Ball is similar to the history of Friendship balls, Witch Balls, and other blown glass ornaments.
Unlike hanging blown glass ornaments that have a loop, gazing balls have a stem so they can securely sit in a stand. Larger sizes can be made, but this can be difficult due to the weight of the blown glass.
Gazing balls are a popular product that are sold at garden centers, but can also be found at boutiques, gift shops and other specialty shopping locations. Gazing balls are made all over the world, but the quality of the glass can vary from location to location.
Gazing balls originated in 13th century Venice workshops where they were hand-blown by skilled Italian craftsmen.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria, sometimes referred to as Mad King Ludwig, renowned for initiating the construction of Neuschwanstein, is said to have adorned another of his palaces, Herrenchiemsee, a monument to King Louis XIV of France in the form of a full-scale replica of Versailles, with Classical and Romantic statuary and lawn balls.
Thereafter, they became a fixture of European gardens and are associated with Victorian English gardens in particular.
A mirror ball is alleged to bring prosperity to those who own one and, alternately, to ward off evil spirits, particularly witches.
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