Cloches, which are also known as bell jars or bell glasses (“cloche” is French for “bell”), were originally invented to help hold in moisture and protect tender plants from harsh weather, insects and other potential hazards. In gardening literature, they were first mentioned around 1630, and they are listed among mandatory garden tools and equipment in John Evelyn’s Elysium Britannicum, or The Royal Gardens.
Either it’s because I’m seeing them everywhere or because spring has come very early this year, but I’m feeling a new obsession coming on. I think they are so pretty, not to mention versatile. If you’re not lucky enough to have a garden (or don’t have any interest in gardening), you can still use them to display everything from photos to jewelry to holiday decor, or just as little sculptures all on their own.
The most common material is glass, but they do come in other materials as well, such as plastic, ceramic, metal, wire, etc. Most have a finial – either a traditional little “button” one, or in fancier designs (birds, fleur de lis, pinecones, etc.).
These have become very popular in the last few years, and you can find them in many decorating stores. Flea markets and vintage shops are also great sources.
Here are a few favorite finds:
Collage by Decoration Decoration
1. Gorgeous DIY chicken wire cloche (tutorial on the website) by Carol of Raised In Cotton
2. Glass cloches with antique silver finished aluminum and brass bases from Pottery Barn
3. Mercury glass cloche with inscription in French from Jeanne d’Arc Living
4. Recycled glass cloche with a dark brown wooden base from Louise Interiör
5. Large metal wire cloches with deep planter bases and bird finials from The Green Tuffet
6. Glass cloche with a mirrored black wood base by House Doctor, via Inreda.com
7. White Iron Filigree Fleur-de-lis cloche from Save On Crafts
8. Etched glass cloche with a metal wire base by Danish company Krasilnikoff from Faster Safiras Bod
9. Ceramic cupcake stand and Scalloped Bell Jar with a bird finial by California artist Whitney Smith
10 . Clear glass cloches with slightly elevated wood bases from Restoration Hardware
11. Glass cloche with pedestal base in terra cotta by In The Garden And More