Gazing balls originated in Venice, Italy, in the 13th century, where the famous Italian glass blowers would blow glass of all sizes and colors. Most of these gazing balls were created for the affluent homes of kings and queens.
Because gazing balls were thought to attract fairies and magical beings, King Ludwig II of Bavaria insisted that gazing balls be hung from trees, floated on the surrounding ponds, and placed on stands in the garden. Considered wildly eccentric, he longed to rule over a fairytale kingdom and built fairytale castles that today rate among Germany’s leading tourist attractions..
Gazing balls were also used to spy on couples as they walked around the garden (you could watch them unseen). They were also used in dining rooms of wealthy homes, so the maids and butlers could watch unobserved to see who needed their tea refilled.
Do you have a gazing ball in your home, yard, or garden?