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If I tell you my collecting secret, will you tell me yours?

Sally Hopman28 July 2021
Snowdomes on bookshelves

Where once there were books, snowdomes have taken over the shelves at Sally Hopman’s house. Photo: Sally Hopman.

There’s a self-help group for just about everyone these days: the folk who like chocolate crackles, bevvies and betting on things that move fast (or, mostly, not fast enough) a little too much. If you think too much about your navel/reality TV/other people, there’s sure to be a self-help group for you.

But what about us poor collectors? We need help, and not just because we’re so poor from buying so much stuff.

We used to be almost famous, with our own Collectors TV show on the ABC. But today, collecting money and Sydney real estate seem the only ones left that people want to talk about.

Up until now, that is.

If I tell you my collecting secret, will you tell me yours?

(Editor’s note: Your collection was hardly a secret – ‘All Shook Up’ was on public exhibition at the Canberra Museum and Gallery for most of 2018.)

'All Shook Up' snowdomes on display in museum

Part of the ‘All Shook Up’ snowdome display at the Canberra Museum and Gallery in 2018. Photo: Sally Hopman.

It seems now would be a good time to admit that my name is Sally and I am a snowdome-aholic. It’s not something I’m proud of. It’s just one of those things that happened and within a shake of a dome, I got completely out of control.

Yes, snowdomes.

The things you bring back from overseas for people you didn’t like when you went away in the first place, let alone when you came back. Things that look so cheap they deserve to break.

Snowdomes, snowglobes, shaky things… whatever you call them, they still have the same function – not a lot, really.

Tiffany & Co snowdome

Tiffany & Co snowdome complete with a ‘real’ diamond sparkler. Photo: Sally Hopman.

Although it’s embarrassing to admit this vice, I will not accept that snowdomes are tacky. Apparently some people, clearly with no taste, reckon they are. But they obviously haven’t heard that Tiffany & Co and Chanel, and sometimes their distant cousins, ‘Tifffffannneeeee’ and ‘Channel’, produce snowdomes.

Also, please don’t tell anyone that I have more than 1000 snowdomes (the household contents insurance premiums would clearly go through the roof).

At home, the books that used to be on the bookshelves are now on the floor. Or on other books or under other things.

The snowdomes have taken over.


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I have snowdomes from places where it has never, or will never, snow. From Broken Hill to Dubai, Karratha to Marrakesh, Las Vegas to Darwin. I have them from places where it does nothing but snow – too many from Switzerland, Katoomba and Tassie, and one from Paris where you can’t see anything but snow, save the top bit which I’m guessing is the Eiffel Tower.

There’s one from Jenolan Caves with black bats floating about instead of snow, and another from Graceland with more than a couple of blue suede shoes.

I have ones that spurt perfume (Guerlain), ones that show the building where perfume is made (Givenchy) and ones that are so fabulous that everything stylish, including perfume, is made there (Chanel).

My Tiffany dome has what I’m sure is a real diamond ring in its centre. Or not.

Titanic-theme snowdome

No, nothing is sacred when it comes to snowdomes. This one also plays that tune by Celine Dion. Photo: Sally Hopman.

I have Titanic snowdomes in various stages of departure south, including one that plays that Celine Dion song you can never get out of your head, and another that claims to have a piece of Titanic coal inside it, and yet another one that moves slowly in a circle, showing you the grand staircase as well as the bow of the ship, to the tune of that same awful song.

Since I’ve been so brutally honest with you, dear readers, why not reciprocate? Tell me what you collect and why. Photographs, or you didn’t collect it. Doesn’t matter how small or large, you just have to collect it and be willing to tell all.

So far we’ve heard of folk who collect vacuum cleaners, pastel-shaded Sunbeam Mixmasters, chainsaws, ducks on walls and anything green.

No collection idea will be chucked out, but it will help if it’s legal.

Email me at [email protected] and we’ll discuss further.

Original Article published by Sally Hopman on The RiotACT.

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