Antique Witch’s Ball, Teal Glass, 1890-1900


What we are offering you is a bargain – An Authentic Witch Ball that had gathered the energy of the ocean from a century at sea  that is also a wonderful scrying tool  (Gaze into it and you feel your awareness sinking and expanding into a cool green  sea of knowledge,) at a very reasonable price.

A witch ball  is a hollow sphere of colored glass traditionally used as a fishing float. Modern witches balls are decorative replicas. Some are made to look like Christmas tree baubles that contain a few thin fibers strung inside. Floating glass buoys became connected with witches during the witch hunts in England. In the late 17th century, suspected witches were tried by being tied up and thrown into water. If the water rejected them from a second baptism and they floated, then the suspects were confirmed as witches, under the rule of trial by water, and they were then hung by the neck until dead. [1] In a like manner these heavy glass fishing floats, all tied up in a net, could not be made to sink. The water rejected them and they bobbed merrily upon its surface. Historically, witch’s balls were hung in cottage windows in 17th and 18th century England to ward off evil spirits, witches, evil spells, ill fortune and bad spirits.[2] Just as hanging a witch was believed to remove evil influences from a village, hanging a tried and tested witch’s ball that had been floating in water, around a home, was believed to protect the home from similar ills. Usage has continued to a smaller extent in America up to the present day.


The witch ball originated among cultures where harmful magic and those who practiced it were feared. They are one of many folk practices involving objects for protecting the household. The word witch ball may be a corruption of watch ball because it was used to ward off, guard against, evil spirits. They may be hung in an eastern window, placed on top of a vase or suspended by a cord (as from the mantelpiece or rafters). They may also be placed on sticks in windows or hung in rooms where inhabitants wanted to ward off evil.[3]

Superstitious European sailors valued the talismanic powers of the witch’s balls in protecting their homes. Witch balls appeared in America in the 19th century and larger, more opaque variations are often found in gardens under the name gazing ball. This name derives from their being used for divination and scrying where a person gazes into them dreamily to try to see future events or to see the answers to questions. However, gazing balls contain no strands within their interior. Glass studios traditionally make a witch ball as the first object to be created in a new studio.


There are several variations relating to the purpose of witch balls. According to folk tales, witch balls would entice evil spirits with their bright colours; the strands inside the ball would then capture the spirit and prevent it from escaping. Another tradition holds that witch balls or spherical mirrors prevented a witch from being in a room, because witches supposedly did not have a reflection or could not bear seeing their own reflection.[2] Yet another variation contends that witch balls were used to avert the evil eye, by attracting the gaze of the eye and preventing harm to the house and its inhabitants.[4] Please note the reflection of the photographer on the surface of the this antique Witch Ball.

The Artist Escher’s self portrait in the reflection of a Witch Ball

In the 17th century, witch balls and witch bottles were filled with holy water or salt.[5] Balls containing salt were hung up in the chimney to keep the salt dry. Salt was a precious commodity, and breaking the ball or bottle was considered bad luck.[6]


I have  three witch ball on this exchange , dated  from 1890  to 1900. All are all from one verified collection. Their colour, patina, provenance and wear all indicate that these are old and authentic witches balls. This One. An internally salt impregnated clear glass one and a dark amber glass witch ball.

Authentic glass floats are those that were manufactured for actual usage. They are usually only bottle green, amber of clear. Those can be found made with heavy glass and show normal use such as scars and scrapes, chips, dings and sometimes there are signs of salt or sea life encrusted on the glass. Roughly about 30% may have an embossed marking on the float, either on the sealing button, the side of the glass, or possibly on the top of the glass. Often on the larger floats, there are marks on a separate patch of glass. Contemporary glass floats are also made of heavy glass however they usually come in very bright colors. They show no signs of use. This  float, however, is older and show more patina as it was made between 1890 and 1900 and was made at the time authentic floats were in full use. Curio floats, or the later floats, showing up in the early 1980’s in cheap decorator or $2 shops, came in beautiful colors and were pretty much made with paper thin glass. They very shiny, have no signs of wear whatsoever and would not ever be able to withstand high seas fishing. These floats weigh much less when even compared to a contemporary or authentic float.


Antique Witches Ball – C 1900 – Medium
Europe – Green Glass from mold hand sealed –

A ‘must have’ for a serious witchcraft or nautical collector –
Serious inquiries welcome – contact Ken on +61(0)402793604

We did some comparative shopping for you and here is a similar item but smaller and not as old shown below   – Note the price.

Similar Witches BallJap

OUR PRICE ONLY $125Witches Ball 5

Genuine Antique.  These floats are most often clear glass.  But not this clear. It is a lovely teal green glass that is genuine and authentic for its period.  About 32 cm or 13 1/2 inches in circumference.  Heavy for size. Perfect Condition – Museum Quality – $300 $ 125.

We are happy to turn over our stock without gouging you and we are very happy to see such precious thing go to good appreciative homes.

Phone  +61402 793 604 for more details or for international shipping rates or to order via credit card over the phone or direct debit or via paypal.


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