World Record holder Wendy Suen, 50, says she’s becoming more selective now she’s running out of room.
Snow globes are far more than simple shelf ornaments for Wendy Suen – they are “symbols of love”.
The World Record holding collector, 50, from China, estimates she has spent $165,000 (£124,130) buying snow globes over the past 20 years.
The most valuable piece in her 4,238-strong hoard is one designed by Louis Vuitton, which cost her £7,500. Suen has held the world record for her collection since 2005, when she only had 904. But in recent years she has had to slow down her pace and become more selective as she is running out of room.
“Whenever I see a new globe that I don’t already have and matches my selection criteria, I have the urge to get it”, she said. “It just excites me to add them into my collection, the satisfaction of finally completing an entire set is so pleasing beyond words. “I have arranged and displayed my globes into zones with different themes, so my snow globe room is filled with beautiful colour globes. “I have created a snow globe museum and whenever I am feeling down or bored, I will take some time to look at my different globes.
“Looking at different globes remind me of the many memories I have in life. “Snow globes take me away from reality and let me escape a little from stress, and bring me back down memory lane.” Suen’s fascination with snow globes was piqued in 2001, when her husband bought her very first one as a gift.
The ornament featured a cat alongside a 24-carat gold computer mouse.
Suen keeps all her globes in a designated 200 square foot room in her home in Hong Kong, where custom-made shelving units cover every wall. The ornaments are arranged into categories, including cartoon characters, designer brands, animals and sports. She enjoys playing music as she admires them, shakes them and dances with them. Every year she spends an entire week cleaning the collection.
Suen takes her time seeking out rare ornaments from online sellers, with the aim of completing sets. One set of five Disney princess hourglasses took her ten years to find, costing up to £750 each.
Her largest globe weighs eight pounds – but her most valuable was made by Louis Vuitton, displaying a tower of designer suitcases and umbrella. She said: “My husband, parents and best friends are all supportive of me collecting snow globes and often buy them when they see anything interesting.
“Of course, they will share the photo of the globe with me to check if I already have it before they make a purchase! “Whenever they see a globe, even if they don’t buy, they will take a photo and share, always thinking of me. “Therefore snow globes help me build everlasting friendships.”
Suen’s collection was most recently verified in November 2016 as comprising of 4,059 globes. Over the past five years, she has only acquired 179 more.
She has now ventured into snow globe memorabilia, such as coasters, phone cases and hats. In March 2020, Suen and her husband moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong – and every snow globe had to go with them.