Formed from a solid piece of glass in the shape of a dome, cloches were first used in Italy in the early 1600s as a covering for garden plants to prevent frost damage and to promote early growth. The French developed the bell-shaped cloche, thus they are commonly referred to as bell jars.
These are great to showcase interesting collections. The glass dome pictured with this article is an antique, but reproductions are readily available and come in a variety of sizes.
Below are a few suggestions on items to showcase under a bell jar. Check out Pinterest for more ideas.
Vintage glass Christmas ornaments (any time of year).
A set of antique books.
A vintage photograph or postcard.
Items from nature; an old bird's nest, pinecones, feathers, items found on a nature hike.
A child's baby shoes or favorite toy they've outgrown.