Christmas Tree Ornaments

Collecting Christmas Tree Ornaments

Collecting Christmas Tree Ornaments and decorations, or anything Christmas, is a real serious passion for many group of people. These Christmas goods collectors take more than just a fancy to the little round objects they call Christmas Tree Ornaments. They look at anything Christmas through different eyes than most people. It’s a passion for many of these people. NO! . . . It’s an obsession.

You the collector have been hunting down and Collecting oldKugels Ornaments Christmas Tree Ornaments all year long and its finally time to show off your fine collection to the “VERLD” I mean world.

It’s Christmas Time in Canada at last Eh!

Hell, Collecting Christmas Tree Ornaments and the likes is an addiction of sorts.

We all know there’s not a proper way of decorating your Christmas tree. There’s no book of rules. As long as you make it pleasurable looking for you and your family, that’s all that counts. Your kids bring home ornaments they have made a school and you hang these personalized drawings on the tree. Christmas cards are strategically placed between the branches along with the lights, tinsel and the beautiful colored hanging decorations that come in every shape and size. This is a special time of year for a lot of folks.

People take this Special Day of the year quite seriously.

The tradition comes alive but sadly only once a year, except, for this one fella on U Tube video . . . .”Christmas is all year long.”

Please watch an excellent U Tube video on collecting Christmas Tree Ornaments.

Did you know that the way we spend Christmas in the modern world,  wasn’t always like that? Some old documentations date decorating Christmas trees back to the 1600’s. But Christmas as we know it today didn’t really become popular until much later on, around the 1800’s. But I’m sure people celebrated Saint Nickolas Day in some form of celebration.

 A LITTLE HISTORY ON CHRISTMAS IN EUROPE

German Santa was called the Belsnickel and Wikipedia.org says Belsnickel means;

German for to wallop or to drub and Nickel being a hypocorism of the given name Nikolaus) is a crotchety, fur-clad Christmas gift-bringer figure in the folklore of the Palatinate region of southwestern Germany along the Rhine, the Saarland, and the Odenwald area of Baden-Württemberg. The figure is also preserved in Pennsylvania Dutch communities in the USA.

Christmas Tree Ornaments

Kovels Antiques and Collectable Guide says.       https://www.kovels.com

Christmas collectables include not only Christmas trees and ornaments, but they also include. Santa Claus figures, special dishes,, games, wrapping paper. Belsnickle is a 19th century figure of Father Christmas, made of paper mache

A popular Kugel is an early, heavy ornament made of thick blown glass, lined with zinc or lead and often covered with colored wax. Christmas cards, tin toys are also highly collectable. I was personally  collecting still banks. The Santa Clause cast iron bank were a hard find, but they were my favorite. So Christmas décor comes in many different shapes, sizes and themes.

Something to look for on Kugel tree ornaments.

1840s-1900s they were heavy, blown glass. (Kugel in Germany) means round ball but don’t let that fool you. They came in different shapes and styles like fruits, apples, berries and the like. The older additions had their name stamped on the steel collar of the ornament. (like many other makes) A very light chrome coating covered some, so look for flaking  or the worn tarnish after many years. The spring clips that attached the string to the ornament were attached inside the top of the bulb. Not like today’s push on attachment.  During the war years, the ornaments and decorations had a paper or cardboard collar (instead of steel), mainly because of the mass shortage in material, due to the war effort.

** Point to remember in collecting anything. The war years changed how many things were made or not made due to the war machine.  “Steel, paints and most or all material in general were cut back for public use. Etc”.

Christmas Snow Baby

Christmas Snow Baby

(1864) Early Snow babies are highly collectable. They were made of candy and used as Christmas decorations. In later years they were made from bisque and spattered with glitter sand. There are also Snow babies tableware  made by Royal Bayreuth. Copies of the small Snow Babies figurines are being made today in a line called “Snow-Babies” re- pro. But that’s not a bad thing.

The least you should know on Christmas Tree Ornaments. ∞

Imposed identifying marks on the ring or, some people call them caps.

The older caps were smaller than the newer versions.

Look for a paper /cardboard ring/ cap.  That will date it into the war years.

Look for a tarnished ring.

Check the lip under the ring. Is the glass flush or has it a lip. Older ones are flush.

Plastic is a dead giveaway of newer ornaments.

Countries to look for when collecting old Christmas Tree Ornaments

*Czechoslovakia *Poland *Germany

Shiny Brites Ornaments

Shiny Brites Ornaments

Shiny Brite Tree ORNAMENTS 1930-1960s seem to be the most popular for collectors. Before the war they were just plain decorative balls for the tree. After the war, they became a little more colorful. Some came with concave starburst (reflectors) with lots of glitter, different  shapes and styles .

ALSO LOOK FOR 

Advertising SIGNS- Example – “Coca Cola sign with Santa drinking a coke”

DISHES- glassware with a Christmas theme.

Decorative hand painted balls and shapes like animals and little, hand- carved people, etc.

Decorative bells

Hanging lanterns

Snowbabies are highly collectables        https://www.kovels.com/price-guide/snow-babies.html

Cardboard cutout of St. Nickolas figurine

Betty Boop hanging ornament.

Novelty hanging decorations.

“German Dresden ornaments are embossed cardboard with very fine detailing.”

Christmas post cards come in pages of 4 and you just cut out the one you want. They’re collectable!

There is no written rule on decorating your tree but there are some real neat old looking ornaments and decorations out there to be uncovered.

AS THE STORY GOES, THEY EVEN HUNG COOKIES FROM THE TREE BRANCHES AS PER STORY.

“When I grew up in Europe there were no artificial trees nor electric lights to brighten up the tree. The Christmas decorations were mostly passed down from generation to generation and were hand painted, small ornaments, about 3-4 inches in diameter.

There were also many bird- shaped ornaments with angel hair tails, fancy home made cookies, strings of various nuts, and of course with real candles about 3 inches high.

The candles were only lit for a half hour or so, because it was so dangerous and one of the adults would be on watch with a candle snuffer and water, in case the tree caught fire.”

  Author Unknown

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Rare Santa Bank

Very Rare Santa clause Bank

Do your research on Christmas Collectables. You will find a wealth of information on Christmas Tree Ornaments and oddities on the web.  So don’t be too surprised if you get hooked on this interesting hobby. Bonus, you can show off your fine Christmas collection the same time, every year.

”So let’s get started.” Eh!

Old Christmas postcard

Old Christmas Post Card

Lots of places to find treasures: the thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and church bazaars. Nobody thinks of Christmas in the off season, (summer), but that is the best time to buy. Do your research now,  get armed with what to look for, get ready for the off season, and remember in any collecting,

 “Knowledge is power”.

Let’s get started! Oh, I already said that Eh.  Remember, they’re everywhere. You just have to look and find them.

“Please leave me a comment or any suggestions.”

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 INTERESTING WEBSITES FOR YOUR RESEARCH.

https://www.kovels.com/price-guide/snow-babies.html

https://oodlesandoodles.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/11/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-vintage-christmas-ornaments.html

https://www.realorrepro.com/article/Christmas-Kugels

https://www.marthastewart.com/1532933/history-antique-kugel-christmas-ornaments

Pictorial Guide To Christmas Ornaments & Collectibles, Identification and Values (BOOK)

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Match Box

 

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#48 in a Series of 50

Vintage Match Stick Holder or collecting Match Boxes  is one of those upcoming fads for new collectors. As in a reference book, (address at the bottom)  there are something like 4000 different varieties of match holders of sorts.

two match holders

Two match Holders

Match Boxes, I like to call them have  been around for a long time. they’ve been sitting there,  all by themselves, lonely on some old shelf at your friendly antique shop or flea market.  Hell, you will even find them at any Good Will or used clothing outlet.

match safe

gas filled lighter and a match holder

We have all seen them, but paid little or no attention to them.  Then when you spot one, you say “WHAT IS THAT THING?” They are small, don’t take up a lot of room, and they’re different. Some look like an old fluid style Zippo lighter but without the lighter inside. “Someone stole the lighter” and left the case! No, now they call it a match box/holder. They would even make good conversation pieces!

Match Boxes are just fun to collect and could be a lucrative hobby.

What is a Match Holder you say?  WELL let me tell you. First you have to understand their purpose and their use. Here is a few pictures to get you acquainted with what they look like. Now you’re going to say,  “yeah”  I’ve seen hundreds” and yes, you have. They are overlooked by most of  the general public. These little match holders, which some just call match safes, were made to store friction matches. (ordinary match sticks)

The match revolutionized the way people started fires in the mid 18oos

We all have read stories of inventions that changed the world, but you will not find matches on that list.  You should have! Penicillin changed the lives “saved lives” as we knew it and I hate to say it, the silly old simple match stick/holders should be at least in the top 10, “Somewhere”.

In and around the year 1830 a chemist named John Walker from England mistakenly invented the match tip or matches. Hard to believe but in the earlier days before the match and match holders, you basically had to rub two sticks together, or just keep the fire burning.

The silliest part of the match stick story is the match holder was not debued until the 1850s, 20 years later.

But the invention of a silly friction match did change the way we lived. And having said all that,three figurine match holders people needed someplace to safely store their matches. Sure when you buy them they come in small cardboard boxes, and in most part that’s all you needed. Some people would just throw a couple of match sticks in their pocket and when needed, they just pulled them out, struck it on something abrasive and you’re in business.

The ingredient of the match stick was so flammable in their first stages of invention, they would just light up from the friction of movement in your pocket. They were very unpredictable at best and probably, burnt more houses down from premature combustion.

Which brings us up to the MATCH HOLDERS.

To clarify what the difference is, match box or a match safe, I would like to think of as a match box, just an open container that you put your matches in.

Maybe a match holder with a lid (simple right) I would also consider a match safe as being a closed container of sorts, as per pictures. And that would make more sense around an open flame, or wood stoves.

To throw another curve, England sometimes called match holders, match boxes and match safes, “Vesta Boxes”   Only the English language can have 4 completely different words, meaning the same thing.

“England uses proper English” so we’re all pronouncing match boxes, “WRONG”. . . Eh!

MATCH BOX . . . MATCH SAFE . . . VESTA BOX . . . MATCH HOLDERS

Now we know that the match box was made for the storage of flammable match sticks. Just to store your matches safely! A common place most people kept their match sticks was near the old wood stove,  for easy access to start the fire. So on its own, match boxes were a welcoming invention.

Match holders come in a variety of styles to choose from. There are ceramic ones, just ordinary stamped tin ones and there are fancy decorative ones for the rich and famous. My all time favorites are just the old rustic looking cast iron ones. They had a small pocket on the one side for your matches and would hold 10 or so matches.

NOT  a lot of information out there.

Sorry to say, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information on match boxes, but these feverish, die hard collectors they know what they’re looking for.  You should be learning, research more and help these serious collectors out. Hunt them down, There out there or maybe just for save them for yourself. Eh

Hope I helped you out some.

I hope I helped you, armed you with a little information on, as the English would say. . . “Vesta Boxes” “MATCH BOXES to the  ORDINARY GUY” So next time you’re at one of these used antique shops, look down on the selves, look up, they’re there, just waiting for you.  Eh!

Just remember, this would be an excellent hobby to start and in most cases, like any collecting “IT’S THE FUN OF THE HUNT!”   Eh!

Note, People use –

Vintage Decorative Match Holders for, “Toothpicks”

Please check out more fascinating stories and history of Match Holders. I recommend this excellent reference book with hundreds of images,  “Match Holders by Denis B Alsford” 

Reference ∞ 

◊   https://www.schifferbooks.com/search/results.html?search_in_description=1&search-option=&keyword=DENIS+B+ALSFORD&x=0&y=0

  https://www.collectorsweekly.com/tobacciana/match-holders

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This is part 7 of

“THE LEAST YOU SHOULD KNOW” 50 Series.

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Please Donate to the Cause

If you find my Blog Posts entertaining and maybe

Useful, maybe even a little Patriotic at times.

Please consider donating to a starving Canadian blogger.

Pay through Secured PayPal

Thank you in advance.



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Antique Because You Love To

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  • So, you’re a collector of old things or just have a fascination of the past

Maybe you’re a history buff or just occasionally go down memory lane.  Maybe you just want to decorate your rec. room/man cave with unusual things, well, …  then you’re not alone.

Collecting unusual items from your past and collecting Antiques are the latest crave.  We all love artifacts that we see, touch and remember from days gone by like that heirloom broach grandma gave you, you know, the one that was handed down to her from her mom. Ah …  ”There’s one just like it”!

Look at that Roy Rodgers cowboy suit. I remember wearing one when I was a lot, lot younger.

So here’s a story of a  lady walking down the aisle at a Big Antique Mall. She looked like she was a little distressed so I asked her if there was anything I could do for her. She turned around and said that she was having one of those memorable moments from years gone by, and a few tears ran down her cheeks.

  • Now there’s a lady that had a good childhood, so yeah, some things do have a good effect on people.
  • It’s healthy to jog the good memories of your days gone by.

       The Hard Work

Look at how simple the machines were made back then. No computers to do the math, lasers to form, shape or cut out your parts. They were all calculated by slide rule (you know a tool that looks like a piece of wood with numbers on it. How could they have done that?

Did you ever look at an Apple Peeler from the early days?  The machine peels one apple at a time, not 50…….ONE at a time!!

Look at those ordinary house nails. Before the industrial revolution, they were made one at a time, hand forged, shaped …. one nail at a time and not a thousand nails an hour … but one nail at a time.

These handmade square shank nails are a collectible item on their own. In 2017, they were being sold for $1-$2.00 a nail.

Look at that big sturdy looking antique picture frame. You’d have to mortgage your house for it today and look how solid that kitchen table is for being 100 years old.

How about that porcelain service station sign. That would look good in my Man cave/garage!!

But you have to dig real deep to buy those signs. They are really pricey.

  • Collect because you want too.

Some people collect because it could be a good  “investment”, but most collect because of the beauty, the history, or stories these antiques and collectibles could tell.

Whatever the Reason,

Collect and buy antiques because you enjoy the hunt, the fun, the nostalgia, and the memories, and let’s not forget the hard work that went into everything made in those days.

                             so …  “HUNTAWAY”

REMEMBER WHAT THEY SAY

“If you have any more than 3 items the same,

“You’re already considered a collector”.

If you find any problem with my wording, check out my link.