Winter has arrived and with it comes the joy of the holidays. It is time to begin planning how to make this year the most festive yet. A large part of each holiday season is the fun of decorating for Christmas. In most houses the tree takes center stage, with the ornaments highlighting the beauty, joy and love of the season. For many, the current trend of collecting vintage Christmas ornaments has added a new dimension of fun and excitement to the season. These keepsake ornaments add both beauty and character to any tree. For vintage lovers and holiday enthusiasts, finding the perfect vintage ornaments to complement your holiday decorations can be both fun and rewarding.
The Trend of Vintage Christmas Décor
In some ways, vintage Christmas ornaments and other décor has been popular forever. Cherished ornaments, holiday ware and other decorations have been passed down from generation to generation. These keepsakes always bring back fond memories of holidays filled with family, fun, food and good times. There are many vintage Christmas decorations on the market including ornaments from around the world, glassware, toys and figurines. One of the most popular trends is for vintage Christmas ornaments, and especially German Christmas Ornaments.
History of Christmas Ornaments
The roots of decorating a tree for Christmas began in Germany, with the first known decorations being simple white candles. As time went on, the decorations evolved. The tradition of setting up a tree in the house first occurred in the early 1600s in Strasbourg. Trees at that time displayed simple decorations such as candles, roses and candies. Tinsel was introduced soon after and was made from pure silver. Eventually this tradition made its way to England where the decorations took on more sophistication. In the 1800s, trees were often decorated with fruits and nuts. It was also in this century that glass ornaments made their debut.
Around the 1880s, glassmakers in Lauscha, Germany, began making Christmas ornaments in large quantities. These new, affordable ornaments were a hit with the public and soon many other families were making them as well. German Christmas ornaments hit the US market when F.W. Woolworth imported them. They were as popular in the US as in Germany, with Woolworth selling an estimated $25 million worth of the ornaments in 10 years. Beyond glass, early ornaments were also made of pressed paper and embossed paper. In Dresden, artisans crafted ornaments into brightly colored animals. Japan and the Czech Republic entered the ornament business in the 1920s adding color and intricate designs. Germany remained the leader in Christmas ornament production until WWI. Following the war the German market recovered but at the same time F.W. Woolworth began working with a US company, Corning, to produce ornaments in their light bulb factory. This marked the US’s introduction into the ornament making industry and by the 1940s the US production outpaced that of Germany.
The Allure of German Christmas Ornaments
Among all the gorgeous vintage Christmas ornaments, those originating from Germany, are the type people most frequently look for when they are in the market to buy vintage ornaments. Known as figurals, these ornaments are whimsical and intricately designed. Figurals were produced in a wide range of shapes, styles, colors and designs. They often depicted objects, such as fruits, animals, insects, Christmas themes, cartoon characters, notable people of the time and many others. The kugel is probably the most popular type of figural. Kugels are exquisite glass balls produced in Germany from the 1840s to the early 1900s. The original Kugels were actually too heavy to hang on trees so they would be attached to ceilings where they would dangle year round. Lighter kugels hit the market in about 1855 and quickly adorned Christmas trees. Kugels were made of glass in an array of colors, lined with silver and topped with a brass cap.
The Value of Vintage Christmas Ornaments
There is a thriving market to buy vintage ornaments. The enthusiasm for these decorations of the past has made the price of vintage Christmas ornaments rise. Many of the most sought after ornaments are German figurals shaped like famous characters and people of the time. Shapes of common objects like grapes or other fruit, airplanes, animals and many others are also popular. Rare pieces can go for $1000 or more. More affordable items can be found within the $100- $300 range.
Buy Vintage Ornaments at Affordable Prices
The cost of collecting vintage Christmas ornaments can be prohibitive for some, but the beauty of these ornaments can still be gained through quality replicas. For those looking to acquire ornaments with the character feel of vintage, the high quality replicas found at handmade-xmas.com are worth checking out. These beautiful, handmade ornaments come in a variety of styles and colors to add beauty to any Christmas tree or other decorating plan. Affordable, classic and exquisite these ornaments have all the show stopping allure of a vintage ornament without the high price.