Tuesday, December 8, 2009

collecting: christmas ornaments

Vintage glass Christmas ornaments inspire and amaze me.  My heart races every year as I unpack boxes of these delicate items that have somehow survived their annual coming out.  I wonder who first purchased them, where they bought them (Woolworth's, perhaps) and what their tree and home looked like at Christmas time.  How many hands in how many homes have hung this particular ornament? 
My love of Christmas came from my mother-she still acts like a little girl amazed at all the beauty of this time of year, and her excitement is definitely contagious. 

For many years, I have decorated with a collection of smaller vintage trees, but this year I decided that it was time to have a full size tree again, and to fill it with my antique glass ornament collection.  It's fun to have a small tree (or two) in every room, but there is no sight like a tree filled floor to ceiling with layers of these beauties.

When collecting ornaments, there are a number of different catergories to choose from.  Or, like me, you can not be discerning at all, and just collect them all.  This tree is filled with examples ranging from the Victorian era up until the 1950's.  (I also have a collection of mid-century Shiny Brites, but I don't think those will make it into rotation this year)  My particular favorites are figural ornaments that feature amazing detail and varied themes.
This santa face is especially treasured.

I have a number of musical instrument ornaments, including this guitar.

I'm usually not a fan of clowns, but this cutie came in a box of three, and I think they're pretty swell.

This bouquet of flowers (hyancinths, perhaps?) is also one of my favorites
 due to it's unusual subject matter and unusual coloring.

This skater looks all bundled up and ready for a turn around the rink.

I also have a number of ornaments designed to look like coffee urns and tea pots,and am always amazed that their delicate little handles and spouts have survived so many years.

Whether you display one beautiful ornament in a compote, or dress up an entire tree, vintage glass ornaments are sure to give you pleasure during the holiday season. 


  1. OMG ~ your tree is amazing and inspiring! and i have never seen the urn ornaments ~ so cool!

  2. What an amazing collection, Christine! I think I have that very same little green coffee pot ornament tucked away somewhere ...

  3. Hope it offers more inspiration for your tree Katie, and Marianne-dig out that coffee pot ornament!

  4. It is amazing how long these things have lasted. I love pulling out my little wooden and doughy-ones from the 60s and 70s. They are starting to crack. I also still have an actual eggshell one that has a little pearl birdsnest in it. It's been around as long as I can remember and is still intact!

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