Saturday, December 11, 2010

Antique Ornaments!

I absolutely love antique ornaments!  I started collecting them years ago.  Some are just glass balls so old that the colors are wearing down to the point that they become transparent.  Others have interesting shapes or contain little doo-dads inside.  Some are from West Germany, some Japan, but all have most certainly lived through many Christmases.  As promised, I'm going to share some of my collection.  

It's special when the ornaments are in their original box and a box of Shiny Brite's is considered a good find.  
I may not watch the history channel like my husband, but I get my lessons elsewhere...just some interesting facts, via Wikipedia:  
The Shiny-Brite company produced the most popular Christmas tree ornaments in the United States throughout the 1940's and '50s.
In 1937, Max Eckardt established "Shiny-Brite" ornaments, working with the Corning Glass Company to mass produce glass Christmas ornaments. Eckardt had been importing hand-blown glass balls from Germany since around 1907, but had the foresight to anticipate a disruption in his supply from the upcoming war. Corning adapted their process for making light bulbs to making clear glass ornaments, which were then shipped to Eckardt's factories to be decorated by hand. The fact that Shiny-Brite ornaments were an American-made product was stressed as a selling point during World War II. 
I love turquoise and these are tiny little guys that would get lost on a tree.  One day I may have the perfect project to use with them, but until then, I admire them in the box.

These were a recent find and are DELICATE.  It's amazing they are in such good shape because I can only imagine that they are VERY old!

I love the little doo-dad on the bottom of this one...
...and this one.
I love when they have a concave center.
This one has 3 concaves..score!  (Yes, I'm a dork)

I love domed ornaments with something inside.  This one of the little girl is so precious.
And this one of baby Jesus in a manger is so sweet. 
I like when they have the faux snow...
And these with a traveling scene...
And these hand-painted ones.
I added the crystal drop and tinsel to this one.
I love this nativity scene.

This has tinsel inside, though it's hard to see in this picture. 
I also collect old plastic ornaments.  I like that they house a little wintery or Christmas scene.

These were sold as package toppers and were made in Japan.  They have chenille pipe-cleaner accents.   
It looks like there may have been a sword fight...
Old tinsel, love.
Another collection is of old German glass bead garland...So pretty and delicate.
An old blown glass tree topper with the concave
More plastic ornaments...these four fall into the category: "we're so ugly, we're cute". 

Part of what makes Christmas decorating so special are the memories that you create each year with ornaments.  There is something about decorating your tree and unwrapping old ornaments from friends and family members that hold special meaning.  This one is special to me because my Mom found it in 1999 and it was made the year I was born. 
I put it on a spinner so you can see both the front and back.

These ornaments are from West Germany.  I remember them from my childhood and this year my Mom is giving one to each of her grandchildren.  This poodle is going to my daughter.
This lion is going to my nephew and my son gets the tiger.
These are from my Grandma who has passed so they are extra special to me.  She gave me different brass ornaments each year with my name and the date engraved on them.  (Note to self - start this tradition for my kids IMMEDIATELY!)
As MTV Cribs would say "Here's where all the magic happens"...ahem, maybe they weren't talking about a Christmas tree.  Anyway,  I decided to forgo the traditional green tree when my antique glass ornament collection grew because these just show up so pretty on the white tree!
And then the collection continued to grow so I got this smaller white tree. 
And then it grew more so I got this aqua tree.
And finally, the collection grew so much that I bought this Martha Stewart antique gold tree from Grandin Road.  They no longer sell this one, but a similar one called "Gold Tinsel Tree".  If I keep this up, I'm going to need a bigger house!  Well, I hope you enjoyed my collection.  If you have any old ornaments, please do share!
xoxo, Natalie


  1. I love your ornaments, so pretty. :)

  2. Natalie... I am loving your blog. SO awesome...

  3. Thank you Leah! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  4. We are cut from the same christmas tree skirt! I have so many ornaments I would need a Christmas Tree Shop to display them all! Hard to chose which theme to take. This year it's animals. I am making some pompom mice as we speak which I will give out as gifts. Let's see just how many I can make and wrap 30 bags of gifts for Operation Santa. I love a challenge!

  5. Thank you Abby! I would love to see a picture of these mice! Good luck with your mission!

  6. I absolutely love your beautiful collection of ornaments, Natalie! Your trees looks so pretty!
    Have a wonderful Holiday Season!