One of the most pleasurable things about Christmas for me is putting my collection of ornaments on our tree. Only about 25% of them are more than 50 years old but each is special to me. That’s because for as long as I can remember I have been writing the year and who gave me the decoration on the base of the ornament. It’s like receiving the gift all over again. Every time we go on a trip I buy a Christmas decoration and write the year down. I have some from Hawaii, Louisiana, Georgia, London, Paris, Jackson (Wyoming), Quebec, Las Vegas, Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, San Francisco, Scotland – just to name a few. It’s like travelling to those places all over again.
I also buy a special decoration every year. I like large glass decorations. One of my favorites is a hand blown pink pig that was sold to me by an artist (I carried his decorations in my store). Many of my other favorites are of course, the antique ones.
At this time of year I often get emails from people wanting to know if their decorations have any value. Antique malls have many to choose from at this time of year but it takes a sharp eye to know the difference between the 1970’s reissues and the pre-1950’s decorations that collectors want. I’d tell anyone to buy good decorations while they are still available. By good I mean skillfully decorated, and in good condition with paint intact.
One of the components of value is rarity. There were tons of old decorations to be had at one time but we all know how easy it is to break these delicate glass pieces. Every time one breaks the others that survive increase in value. Having said that what do you look for? One of the first clues is on the cap at the top of the decoration. It can give you lots of information. Check out some of my other blog entries on this subject for more information.