A Charming Article as appeared in the December 2011 issue of the 'Busy Bee Trader'
Vintage Christmas Ceramic Novelties Today : Santas, Snowmen, Angels, Elves,
Choirboys & Mice
Diana E Bullock
WWII , returning GIs wed their hometown sweethearts and what followed was the
most historic population explosion ever. Millions
of newly formed families flourished, filled newly constructed sub-divisions and
babies were born! This burgeoning growth in population triggered today’s
economic expression “baby boomers” ‘cause
there were so many of us reaching maturity in this decade! These babies
grew into the small children who ultimately became the recipients of all that
Santa would bring !
in the 1950s was a time of peace and happiness. This feeling spilled over into
the Christmas season big time! Once the war was over and imported goods from
US-made Lionel trains brought smiles to every little boy when pint-sized trains
raced around beneath Christmas trees on Christmas morn,
F.W. Woolworth advertised themselves as “America’s Christmas Store”
and offered a huge and amazing selection of “Made in Japan” holiday
lighting, novelties, inexpensive five & dime quality gifts and decorative
walk down memory lane begins in the 1950s. Eisenhower
was our hero and
I, as a ten-year-old in the 1950s, remember most were those adorable ceramic
knick-knacks, Santa candy cane holders, snowmen salt and pepper shakers,
candle-hugging angels and pixies of every description brought grins to the
kiddies as well as to the grannies. Our
mantle at home was festooned with greenery, bottle brush trees, colorful bubble
lights and a host of these little ceramic beauties. My Mom was a nut for
grabbing bargains at Woolworth’s and Newberry’s 5c & 10c stores in town
the day after Christmas and our collection of knick-knack Santa Clauses grew.
That’s how I got my Donald Duck lunchbox too!
today’s collectible marketplace, these nostalgic “Made in
day collectors have found their collecting niche in the comfort of owning these
magical “friends” of Christmas. Most popular are the angel or choir
boy figures as they fit so nicely into village scenes or nativity sets.
Others, myself included, simply adore those plump Santa fellows. A
difficult-to-find Christmas ceramic category due to their scarcity is the NOEL
letters. They come in sets of four, each letter spelling NOEL and one can
find Elves, Children in pajamas, Santa Clauses or Angels entwined or perched on
top of the individual letters. They are so very cute but oh, so hard to
find but that makes the hunt for them all that much more rewarding.
of these figurines are enhanced with what is called “spaghetti” trim.
This was a unique process where the ceramic clay was put through a garlic
press to create the lacy effect. It
was intended to mimic “fur” and was made hard and glass-like during the kiln
firing. The examples shown here
demonstrate the effect of “fur” with the illusion that it is crusted with
snow and ice. Truly a lot of
artistry for very little money!
and hundreds of others are on display at our year-around Christmas
Nostalgia booths at various Antique Malls in the Middle Tennessee/Kentucky
area. For more information see our
ad on the front cover and join us in experiencing “All the Glitz and Glitter
of Days Gone By”... And a Merry Christmas to all!