Collecting Vintage Christmas Ornaments

I have a list of things I always look for when I am out picking. And Christmas is number one on my list. My love for vintage Christmas is so big, vintage Santa’s and hand-made stockings, oh and vintage Christmas cards! It’s always a magical day when I find vintage Christmas, but what I love most are antique glass ornaments.

Germany is famous for its glass ornaments, and many consider it the birthplace of glass ornaments, but Poland and Japan also made beautiful coveted glass ornaments.

During the early 1900’s America became the biggest importer of glass ornaments. At least it was until WWII, which resulted in a ban on German goods. With necessity being the mother of invention, a German immigrant named Max Eckardt used the Cornings E-Machine technology (used to make glass light bulbs) and perfected the production of glass Christmas ornaments. They were able to mass-produce glass ornaments, and Shiney Brite was born.

I don’t have a preference. German, Japanese, American, I just love the fragileness of the glass, the muted colors, and the crackle in the paint. Even though the colors may be muted, there is still so much life in these ornaments.  And nothing says Christmas like a silver bowl full of vintage red glass ornaments. The various shades, shapes and sizes. It’s one of my favorite things—each one unique, with its own patina.

To me nothing says Christmas like a silver bowl full of vintage red glass ornaments. All different shapes and shades.  It’s one of my favorite things—each one unique, with its unique patina.  

Over the last few years, I have opted for a bare tree with just lights.  I have found that I prefer to enjoy my ornaments in bowls and jars.  I can group colors and styles together, and I feel like they have more of an impact.

how to clean Vintage christmas ornaments?

I learned to be VERY carful when cleaning the ornaments.  Be sure to spot test.  

My advice, don’t use soap or cleaners.  Only use water and use it sparingly.  In the past I have accidentally washed all off the paint with dish soap.  If you do end up removing the paint, the beautiful mercury glass underneath was pretty lovely as well so it’s not a total loss.  

Not as bad as dropping a 70 year old ornament on the floor.  Which has happened way to too many times!!!!

My score of the year, are these lovely glass ornaments in pastel yellow and green; they are just so delicate and sweet.   Not traditional Christmas colors, but really beautiful.  I bought these back in August!  And while I didn’t forget about them, when I opened the box last week,  it was just as lovely as the first time.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my collection.  Happy hunting!



I am Sandra and I am a lover of all thing vintage, antique and floral. I love to set a stage and transform a space. Architectural salvage is my kryptonite and flowers are always the finishing touch.
 I'm so glad you are here!