Vin­tage fi­fig­u­ral, glass Christ­mas tree lights are a se­ri­ous collectible

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page - Anne Gil­bert

Ques­tion: We have been unpacking our fam­ily col­lec­tion of Christ­mas or­na­ments and lights. Among the items are these, what I think, are vin­tage glass Christ­mas lights. Although they are col­or­ful and ap­pear to be Chi­nese lanterns they have no marks. Should I put them in next years’ garage sale? What are they wo wortrth,h, if an any­tythi­hingng?

An­swer: Your vin­tage fi­fig­u­ral, glass Christ­mas tree lights are a se­ri­ous collectible. They’re also an ex­am­ple of the new ways to use elec­tric­ity to light the Christ­mas tree: part of the de­vel­op­ment of tree light­ing his­tory. To­day’s’ col­lec­tors hang them as or­na­ments.

The fi­first fi­fig­u­ral glass Christ­mas tree lights were made in Aus­tria in 1909 and hand-painted and hand­made. At the same time Gen­eral Elec­tric offfffffffff­fered sim­i­lar bulbs. How­ever, by 1919 they were ma­chine made. World War 1 marked the en­try of Ja­pan into the Christ­mas light bulb mar­ket. Those, such as yours were made in the 1920s be­fore World War 11.

Most sought af­ter are car­toon char­ac­ters such as Dis­ney fi­fig­u­rals. Your Ja­panese bulbs could sell to col­lec­tors for $30 or more.

Do you have an an­tique item and need more in­for­ma­tion? For a per­sonal re­ply, send a photo, his­tory, size and any sig­na­tures with a self-ad­dressed stamped en­ve­lope and $25 to Anne Gil­bert-Straw­bridge, 1811 Re­nais­sance Com­mons Blvd., #2319, Boyn­ton Beach, FL 33426.

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