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European Figural Ornaments

 

 

Written by: Kevin Milaeger

November 16th, 2022

 

We’ve been fortunate this year to acquire a large number of glass bird ornaments. Most of these are from Germany or Austria. A few are to be displayed with ornament hooks, suspended, but most of them have a clip and are meant to be clipped on a tree branch. These are vintage ornaments, so sometimes the clips don’t function quite like they used to. They may need additional support. I’ve got a number of these that need support on my tree at home, and they display very nicely. These lovely birds usually don’t seriously resemble any true birds as found in nature. And anyway, being made in Europe, they don’t have the same birds in Europe as we do, for the most part. They have owls, for example, but different from North American owls. So don’t be looking too hard to find a specific type of bird. Modern ornament manufacturers such as Old World Christmas have created some birds that are reasonably accurate, at least at first glance. The hardest thing for them to deal with is scale. They might make a hummingbird, for example, that is roughly the size of their eagle. You have to overlook that sort of thing. If it were true to scale, their hummingbird wouldn’t be much bigger than the period at the end of this sentence. That wouldn’t be too showy.

 
Birds Small
Birds Medium
 

I like clip-on ornaments because they sit on top of the tree branches rather than being suspended from them. Too often I’ve seen fully decorated trees that, though they had plenty of ornaments, they looked incomplete and wanting because the tops of the branches were bare. Depending on the style of tree, this can be very distracting. There are many kinds of clip-on ornaments, but birds are by far the most popular. They look very natural used this way, as if they were sitting on perches. The variety is endless. You can never have too many.

 
Birds Large
Birds Assorted
 

Music is another common theme in vintage ornaments. Before WWII, playing a musical instrument was much more a part of everyday life than it is now. Remember, this was before television and other types or entertainment. Lots of folks had familiarity with different instruments, and their interests were reflected in tree ornaments. Horns of every type were very common. Again, these usually don’t bear a precise resemblance to any particular horn, just horns in general. Some of the horns are meant to be hung with hooks, and others are just slipped over branch tips. Stringed instruments of many types were also popular, and we have a few to offer you. Drums were also common, and they were offered in many colors. We only have one drum right now. I wish we had more, but we just never know what we’re going to find.

 
Birds with Hooks
Teapots, etc.
 

Teapots and other kitchen items such as lamps and urns are another common ornament category. Its another example of ornament makers making ornaments that represented familiar, everyday objects. Many of these are very delicate, with spouts on the teapots, for example. I’m always amazed at how many of these we find in very good condition. They must have been loved and cherished all these years. Now, they are waiting for the next person to cherish them.

 
Musical Instruments 1
Musical Instruments 2
 

Please email me if you have any questions or comments. If you are interested in purchasing ornaments pictured in this blog, please contact Nick at 262.693.2040 x101 or info@milaegers.com.


Archives

2022

Nov. 16, 2022 - European Figural Ornaments

Nov. 8, 2022 - Mostly American Ornaments

2021

Dec. 20, 2021 - Special Vintage Ornaments - Just in Time!

Dec. 2, 2021 - St. Nicholas Eve and WWII Era Vintage Ornaments

Nov. 23, 2021 - Vintage Glass Nipple Ornaments and Teapots

Nov. 10, 2021 - European Indents and Other Treasures!

Oct. 26, 2021 - Vintage Christmas Ornaments — No, its not too early!

2020

Dec. 4, 2020 - Ornaments with History

Nov. 19, 2020 - Sugared Ornaments and Other Delights

Nov. 12, 2020 - Various Indent Ornaments and Some Kitsch

Nov. 6 2020 - American Made Stencil Ornaments

2019

Dec. 19, 2019 - A Little of This, a Little of That---this season's last Blog

Dec. 5, 2019 - German and Polish Glass Ornaments---Teapots, Teardrops, and such

Nov. 26, 2019 - Fanciful Bird Ornaments

Nov. 19, 2019 - Glass Ornaments---"Nipples" and an Assortment of Fanciful Types

Nov. 12, 2019 - American Ornaments---Shiny Brite, Stencil, and Unsilvered

Nov. 4, 2019 - Indented Christmas Ornaments, mostly from Europe

2018

Dec. 20, 2018 - Pine Cones from Christmas Past

Dec. 4, 2018 - The Magic of St. Nicholas Eve

Nov. 29, 2018 - Very Delicate Christmas Ornaments

Nov. 21, 2018 - Something New (but old)! And More Nipple Ornaments

Nov. 9, 2018 - Indented Glass Ornaments-a favorite of mine

2017

Dec 14, 2017 - JUMBO Christmas Ornaments

Dec. 7, 2017 - Granny-esque Ornaments

Nov. 22, 2017 - Glass Bird Ornaments---always a favorite!

Nov. 16, 2017 - The Charm of Beaded Glass Ornaments from Czechoslovakia

2016

Dec. 9, 2016 - All-American Christmas Ornaments

Dec. 5, 2016 - St. Nicholas Eve and All is Well

Nov. 21, 2016 - 1950's Christmas Ornaments