Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past

I haven't been as careful with some of my vintage belongings as others. On the other hand, these ornaments are now so fragile, I smashed a few just lifting them out of their cardboard holder. No matter. The colors are still fun, and I have no problem owning broken things. I'll probably use these in a piece, stuck into a grouting mixture, much like some people do with ceramics.

The ornaments in this post were marketed under the brand name "Shiny Brite" by the Max Eckardt and Sons, Company, of New York (45 East 17th Street), in the 1930s through 1962. Mine date to the late 1940s. Some of the pictured ornaments aren't the originals to the boxes, the little figurines etc, but they've come to "live" in these cardboard holders through the years so I leave them.

Although my Thanksgiving and Christmas cactuses (cacti!) bloomed early this year, I have a few stragglers that made an appropriate entrance today. The porcelain basin and pitcher in the background dates to the 1860s and was a wedding present to my mother's paternal grandparents. I used a "film grain" filter on this shot of the flower.


  1. Hi Casey - Memories come flooding in. As a child we had those Shiny Brite ornaments as well and I remember them breaking so easily, yet so many survived year after year. The box is long gone but I think my daughter still has one or two left over from my childhood days.

    Look through your collection and see if you have any with a paper collar where the hook is attached to the bulb instead of the metal one. During the war years they used the paper substitute.

    Again....thanks for the memories.

  2. Wow -- these bring back memories -- I think all of us of a certain age had a Shiny Brite set. Many of those look familiar. I also had/have what's left of a set that was my Grandma's from the late teens or twenties. Many of them bit the dust but there are a few survivors which we don't put on the tree anymore because of the kitty. Christopher Radko reproduces the whole set currently -- I've seen them at Macy's where they're very expensive. These pictures sure are fun to see!

    I wish we were having a white Christmas -- they're still saying maybe some snow tomorrow so we're keeping everything crossed.

    Paul, NYC

  3. YOu just reminded me I have a small set of Xmas lights from the 20s or early 30s, maybe 6 lights in all. I won't find them this weekend. They're in the shapes of fruit mostly, I remember a cluster of grapes, and a red, white and blue dirigible I think. I've seen them in the past few years, so they're around somewhere.

    Oh, I just found them, lol. I'll see how they scan. They're adorable.