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Anyone here collect vintage Christmas ornaments? Do you collect Shiny Brites?

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Just last night I realized that I inadvertently started collecting vintage ornaments about 15+ years ago when I rescued a box of old ornaments from the trash. And now I'm interested in collecting more!


It all started in the early 1990s when a group of us ladies were cleaning out a closet in our church, and someone came across an old box of ornaments. She was about to toss them into the trash, but asked me first if I wanted them, and because it seemed wasteful to just throw them away, I said yes. They were in great shape, just old -- and some a little faded-looking -- but I kept them (there are about 20 of them) and we've been putting them on our Christmas tree each year since.


Last night I decided to do some research into what kind they were, and I found out that they are all Shiny Brite ornaments (they are stamped on the caps), probably from the 1950s. There are a few little striped bell-shaped ones that look like this, and some round ornaments in similar colors/designs. There are also a couple that have frosty-looking snowflakes or holly patterns.


So, if you're a collector of old Shiny Brites, how do you decide which ones are worth collecting? Do you just buy the ones you think are pretty? Where do you buy them? Ebay? Thrift stores? Garage sales? Is there any kind of book or collector's guide available?

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I don't have exactly your situation, but somewhat close.


I was given a bunch of ornaments years ago from my grandmother that are probably 50 years old at least. Many of them look similar to the Shiny Brite ornaments that you pictured, and some probably are that brand. I love these old Christmas ornaments, but sadly, some have already just given out (break at the neck, etc.), and many are about to do so. They are in very fragile and worn condition (came to me that way).


Over the years (I've been married 21 years), I started collecting other pretty glass ornaments as I could find them. The years I was first married, they were very hard to find. However, soon Christmas by Krebs started putting out some nice stuff, and then other companies followed suit. Today, one of my favorite sources is the Old World ornament collection at Michael's. They have some other nice glass sets as well.


So, I collect glass ornaments, old or new, that I like. I also like natural type ornaments, like shells, things made from pine cones pieces, etc., so I have an eclectic tree. I also have various ornaments that I have been given or that the children have made. I like our tree--it has become a family statement of what we like. However, it makes for a very unusual tree to have a Space Shuttle ornament (my son's passion) next to one of my antique glass ornaments. Sigh.


I'm passionate about my ornaments--I keep them in plastic corrugated segmented boxes, with each ornament wrapped separately in a paper towel. I am specifically trying to make my grandmother's ornaments last as long as possible. During our cross-country move three years ago, I carried several large boxes of ornaments in our van rather than entrust them to the movers ; ). I also wrapped each ornament in two paper towels to provide more cushioning. I'm proud to report that I got them all here intact.


So, while I don't collect Shiny Brites in particular, I love glass ornaments overall, and I gravitate toward antique styles. I wish you well in your quest!

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I only put out about half of what our collection amounts to as I have difficulty reaching over head to hang them. I buy new ones here as the cost of old ones is prohibitive. http://www.radko.net/sb401.html These are lovely and reasonable. I do love old ornaments and antiques as it seems a waste to not use perfectly good, well designed items simply as they might have gone out of fashion temporarily. I also collect Old World ornaments and they are very bright and sparkly as well. Link here http://www.christmastraditions.com/Orns/OldWorld/OWGlass/OWCGlsMn.htm Enjoy !! I really , really love Christmas ornaments and am delighted to see others with a passion for collecting old beautiful glass. Ebay can be a good source but I much prefer garage sales, estate sales etc as condition is paramount. It almost" feels " as if I am handling someone else's cherished memories and all those former Christmas joys are bound up in that ornament that was so lovingly wrapped up and brought out over and over for years and years. My favorite is a Madonna from Czechoslovakia given to my mother by our Czech neighbor who came to the US in 1974 . She was a most gracious lady who spoke little English but literally could make you feel so precious and loved with her smile and gentle manner.

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It almost "feels" as if I am handling someone else's cherished memories and all those former Christmas joys are bound up in that ornament that was so lovingly wrapped up and brought out over and over for years and years.


I know just what you mean! :iagree: When I hold those old ornaments, I love to imagine what wonderful things they were witness to through the years!

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I hadn't even looked at this thread, because I don't collect vintage ornaments. But, I love Christmas ornaments, so I was looking at the pictures in a link a previous poster posted, and lo and behold, I have these:




I have the whole set. They belonged to my grandmother. I remember hanging them on her tree. My mom got them when my grandma and grandpa closed up their house and moved to a mobile home, and she just stored them. She gave them to me when I got married, and I have hung them on my tree for years, thinking about my grandparents each year.


They are originals and it never occurred to me that they might be collectibles! How interesting. I have balls and bells as well that look like the link the OP posted.


Thanks for starting this thread. I always knew those ornaments were special, now I know that others think so, too.

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