Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

In 1939, Montgomery Ward wanted a children’s book that could be given out during the Christmas season and one of their copywriters, Robert L. May, created the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

The story of Rudolph spawned a song some years later which spread this little deer’s fame. As a result, Rudolph could be found on almost anything and everything for children including pajamas, rugs, wallets and board games. You’ll even find him playing his reindeer games on puzzles, handkerchiefs, dishes, record players, radios, cameras, irons, soap, backpacks, coin-operated rides, and his very own three-inch plastic Rudolph ornament.

Although the image of Rudolph has changed a bit over the years, in fact, the original reindeer has two green nubs on his head, not full antlers.

Christmas Stockings

Stocking AssortmentChildren hanging stockings by the fire is thought to date back to the legend of St. Nicholas who would drop gold coins down the chimney for good little boys and girls at Christmas. Christmas stockings were all the rage in late Victorian times and the trend continued all the way into the 20th century. Many of us still possess our cherished Christmas stockings from childhood, and many of us have taken it one step further and started collecting other people’s stockings as well!

Holly Pattern China

Holly began appearing on china, silver, and EAPG glassware during the 1850’s. During this time period, holly wasn’t associated with Christmas, but simply considered a variant foliage pattern.

As holly became more prominently associated with Christmas during the last quarter of the 19th century, European china manufacturers responded and began to export holly china to the U.S. market. Germany and France led the way and shipped, literally, tons of china to the U.S. from the 1850’s to the1930s.
Many were transfer patterns, but some were factory or studio painted which are the ‘crème de la crème’ among collectors. Some of the highest quality pieces were manufactured in Limoges, France and distributed by fine jewelry stores and upper end department stores. An average family would have only purchased one or two pieces a year. Only the extremely wealthy could have purchased complete sets. Extravagant pieces, such as hot chocolate sets, tankards and steins, candlesticks, children’s tea sets, pancake servers, eggnog bowls and pedestal punch bowls, were exported to the U.S.
Beginning in the early 1900’s, several Ohio potteries began producing a wide variety of holly transfer patterns. These were much more affordable, but not of the same quality.

Just as families through the years have cherished their holly china, present day collectors experience the joy of holly china in their displays and by accentuating the Christmas dinner table. Christmas dinner─the most memorable dinner of the year.