Friday, December 21, 2012

Vintage Dresden and Pressed Cardboard Christmas Ornaments

I was having a bit of fun searching for vintage Victorian Christmas ornaments
yesterday and stumbled on some intriguing items I just had to share.

Victorian ornaments using Dresden trim we common back in the day and
I love seeing old ornaments using them.
This year I spotted some beauties and some really rare items I've never seen before;
which have now peeked my curiosity to learn more about them.
One even sold for a whopping $1675.00 if you can believe that.

I hope you enjoy seeing these items as much as I enjoyed finding them.
(please note - all the images shown on this post were found on eBay.)

Vintage Victorian Scrap  Ornament Doll
OK - any of you who follow my posts know about my collection of vintage 
German L&B dolls and German scraps that are used to create this type of dressed doll.

Well this one is an exceptional vintage creation that grabbed my attention.
This sweetheart sold on eBay for $103.00 recently and is a fabulous example of what a bit of creativity and a few vintage items can produce.  She is made from a vintage German scrap, vintage crepe paper (the heavy duty kind like Dennison made years ago) and some gold Dresden stars.

The seller posted some great photos of her and she does not have the look of being 
recently created so I do believe the parts and assembly of her are indeed vintage.
This type of scrap and the process of creating these types of dolls were popular in
 the very late 1800's and super early 1900's but the parts are still available today.
 So yes, you could create one of your vary own with a similar look if you choose.

Set of 4 Ladies - Victorian Scraps
Sadly, I don't know who the maker of this sheet of Victorian ladies is but I thought you might like to see what an original sheet of fancy ladies looked like. The lady in the lower right corner is the same image that appears in the vintage ornament that sold on eBay recently.
Just image a set of 4 such ladies on your tree.

If you like the doll ornament at the top of the post and these 
Victorian lady scraps you may be interested in some of my earlier posts
Vintage German doll parts with a few "dressed" examples can be seen  HERE
Information about L&B German Articulated doll parts can be found HERE

Victorian Scraps and Dresden Trim went hand in hand with many Victorian Christmas Ornaments. 
Some ornaments could be purchased already made or you could make your own unique combinations depending on how you matched up your paper products.

Here are a few examples of vintage created pieces using Dresden trims.

4- Vintage Dresden Foil Embellished Christmas Ornaments -Wise Men
Dresden ornaments are primarily German in origin but a variety of Dresden accented
or ornaments of a similar style come Russia.
This set was probably Ukrainian in origin and have a very Russian Orthodox Church look to them.
They sold on eBay for $39.00

A similar set of Angels also sold around the same time.

2-Vintage Dresden Paper & Dresden trimmed  Christmas Ornaments
 These have the same look as the Wise Men above and
were probably made by the same individual.
They were listed as vintage and do have the right look to be such.
I love the aged patina that happens with old Dresden Trim, giving it that Old World feel.

The angles from the back
Many of the Dresden trims used on these angels are still being produced in Germany today and if you are lucky you can purchase old vintage trim if you hunt for it.

Recently a seller put up for auction their family's 100+ German Christmas Ornament collection
and in it were lots of vintage Dresden Scraps as well as some amazing pressed cardboard
ornaments that sold for a mini fortune (I've posed some of them farther down).

A bit about Dresden Products.
They are German made embossed, die-cut gilded cardboard or foil paper trims.
Depending on what their purpose was will account for if it was the heavier gilded cardboard
or the lighter weight foil paper.  

It is still possible to find some new-old stock and those are a rare treat since they are heavier in weight than what is usually produced today.  Many antique Dresden items have been handled repeatedly over the years, leaving them with a heavy patina or aged look; but I think that lends to their charm and are great on rustic looking Christmas trees or projects.
Then there are the vintage pressed and gilded ornaments  which are a category unto
themselves and their prices go through the roof when they appear on the open market.

The new Dresden trims have the look of the old ones since they are many times made from the original plates back in Germany.  They are affordable and readily available but they are slightly thinner and the foil process is not the same as was used 100+ years ago, so while a great substitute for crafters; they are not the same as vintage in look or feel - in my humble opinion.


Vintage Dresden Stars - c1900 - sold for $42.00 on eBay
These two photos will let you compare vintage Dresden to their modern counterpart.
Personally I find the new versions too lightweight to be used as ornaments on their own.
Basically they are a pressed foil paper where the vintage ones are a sturdier stock.

Modern Dresden Paper Stars
Modern Dresden trims are available from a variety of sources including sellers on eBay and Etsy.
They come in a nice variety of metallic colors, shapes and sizes and add a great finishing touch to projects that have a Victorian look or that call for a bit of something "extra" to them.
Many online suppliers also sell them - an Internet search for "Dresden Trim" will pull up several.

I first got turned on to Dresden trim and paper dolls years ago from this link - HERE is the reason I started collecting
L&B articulated paper dolls as well as my budding interest in Dresden trims.

Last year I even created a fun assortment of colorized Dresden stars
for digital use on my deviantART account which can be seen HERE

OK - back to the antiques...

Antique Chromo Doll with Dresden Trim
Here is another vintage example of a chromolithography paper doll
with handmade costume that has been trimmed with Dresden stars.
She sold on eBay for $43.00

Antique Victorian Dresden Die-Cut Chromo Angel Christmas Ornament Germany
This vintage beauty has lots of Dresden trim.
Sold for $380.00 on Dec 21,2012  - eBay

Antique Dresden & scrap die cut angel Christmas ornament German
This vintage winged beauty sold for $135.00 on eBay
I can't say that I'm a fan of the chromolithography girl that was used
but the Dresden composition is stunning.

Wings I can get but now I want to find the larger trims like was used in this skirt.
It was probably a medallion or some such - the hunt is on!

One thing I love are Dresden wings and luckily lots of versions of them are
still being made Here are several that you can pick up readily on eBay.

Jumbo Wings at 7.25 inches
These wings are huge at 7.25 inches and would be great for a tree topping angel.
Just under $10 with shipping from eBay seller  HERE

Set of 4 gold Dresden wings 2 3/4 inches - Embossed Angel Wings
According to the eBay seller these wings are colored on both sides which would
make them the perfect add to dimensional projects.  I found this set HERE

Sheet of embossed up pointing Dresden wings in gold
According to the seller these are gold on both sides.
The larger wings are 2 1/2 inches x 2 1/2 inches and the smaller wings are 1 1/2 inches.
I found them on eBay - HERE

Dresden seller northwood0_8 on eBay has lots of examples for sale in a variety of color choices.
I chose images from them since they were large and detailed so you could see how beautiful they are.

OK again - back to more Dresden Antiques

Antique German Dresden Paper Butterfly c1900
This huge butterfly ornament is of pressed cardboard and gilded in a variety of metallic colors;
 most of which have worn off over time. Even missing the head but still managed to bring $106.00.
I love the wings - they would be great on a Fairy Doll.

Large Antique German Dresden Butterfly Christmas Ornament
This one was listed as an Antique Silver Dresden Butterfly and sold for $711.00
5 1/4 x 3 1/5 inches it also has glitter on the wings

The underside is nearly as impressive as the front.

The underside of the above butterfly
This Dresden Ornament is of Pressed cardboard and the embossing is raised on both the front and back sides of the wings. The body of the butterfly is 3-D and not flat and the wonderful condition of the piece is reflected in the bidding war that took place to win it.

These 3-D Dresden Pressed Ornaments seem to come with a tall price tag
most of the time as you will see farther down in the post.

Antique Victorian Scrap Ornament Dresden Stars c1900
This lot of vintage c1900 German Dresden trim pieces went for $162.00 on eBay
The description states that they are pressed cardboard and that most of the gilding has worn off.

1890's Dresden Banner c1900
This old gem has seen better days and was missing a few letters; but still sold for $22.00

Dresden Embossed Paper Ornament - 5 inches tall
This vintage piece seems to have been very rare indeed since it brought in
$598.00 by the winning bidder on eBay
It's a beautiful old Dresden Shrine/Stage but it has quite a bit of damage; however
I love the concept of using small "chromo" images with this type of Dresden frame.
This will be a great way for me to use some of my smaller vintage scraps with
 modern Dresden pieces to get a similar look to hang on my tree.

Dresden Shield ornament Patriotic 13 stars and stripes antique German ornament
Pressed Patriotic Dresden ornaments pulled in some nice totals as well.
This 3 inch tall shield was won for $200.00

A Very Americana Ornament - Made in Germany but most likely for the American market.
This less colorful eagle brought in a respectable $69.00
3 1/4 x 4 1/2 inches pressed paper Dresden Ornament in gold.
Personally I think the gold background took away from the image;
I almost overlooked it in the preview window.

Vintage Pressed Cardboard Dresden style Ornament
I'm fascinated by the pressed ornaments with multiple metallic colors on them as found on this parrot. At nearly 6 inches tall he's a beauty and was won for $22 with shipping

I'm sure there were various quality ornaments made depending on manufacturer and year produced as can be seen in the difference in the above parrot and the one listed below.

Vintage Multi-colored Dresden style Parrot
This parrot is also of pressed cardboard and similar in style but he does not appear to be of the same quality or age of the fist parrot shown. He was acquired for $19.00 with shipping.

Vintage Dresden Ornament with great color - Owl
This 6 inch tall Merry Christmas Owl ornament is c1900,
of pressed cardboard and still has his wonderful color.
After 7 bids it sold for $89.00 on eBay - Dec 21, 2012.

Antique Victorian Die-Cut Dresden Gilded Christmas Ornament -Baby in Carriage
This little darling from the same seller probably was originally purchased with the owl
and stored in a similar manner for it to retain so much of its wonderful color.
At 7 x 7 inches this pressed cardboard and gilded charmer
sold for $150.00 on Dec 21, 2012 - eBay.
The same bidder that won the owl also got the baby, I'm so glad the two got to stay together.

Now the really unusual Dresden styled cardboard ornaments that go for the real money seem to be 3 dimensional pressed cardboard ones like that $711.00 butterfly I showed farther up in the post.  I guess over the years so many of them did not survive or were discarded and those that remain seem to be highly sought out by collectors.  This is the first year that I've noticed them; however with the price tags these are getting; I know I'll be paying more attention to this type of collectible going forward. Check you closets and family's stash of ornaments ladies and gents - you may have a forgotten treasure stashed away.

Here are a few of the rare beauties that sold in the last month or so on eBay.

6 Dresden c1900 Pressed Cardboard Ornaments
Animals seemed to have been one of the more popular choices in ornaments when these were originally made but my favorite are the boots - how cool!

All these ornaments came from same collector and I find it interesting to see the amount of wear on the finish of some vs the finish of the others.  The two birds on the bottom seen to have brighter color but it could be due to their "broken" condition  that they were stored away and not put on the tree year after year as those from the top row may have been.

It's no wonder these creatures come up missing a foot or wing as time passes.
Just imagine, these are basically a heavy pressed paper and after 100+ years of being handled and packed year after year it's a wonder many of them survived through the years.

I'm sure many a family tossed out those that got broken, crushed or lost their colorful coating from one year to the next but even in damaged condition the rare ones still brought in hundreds of dollars to the seller.

Super rate or those in excellent condition were pushing into the thousand dollar mark or more.

Amazing Pressed Cardboard Dresden Chariot Ornament
This superb example in wonderful condition garnered a whopping $1675.00
Two horsed and all the pieces intact - what a beauty!
Two serious collectors pushed the price over the thousand dollar mark by auction end.

The seller had stated that after being in her family over a hundred years they were getting too fragile to be used on the tree anymore and rather than seeing them deteriorate any farther wanted to give true collectors a shot at them so they could be appreciated and preserved.

Pressed Paper Man on Bicycle - Dresden Ornament
This one may not be beautiful to look at but it is extraordinary for what it is
and that it survived intact all these year - surprising.
I'm intrigued at how he is "lashed" onto his cycle and that his vintage bindings are still there.
There were a total of 31 bids amongst a handful of hopefuls.
 I can see how a collector would fork out $1307.00 to get him.

Detailed Pressed Dresden Style Polar Bear Ornament
 I'm a big fan of c1900 German paper collectibles but when you see items like this ornament you truly understand the the beauty is in the details.  I love how on the parts that don't "join up" as in the rear legs you get a sneak peek at the construction.  You can see the thickness of the paper used and how amazing these pieces truly are.  Each and everyone is a treasure for sure.

It took a true collector to purchase this guy. The seller placed it up with a
Buy it Now of $1200.00 or Best Offer and it went for $1050.00.

How about a Christmas Cannon? Yup, they made those too.

Beautifully Detailed Cannon made from pressed paper and gilded to hand on a tree
It appears that Dresden pressed and shaped paper ornaments came in a wide variety of items to suite boys, girls and adults of all ages.  I can just image a group of boys playing "war" with their Christmas cannons; which makes it all the more remarkable any of these survived to the present day.

It only took one bidder willing to go the necessary mile to win this treasure.
The German seller was asking a Buy it Now of $899.00 or Best Offer.
It went off to it's new home for $650.00

And if firearms are your thing...
Boys and their Toys even c1900

 I got a super kick on seeing this vintage find!
I knew "Crackers" were a big part of Victorian Christmas celebrations
but did not realize they came in shapes as seen with this vintage pistol.
This is another miracle survivor into the present age.
It's saving grace could have been the fact that it had separated one side from
another and probably was packed away and forgotten for years.
I can't otherwise imagine a "cracker" making it that long
without an interesting story behind it's survival.

The seller left it in it's present condition so buyers could see the internal parts on this piece. It's probably not often that one would get the opportunity to see the inside of a shaped "cracker" of this vintage and quality.

Browsing the web and auctions can be such a fun education, where else will
you find a Victorian Christmas cracker in the shape of a pistol?
6 bidder and 8 bids finally topped out at $260.00 for this treasure.
This item was presented by a seller in Latvi.

Well there you have it my fun vintage Dresden eBay Christmas finds for 2012.
I hope it inspires you to dig through you attics to see if you have any surprises waiting for you.

Lucky collectors with the extra cash picked up some spectacular example of these old world treasures; and we get the joy of seeing some treasures from the past that outside of a museum setting I'm not sure would have been seen in mass as these were.

These were so much fun to see I think I'll continue to look for them thou-out the year.

I'm not sure I can fit in another post before the big day gets here;
 so in case I don't - as the Victorians would have said...

A Happy Christmas to you All!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vintage Christmas Santa - Victorian Scraps

With Christmas just around the corner I've been searching through some of my images 
and thought I would post some fun vintage images I have in my archives.

I personally don't like to invest a lot of money in Christmas themed vintage scraps; but as I browse the web and search auction sites for other Victorian related paper products and dolls...
I have a tendency to save images for reference.

Today I'm posting some of my favorite Santa finds.

Happy Holidays and Enjoy!

L&B # 30513 Santa Heads
I collect L&B articulated paper dolls so in my hunt for those I run across great Christmas images by them on a regular basis.  L&B (Littauer & Boysen) made a large assortment of Santa images from the 1880's through the early 1900's and these two extra large heads are among my favorites.

I think it's interesting to see a traditional and old world Santa together on the same sheet and I love that one has blue eyes and the other brown.

I tend to favor the higher quality German scraps from the Victorian era and find that L&B 
produced some of the best Santas out there so a majority of the images I'll be posting 
are L&B but there are also a few other makers thrown in for some interest.

A set of 6 L&B attached Santas - stock number 3493
Many Victorian dies by German manufacturer L&B came in attached sheets 
similar to this one seen above.  I believe this is a full sheet but am not positive.

Here is an example of one Santa from the above sheet

L&B Sheet with 2 attached Santas
I love the fact that many of the European Santas are dressed in colors other than red 
in the above example there is a traditional "red" Santa and then a fun one in blue.

Two Vintage Victorian Santas - L&B Sheet 30703
Two nice examples of Old Word Santas can be seen above.

An attached sheet of St. Nicholas figures by German mfg L&B c1900
There are also a nice selection of Victorian St. Nicholas figures available on the antique market.

A huge multi sheet of L&B St. Nicholas Santa Heads

There are also some interesting "Santa" finds if you look hard enough.
This one below has been on my "wish list" for a long time; so, I just spluged and bought it.
This A&M (Albrecht & Meister) sheet was made in Germany in the late 1800's or very early 1900's and with the seller also being in Germany it may not arrive till the New Year - but what a treat.
An unusual sheet of Mystic Santa Heads - Sheet #7796 A&M (Albrecht & Meister)
The Victorians had a sense of whimsy as can be seen in this sheet.
I'm not sure if these were intended to be Santas or not but I would use them 
in that way just for the grins and giggles of it.

A Sweet pair of Old World Santa Heads - I believe these are L&B but not 100% sure

An Articulated Raphael Tuck Santa
This was an eBay find and his arms move.  I just love his sweet, cheery face.

Two attached Vintage Old World Santas - #33905
Below is an assortment of other Old World Santas
the makers of these are currently unknown to me.

 I adore Victorian Santas due the the variety of looks you can get them in.
There is a wide selection of colors and styles, heads, full body and anywhere in between.  

Many originals can be found on eBay and Etsy and there are also a few sources 
that have digital downloads of vintage Santas if you you don't want to pocket out 
the big bucks for a Victorian original.

There are also a multitude images available on the web that you can use to craft with, 
it's just a question of searching and finding nice quality versions that have been 
posted by nice folks who like to share.

I hope this has inspired you to consider collecting or crafting with Victorian Santa images.

Till Next Time...