Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shiny and Brite

I gave up on decorating a tree after Dixie Lee's first Christmas.  In fact, that very first Christmas she came into my life, I had to take the tree down.  This was a big disappointment because it was actually my very first apartment as a real world adult (after college, that is) and this was going to be my very first big Christmas tree.  The problem is the dog is OBSESSED with balls (and goes crazy over "toys", too).  I will go more into her obsession in a later post....but I needed to give a bit of history on why I do not have a tree.  So long story short, Dixie Lee is 12 now and I have not had a tree in all this time.  I did have a centerpiece tree on my formal dining room table, but that did not take much to decorate. 

Since I have not had a tree to decorate in so long, I did not value the gloriousness of a pack of Shiny Brite Glass Ornaments.  I have seen them here and there in antique stores and on the net but never really thought much about them.  It seems this year I have seen mention of them on more and more blogs, however... and since I have decided to decorate the garland around out fireplace with vintage ornaments, the first thing I thought about was all these Shiny Brights I have been seeing on people's blogs.

A little history about these ornaments...

The Shiny-Brite company produced the most popular Christmas tree ornaments in the United States throughout the 1940's and '50s.
In 1937, Max Eckardt established "Shiny-Brite" ornaments, working with the Corning Glass Company to mass produce glass Christmas ornaments. Eckardt had been importing hand-blown glass balls from Germany since around 1907, but had the foresight to anticipate a disruption in his supply from the upcoming war. Corning adapted their process for making light bulbs to making clear glass ornaments, which were then shipped to Eckardt's factories to be decorated by hand. The fact that Shiny-Brite ornaments were an American-made product was stressed as a selling point during World War II."  Please go to Wikipedia to read more.

So I start pricing them, I mean really?  How much can an almost (the packs I have seen are always missing pieces) complete set of dusty old glass ornaments be?  OMG.  I have seen them for about 12.00 and way up from there!!!!  I like to use LOTS of balls in my decorating and give the piece a real "lush" look so I would need several boxes.  With only seeing ONE box as low 12.00 and really only seeing a box or two in each store over the last few weeks, I was not getting my hopes up.

Then I decided to go thrifting....

The box is a little beat-up but the ornaments are pristine.  Shiny AND Brite.  A few have the hooks missing but that is a very easy fix.  The shop had the box pretty much taped up so some of the damage (really just a few tears on the surface) was my fault.  They were market 1.91 but all Holiday stuff was 50% off....SCORE!!!!

And this morning, another Estate Sale adventure (more posts about that to come) where I found.....

Now this box was PERFECT.  All red (except one) mini Shiny Brites.  I KNOW the home owners had more because I saw a man walk out with an armful.  He was walking out as I was walking in, right when the doors opened, so he knew what he was going for beleiveyoume (I knew a lady who used to say this at the Retirement Community I worked at...LOL).  I almost lost the entire box while looking thru the rest of the sale.  This house was PACKED with stuff and people.  I had an arm full of other stuff and the box of mini Shiny Brites fell off the top onto the grass. THANK GOODNESS I was in the grass and not in the house with lots of people to step on them or on the sidewalk where they would have broke for sure.  I am really not sure how much I paid for this set because the people who were running the sale were pretty un-organised and did not have t hings marked....when I got ready to pay she just glanced at what I had and gave me one price for I got a great deal.  I had corning wear, tupper ware, a MINK hat, 2 hat boxes, several patterns, leather dress gloves, etc...and all of this was 15.00.  So cheaper than one box of Shiny Brites at an antique dealer.  SCORE!!!!

Now I think I have changed my mind about using these to decorate my fireplace.  The hearth is brick and I would hate to have one break WHEN, not if, I drop one.  I hate to think they will just sit in their boxes so maybe I will put them in one of my Waterford crystal dishes, you already get death threats if you look at one of those wrong so I think they would be safe in one of those.

I am off to do a bit of investigation for more info....I might have a box of junk for all I know....But if so, it is Shiny Brite junk


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