The AT Inbox: Giving antiques as gifts

Giving antiques as gifts

Yes, I have received antiques as gifts and I give them as well. For example, this year my son’s family is in his first house. It has a nice fireplace but their budget hasn’t allowed them to get it ready to use yet. My gift to them will be from my years of collecting: antique brass and irons, nice old hearth set (broom, poker, etc.), a log carrier, a kindling container freshly filled, and even a nice pair of antique candlesticks for the mantel.

Perhaps I’ll buy a new lighter, some starter logs and some candles at the Dollar store to round out the gift. In these economic times and with usable things to pass along, this kind of gift giving fits my needs … and, I hope theirs. Perhaps later, when they can afford it, they may choose to replace these with a fireplace insert that’s more energy efficient and such. Until then, if the power goes off, they have something they can use to stay warm.

– Judy from Raleigh

Decorated trees fill home

Hi Robyn:

This year, we have 20 lighted, decorated Christmas trees. We have one in every room including each bathroom, kitchen, breakfast, laundry, etc. This all started because I wanted beautiful trees that were not a hodgepodge.

I had old ornaments from when my children were small more than 40 years ago. They are now on the “Kids’ Tree” in the bonus room – mice, drums, candy canes, planes, santas, etc.

I also had the chrisoms they made in Sunday school and they are now on the “Religious and Musical Tree” along with new nativity scenes, stars, harps, trumpets, doves, scrolls with Bible verses and anything else I can find in white or gold from the Bible. It’s truly THE Christmas tree.

I have an “Antique Teacup Tree” with 87 demitasse teacups (and a few doll cups at the top). They are tied on with gold ribbons tied in bows. It is astounding and the favorite of almost everyone including the men.

The next most favorite trees is the “Antique Jewelry Tree,” draped with pearls and crystal necklaces and chokers, rhinestone and crystal earrings, broaches, dress clips, shoe clips, etc. – all white and gold. (I tried colors but it looked too gaudy.)

A favorite of ours is the “Antique Bird Tree” with vintage porcelain clip-on birds, bird nests and berries. Very interesting but it was difficult to find enough birds. The latest tree is the “Fruit and Bird Tree” done with blown-glass fruit, old-world birds and bows, each made from three ribbons.

The “Cherub Tree” in our bath is decorated with white and gold Lefton cherubs (I would love to have more of), white tea roses and small satin-finish gold balls. In the gathering room, our large tree is done with all glass ornaments, some new and some older but all exquisite.

The “Crystal Tree” in the foyer has more than 200 crystal ornaments and rests on an antique marble-top hall tree from my husband’s family. The ornaments and lights reflected in the mirror shine through our front door creating an enchanting feeling.

The “Peach Color Tree” in the dining room has Victorian-style ornaments, many with lace or crochet or embroidered roses, and small picture frames with family photos. The “Pink Tree” in a bedroom is also Victorian-inspired; all pink ornaments, little purses, hats, shoes, etc.

From the “Brass Tree” dangles Baldwin Brass ornaments, brass ornaments from our town’s historic buildings and places we’ve visited such as The Biltmore House and Grove Park Inn. Ivory color poinsettias with a little sparkle fill in the spaces.

 The “Patriotic Tree” is a white tree which shows off all the red, white and blue ornaments much better than a green tree.

Other trees, not antique or vintage, are the “Cardinal Tree,” a heavily flocked tree with red cardinals, poinsettias, and red balls and berries; the “Wildlife Tree,” topped with a real hornet’s nest (for my husband); the “Orange and Bronze Tree” matches the decor of the parlor; the “Green Tree” in a bedroom with green poinsettias and ornaments; the “Purple Tree” with all purple ornaments, and a little flocked tree with just red berries in the laundry.

Seven trees are 7-10 feet tall and tabletop trees are mostly 4-5 feet. We can’t have any more as there is no more space, but we do love having friends and family here to enjoy them all with us.

This may give other antique lovers ideas on what to begin collecting now for Christmas next year. I hope you all have as much fun as I’ve had!
–  Sandy
Clermont, Ga.

From the Antique Trader forum:

Decorating with vintage Christmas decorations

My mom used to hang this giant (at least giant to a kid) poster of Santa up every Christmas. After years of use, and many trimmings, he was slowly cut down to size.

I don’t know if she finally just pitched it or still has it stashed away somewhere. Personally, I can’t see her throwing anything away.
– Good2BOld

When I find vintage Christmas collectibles I put them on the tree or decorate the house with them. I am always looking for new things. Haven’t taken pics yet.
– outoftheattic2u

Giving and receiving antiques as gifts
I never received an antique for Christmas, but my husband did give me hobnail candy dishes for Valentine’s Day once.
– Good2BOld

We are a family of Antique Nuts. My Mom and Dad always gave each other antiques for Christmas.  My brother and I have given presents that are old almost every year. I think it really means something, becasue its more personal, you just cant go to mall and pick it out.
– coachgary

My mom was the only one who ever bought me an antique or collectible. I sure would like to receive a collectible than the new stuff they are making today.

I have yet to buy anyone a vintage piece for fear they might think I was giving them junk. That is just today’s mentality, if its not an ipod or other type of new gizmo they don’t want it.
– outoftheattic2u

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