I took the above photo last week at the market I attended, and was planning to use it as yet another example of how it’s often best to just leave stuff alone. I know next to nothing about vintage costume jewelry, but I do think that the combined value of all the stuff that went into making this tree would greatly exceed the $130 asking price.
This was a huge fad in the 1960s into the 70s. Take all of Granny’s old, out of style costume baubles and glue them to a board in the shape of a Christmas tree. Display it for several years until you realize it is beyond ugly and then put it in the closet where you rediscover it in 2011 and try to peddle it as mid century art.
I know some of you are going to say you like it. Okay, I’ll admit that it does have a certain charm that would be greatly enhanced if these were actually MY grandmother’s jewels. Still, please let me make my point: sometimes it is best to just let well enough alone.
I went on a quest to find more of these to use as example, but my feeble search phrase, “Pin Christmas Tree,” led instead to Christmas tree pins. Suddenly the clouds lifted and I was delighted by a nostalgic trip to a mid 1960s jewelry counter. One of the advantages of having been in the world for 56 years is that I’ve got some darned great memories. One of them is Christmas shopping in the 60s. In one particular year, around 1964 or so, my mother let my older brother and me pick out a Christmas pin for our teachers. I can remember how hard it was to pick, as even our little home town department store had a large selection. It was a very popular gift of the time, and I can imagine that teachers in the 60s amassed a huge collection of them.
And that is reflected in the abundance of them in antique store, flea markets and online. On etsy alone there are over 1000! It would be very easy to get hooked on these, as most are very inexpensive. I’ll share a few I really liked, in all price ranges. Click on the caption to go to the sale page.
O Christmas Tree – Vintage Christmas Tree Brooch
Vintage Gold & Rhinestone Christmas Brooch Pin
Retro Christmas Tree Pin with Pink, Blue & Green Stones
Silver Toned Eisenberg Christmas Tree Pin
O Christmas Tree Vintage Christmas Tree Brooch
Vintage Silver tone Rhinestone Christmas Tree Brooch
Vintage Corocraft Cristmas Tree Brooch