Vintage Christmas Tree Pins

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

13 Comments

Filed under Holidays, Shopping, Viewpoint

13 responses to “Vintage Christmas Tree Pins

  1. The framed brooch tree reminds me of the current fad of using vintage costume jewelry and making wedding bouquets out of them: http://www.etsy.com/search/handmade?search_submit=&q=brooch+bouquet&view_type=gallery&ship_to=US

    I’m not into it if you can’t take the brooch off and wear it too! If it ruins the jewelry it’s a bit sad. But I do understand for people who don’t wear brooches to take family heirlooms and keepsakes and turn it into some piece of art they could enjoy daily on a wall.

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  2. Not my sort of thing but infinately superior to modern ‘singing’ tinsel earrings.

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  3. Oh my! That Xmas tree pin board reminds me a little of the macaroni covered vases we use to make and spray gold in primary school. I think they’re equally as bad!

    I did not know of the 60s tradition of giving teachers a Xmas pin. How delightful! 🙂

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  4. Hmmm. If you wanted an equally kitschy bit of decor for a sewing room, a tree made of old buttons (presumably mis-matched and unlikely to prove useful in the future) could produce a similar effect. As a bonus, in 50 years, your own heirs could be as horrified by your button tree as we are by this jewellery gem.

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  5. KeLLy Ann

    oh how happy I am about this post. I recently got hooked on Vintage Christmas Tree Brooches, and have already bought two of them.
    Next on my list, will be the Weiss Christmas Tree with Candles. It’s gorgeous. Hollycraft and JJ have some verra nice ones! I’d like to have at least one set that comes with the earrings, too.
    Instead of sweaters, I’ll take tree brooches.

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  6. Beautiful. I find Vintage Tree Brooches so Charming!

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  7. F&S

    Congrats on a great and nostalgic blog…

    Merry Christmas , Happy Holidays …

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  8. vintagejenta

    The blue and silver ones are so pretty! I’m biased though – our tree is always a blue spruce with blue and silver decorations. 😉

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  9. Anne

    I have just over 20 vintage Christmas tree pins that I have collected. I made a plain dark green felt pillow and keep them pinned on to display them, until I take one off to wear. My daughter got a small “foil” tree from Target a couple of years ago and decorates it with her sparkly vintage brooches and pins – it’s very festive and doesn’t ruin the pins. It’s also a great converstion piece. Merry Christmas!

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