Friday, April 10, 2009


German Papier Mache Egg Candy Containers

Even though my knee is recovering nicely, I still can't go up and down my basement stairs, so my collections of Easter decorations will be staying down there snug in their Rubbermaid tubs. I do miss those wonderful harbingers of spring. The more I began to collect Easter decorations, the more I turned toward vintage decorations, which in my definition can mean anything from the 1950s back to near the turn of the 20th century.

It's these vintage decorations that I miss the most, so I thought I would share with you pictures of the types of vintage Easter items that capture my heart. There's just something about them. I think it's because they are beautiful without being cutesy. The paper items were printed by a process called chromolithography, which was invented early in the 20th century. The colors were surprisingly vivid for such early technology, and remain vibrant today.

In my mind, Germany was the best producer of vintage paper and papier mache decorations. Unfortunately, war with Germany stopped the importation of these fabulous goods.

I am glad I amassed my collection when I did, because I could not afford them anymore. Most are now sold on eBay rather than in the places I found them, in local flea markets and antique stores.

I do not mind reproduction Easter decorations, as long as they have that indefinable vintage look. The Victorian Papers catalog is a good source for these fine reproductions, as is the German Country Store, which you can find online.

What modern resin chick figurines could compare to these great old Lefton china chicks?

Gurley, manufacturer of famous vintage Christmas candles, also made wonderful Easter candles.

I have a couple of German papier mache rabbit candy containers similar to this one, which is going for $75.00 on eBay. These are among the most expensive of the vintage Easter collectibles.

These colorful lithographs, called scrap, are actually reproductions. (For those of you who think scrapbooking is a relatively new hobby, I'll have you know that people have been making "scrap" books since the Victorian days.) These scraps are made from the same plates used to make the originals. They're available from the German Country Store. There are other styles to choose from, and they are very inexpensive. (They have been photographed on a background, but actually they are pre-cut and are just connected by those yellow "ribbons" which can be easily cut away to make each piece individual unto itself. )

In addition to scraps, there were die-cut decorations which were made into cards. Because of my previous post, you know about my collection of vintage Easter postcards, but I also have some of these vintage Easter greeting cards, and a few precious Easter booklets, usually religious in nature.

And last but certainly not least, these vintage chenille chicks, which I hate to say are from my childhood. Hate to say, because that makes me vintage too. How I loved these little chicks, which I purchased at the five and dime store. I loved their puffy little chests and orange feet. I especially loved the ladies in their fancy hats, and those sporting feathers. I still get a little thrill upon seeing one today.

I hope you enjoyed these vintage bits and I want to wish a Happy Easter to everyone, and Happy Spring to my pagan friends.


Janet said...

Your banner looks beautiful! And all these vintage decorations are so pretty. I'm sorry your knee is still giving you problems....has the weather improved any?

Have a Happy and Sunny Easter!

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

Love the china chickies! Hope your leg get better quickly and have a wonderful Easter..and my middle name is...Marie ! LOL!

gma said...

Beautiful vintage goodies Julie.
The China chicks are so sweet.
I have a few spring decorations out. Only because they are easy to get to. LOL
Enjoy your weekend

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Happy spring to you my friend - I love all the cute stuff you showed - can't wait until you can show us your own things another year. Take care.

Annie Jeffries said...

Well, now that I've swooned to my library floor, I'll pick myself up and examine all these treasures again. No doubt about it - the birdies are the best, especially the little chenille birdies.

Kim Campbell said...

The candles and chicks bring back such memories!

Lila Rostenberg said...

etHappy Easter to you Julie!

Love those fluffy little chicks!
I have a paper mache egg here, somewhere...NEED to find it! LOL!

Shopgirl said...

Like Janet, I think your banner is really beautiful. All of your Easter decorations remind me of being at my Grandmother's. She loved Easter, she would bring out the Easter box, it was filled with wrapped up little treasures.
You were sharing about scrapbooking and that it was done even in the Victorian era. Everything old is new again.
Happy Easter, Mary

Margaret's Ramblings said...

Love the banner, very seasonal. You have a happy Easter Julie and I hope the knee recovers soon.


Sandy said...

I love your banner. I, too, love vintage.

Anonymous said...

Have or hope you had a wonderful Easter, I love the banner and the pictures. Take care Fiona

Ruthie Redden said...

Hi Julie, i am so happy to tell you some news i hope will cheer you, you have become the owner of my blogpost giveaway angel! i am so pleased you are the winner! could you e-mail me your address so i can send this wee package to you asap. ps love your easter collections, so sorry to hear you are having trouble with your knee, hope it eases up very soon. x ruthie

Bimbimbie said...

Hi Julie, loved seeing all your Easter vintage goodies ... those last three chicks from your childhood are my favourite, especially the middle one in her bonnet, very sweet*!*

Shopgirl said...

Another wonderful Banner...I haven't posted anything for awhile, but I will tomorrow.
Have a most excellent Spring!
Your, Mary