Spring Memories Renewed…

I love Easter decorations, particularly vintage style Easter items.  The quantity of Easter décor that I have is second only to Christmas.  Like most of my collections that span decades, I may have had some items for years, but the collection expanded rapidly with the ability to purchase on the internet.

DSC_0312
Faux Chocolate Bunnies

We always had candy filled baskets on Easter.  I can still remember the smell of chocolate and the cellophane grass in the baskets.  I’m pretty sure the grass was used over and over for several years, so it did have an odor – not unpleasant, just distinct.  It seemed like the smell of chocolate lingered.  I also loved Easter outfits! This was a big deal – I’m not sure it’s still as major a clothing day as it used to be. We wore white gloves to church and you had to have some kind of hat or head covering. One of my wackiest outfits, circa 1966-67 included lime green fish net stockings – with a garter belt (both borrowed from an older sister).  Too funny considering I was five or six!   They were way too long and I wasn’t sure how to work the rubber and metal fasteners on the belt.  I remember coming downstairs and my Mom having a shocked look.  She checked how I had them on and I remember her laughing.  She adjusted everything folding them down to fit and let me wear them – I think I must have been insisting.  I don’t remember the dress, but I do remember those stockings.  It was just us kids that went to church – no parents and it was quite a few blocks away.  During the Easter season, we would stop at a famous Philadelphia bakery called Stock’s on the way home to get just a few Easter themed sugar cookies or a pineapple cheesecake. The cookies were shaped like rabbits or eggs with colored sugars on them – they seemed like such a special treat. While we no longer live walking distance, on special occasions our family will still go back to Stock’s Bakery to get one of the best pound cakes ever!

DSC_0352
Glass bird and nest dish
DSC_0355
Bird dish interior
DSC_0382
Old style stacking boxes from the 1980’s
DSC_0325
Bone china rabbit dishes from an estate sale – they were extremely dirty and I was surprised at just how nice the were once they were cleaned up!

When I was really little – pre-school, my Mom got me a small porcelain egg-shaped dish. It had deep red and small yellow rose decorations on the lid and I thought it was really beautiful. Naturally, I paid a good deal of attention to the dish, and porcelain and small kids don’t always mix. It was inevitable I guess that I broke it and I was pretty upset about it. I don’t know if it was that same Easter, or the next one but my Mom got me an even bigger porcelain egg dish. This one was covered all over with violets.

DSC_0333

I’ve had it a very long time, so it may have been a replacement for the first one. Needless to say, I was extremely careful with the new one even though it was much larger for small hands to hold.

It remains a treasured item to me.

Other early favorites were the little chenille chicks, rabbits and ducks that you could get around Easter. I only have one of my original ones, but have gotten more as the years went on at flea markets, etc.

DSC_0365
In the post from November 2017, I mentioned a 5 and 10 cent store and a card store that were favorites of mine. I still have a few early Easter items that were purchased in those stores in the late 1960’s.

DSC_0358
These are the earliest pieces – I believe the porcelain egg was a gift from my sister to my Mom

The white rabbit candy container was from the 5 & 10.  I think in the second year I had it, two holes were cut out of the bottom in order to tie him to an Easter bonnet that I made for a contest at school.  He was the main attraction on the bonnet. He has actually yellowed a bit from years in a “smoking” household (see January 2018).  The other item was the green flocked chick, which I love.  When I purchased him – I think in 1969, the card store had several other colors.  I was only able to get one and for some reason picked this green one. As time went on, I wished for the yellow one. No worries though…even though it was several decades later, I was able to find the other colors online.  Kind of a weird obsession, right?  Funny, but I’ve never seen another green chick.

Anyway, I still think they are awesome!

DSC_0362DSC_0377

I was also able to pick up another rabbit candy container. I also found them in pink and yellow, but they didn’t appeal to me the way the white one does. Having two helps to balance my display.

DSC_0387

I went on to add many more porcelain egg dishes to the collection along with some old blown glass eggs of various sizes.

More porcelain egg dishes…

In the bottom photo is a solid egg my sister gave to my Mom.  The cobalt blue egg is very old.

DSC_0350DSC_0344DSC_0342DSC_0345

I think the blown glass eggs started as substitutes for hen houses to encourage chickens to lay eggs. Many of them are chicken egg size, but they are several larger sizes.  Some have molded designs and were obviously made to be decorations.  Most were commercially painted probably in the late 19th early 20th century.  These are fairly easy to find, although sometimes that painted decoration has worn off.  Several years ago I found a woman selling some that belonged to her husband.

This was what she told me about them…

“These eggs were given to my husband, Arnie by his great-aunt Rose. She was an artist and a great cook. She had 1 son whose name was Arnold and he was killed in WWI at the age of 21 and my husband was named after him. They are from Toms River, NJ.  He got his first egg when he was born 1946 and his last egg when he graduated high school 1965. Some of them have already been given to our kids.”  

I liked having the provenance and purchased several with designs I liked best and display them in baskets at Easter, along with some earlier glass eggs.

DSC_0319DSC_0359DSC_0334

Here is a grouping of antique papier-mâché eggs made in Germany.  They have printed paper linings and Dresden paper lace trim.  They must have held wonderful treats.

DSC_0374DSC_0372DSC_0371

What would Easter be without Lefton chicks, ducks, lambs and bunnies?

DSC_0217
Baby chicks
DSC_0308
Cute group of ducklings
DSC_0339
Rabbit Planter
DSC_0296
Three sizes of rabbits
DSC_0297
The larger rabbits

Some other styles of chicks and bunnies from various makers…

DSC_0305
Glazed chicks and bunnies
DSC_0303
Cute chick and duck on half shell eggs

The items that companies like Lefton and Norleans put out in the 1950’s, and 1960’s were really nice I think. I have one original chick from when I was little and one lamb. I believe I had two chicks, but honestly don’t remember what happened to the other one. They were all purchased at the aforementioned “treasure chest” card store.  I have been able to amass quite a large number of these over the years. They turn up a lot at yard sales and flea markets, not to mention online. The most difficult to find and the most expensive were the largest set of white rabbits. They came in 3 sizes, which I learned from searching for them online. I was outbid several times on a large set and was finally able to get these I think because one has a repaired ear. It didn’t matter to me (my original chick has a repaired toe). There are brown rabbits too. I thought about adding some of those, but so far I haven’t gotten any (I am supposed to be trying to downsize after all).

Some more décor…hover on the photos for a description.

These home made early 1970’s craft eggs were a yard sale find…they are very nicely made of real eggs!

I also have a “soft” spot for vintage Easter plush animals – mostly rabbits.

There are some nice newer ones that look old and I like those too. I saw a white rabbit several years ago at an antique shop…nice with pink eyes. I fell in love with it, but when I saw the price I just couldn’t believe it so I didn’t get it.  I’ve never seen one quite like it again (and you know I’ve been looking).  Even when I see some similar they are always even more money – who knew? I think it would have been from the 1940’s or 50’s. Oh well, I’ve found some fun examples since, but as is my nature – that one still comes to mind.

DSC_0397

There is something really nice about bringing out all of the Easter items.

They cheer up the doldrums and winter gloom that comes after Christmas and are a sure sign that spring is one the way, even though it’s taking its time getting here this year.

DSC_0394DSC_0392

DSC_0386
Large blow mold rabbit, white rabbit cut-out and crochet eggs from Celeste.

 Happy Spring!

 

Author: Collected

Recollections and reflections on a life time of collecting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s