You may have noticed that Christmas is in the air. That feeling of festivity and joy that comes with this time of year can be attributed to many things, but one of them surely has to be all the vintage kitschy decorations. For me, one of my favorite things to do is pull out the vintage NOEL sets that I have been collecting for years and display these treasures as I get my home ready for Christmas. If you love a touch of nostalgia with some Mid-Century flair then you’ll want to curl up with your cocoa and read our new blog post on Collecting Vintage Christmas: Noel Sets for tips on buying, selling, and searching for these treasures.
Today’s blog post features some of my vintage Noel collection that dates from the 1950s-1960s and features Noel candle holders, Noel bells, and Noel figurines. When it comes to vintage Noel collectibles there are so many varieties and themes from Santa Claus, Elves, Poodles, Snowmen, Angels, Candy Canes, and even Clowns, that there really is something for everyone and you can easily have a theme each year for your holiday decorating too!!
WARNING!! Blog has a lot of photos.
One sure way to any collector’s heart is items that come with their original boxes. For me, the box can also be used as part of your vintage holiday decor as they usually have timeless graphics that add so much charm to your displays. Since these vintage items are usually 70 yrs old, if you do find an original box it will probably have some wear and tear or even water damage from being stored in basements and attics and that is completely okay and in my opinion, adds that much more to the story and history of the item.
Here are five of my very favorite Noel sets from my personal collection and I think they are just dynamite. Each set is so unique and has loads and loads of vintage Christmas charm. I actually have them up year-round in my cabinet and they always make me smile when I stop and admire them.
- This 4 Piece Noel bells set of boys and girls made by World Creations by Grimco Japan 1950s. This set is hard to find and very delicate, made from very fine ceramic so there may be light hairline cracks if you do come across a set. The facial expressions on these kids are so darling. In today’s market expect to pay $275-$325.
2. Christmas Cowboy Santa Noel Candle Holders set by Menschik Goldman in the 1950s. Santa is wearing his western hat with green and red holiday flair, his red suit complete with holster and pistol and his body spells out NOEL. This set is very rare, I have only come across it one time and in today’s market expect to pay $299-$350.
3. NOEL Christmas spaghetti Poodle dog figurines set made by Lipper & Mann in the 1950s. Since Poodles were all the rage in the 50s it only makes sense that they would be made into a fabulous set of Noel figures to enjoy at Christmas time. This set came in two colors; pink and white and the pink set is rare and much harder to find. I consider myself incredibly fortunate that I have been able to add both the pink and white set to my collection. The set features adorable little spaghetti poodle dogs with lots of gold sponging on their fur, gold collars, and they have big eyes with long eyelashes making them so glamorous!! Because this set is so rare and hard to find, you can expect to pay $275-$325 in today’s market.
4. NOEL Snowmen and Snow-women with ski goggles candle holders by unknown maker, Japan stickers and stamp, circa 1950s. This set is one of my most treasured. I actually have it up on display (as you can see from the photo). This set is very delicate, made from very fine ceramic. I love how much charm this set has with the snow women wearing yellow hats, one holds her little snow baby and the other holds onto a package. The snowmen wear their black tophats and hold presenters and candy canes. They each have a letter to spell out NOEL and there is room for a little candle to go on the top. Because this one is such a rare and hard to find set, you can expect to pay $325-$375 in today’s market.
5. Vintage Candy Cane Pixie NOEL Angel Candle Holders by Commodore, made in Japan circa 1950s. This is another vintage Christmas NOEL set I hold near and dear to my heart. I adore the cute little faces on these and their red and white striped bodies that spell out NOEL. They have a little holly and red berry on top of their heads and that is where the candle goes. These are so incredibly delicate and most times when you do come across the set their heads have been broken at the neck or there bodies have been broken in half and repairs are usually not well done. This set is hard to find but finding it without cracks, chips, or breaks is very rare. You can expect to pay $275-$350 (without damage) in today’s market.
Here are some pictures from other NOEL sets in my collection and I have broken them down into groupings of Candle Holders, Bells, and Figurines and provided as much information on maker/manufacturer as possible to help you as you build or add to a collection.
Noel Candle Holders:
You can source NOEL sets all year long. Below are tips for you if you are shopping at antique malls or antique shows and can actually hold the item in your hand and personally inspect it. So, to save you some of the grief of the dreaded “Oh No”, below are 5 of my tips for holiday shopping in antique shops during this time of year.
5 Tips for Antique Mall Christmas Shopping
1. Make sure you REALLY examine the item. Feel around the edges and nooks and crannies for chips, dings, fleabites and repairs.
2. Have good lighting so you can see if paint color is missing or has been colored over with a Sharpie.
3. If there is tape on the item remove it enough to get a good full look of what is underneath. Learn from my misfortune. I recently purchased a gorgeous jam jar that had the lid taped on and when I got it home and took the tape off there were several cracks inside the jar and this was not disclosed on the tag and I would have seen this had I lifted the tape and looked inside the jar.
4. If an item has the price tag tied on make sure to look all around and under the tag. Again, learn from my misfortune. I recently purchased a lovely vintage figurine from an Antique mall and the figurine had a price tag securely tied to the arm. When I got home and removed the tag is when I noticed the arm had been broken and reattached and the string was covering this repair up.
5. Smell your item(s). I know this sounds strange but smell your item. You would be amazed at the coats of paint and varnish vintage items receive prior to being put up for sale. To me, this is not ok when I am being led to believe that I am purchasing a truly “vintage” or “antique” piece. If the seller has refurbished the item they should state it on the tag. Also, varnish and paint can have a lingering odor for many days and if you intend to be giving the item as a gift the last thing you want is for your recipient to open it and be assailed with a whiff of varnish or paint.
I would love to see your collections and treasures, email me via the contact form. Hope you all are having a great start to your holiday season.
About the Vintage Christmas Collecting Series: This six-part series of blog posts and pictures focuses on vintage and mid-mod Christmas collectibles from the late 1940s-1960s, giving you the insights on starting a collection with tips on prices and where to find these treasures as well as tips for adding to your collection and scoring the rare and hard-to-find pieces. Both new and seasoned collectors will learn new things so they can enjoy collecting vintage Christmas items year-round.
Upcoming Vintage Christmas Collecting Series:
- Collecting vintage NOEL Christmas candleholders, figurines, and bells – November 27, 2020
- Vintage Holt-Howard Christmas collectibles – December 4, 2020
- Pretty Ladies – Vintage Christmas headvases – December 11, 2020
- Collecting vintage Christmas angels – December 18, 2020
- Have yourself a Mid-Mod Christmas – December 24, 2020
- Collecting vintage Christmas year-round – January 2, 2021