Vintage Christmas tips: collecting figurines & candleholders. Learn the tips about manufactures like Holt-Howard, Napco, Lefton, Norcrest, and more. For many, the holiday season is filled with love, warmth, and cherished memories. It’s also a time to appreciate and celebrate traditions, both old and new. One such tradition is the fascination with vintage Christmas noel figurines and candle holders from the 1950s, made in Japan. These collectibles not only add a nostalgic touch to your holiday decorations but also carry with them the rich history and craftsmanship of Japanese artisans.
Today’s post in our 2021 Vintage Christmas Collecting Series features some of my favorite vintage Noel sets that date to the 1950s-1960s and feature candle holders, bells, and figurines. Some of these sets were featured in last year’s Vintage Christmas Collecting Series of 2020 but have been updated with current pricing and colorways. 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 Pixies that there really is something for everyone and you can easily have a theme each year for your holiday decorating too!!
Note: Blog post has a lot of photos and pricing source is recent Ebay, Etsy, Worthpoint, and my own personal sales data.
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 some 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.
Stacked Santa’s NOEL Totem Pole Candle Holders
Near-and-dear to my heart are these vintage Santa Claus stacked NOEL totem pole candle holders. These have such fun, witty, retro charm. Pictured are two matching pair made by Tilso in Japan in the 1950s. The Santa’s have gold little curly-q’s in their beards, have expressive eyes, and each hold a letter to spell NOEL. Tilso sets (sometimes referred to as Brinns) tend to fetch $225-$300 each, having the original box really can impact the price.
The next set is made by Napco in Japan in the 1950s and the Santa’s twist and turn to spell NOEL in red letters. There is also a lovely little Christmas tree as part of the candelabra’s design (Napco made very enchanting and detailed ceramics) and the Santa’s are so cute and whimsical with their expressive faces, and each holds a candle-holder that has gold star. The Napco sets tend to fetch $250-$350 but are very rare and do not come up for sale often.
Lipper & Mann NOEL Spaghetti Poodles
NOEL Christmas spaghetti Poodle dog figurines set made by Lipper & Mann in the 1950s. Since Poodles were all the rage in the 50s it’s only fitting 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 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 (having added the pink colorway this year). 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 $350-$450.00 in today’s market.
Vintage NOEL Santa Head Bells Japan
How cute are these Santa’s!! I have never seen this set before and was intrigued when I came upon it one afternoon on the internet. The set is very delicate and well-made. The Santa Claus heads are very festive and jolly and each has a letter that spells NOEL. They also have gold strings in the back of their caps to hang on the tree. They have a Japan tag. Prices may vary but expect to pay $65-$100 in today’s market.
Vintage Christmas NOEL Santa Pixie Elves Boys
This set of vintage Christmas NOEL Santa Pixie Elf Boys is adorable!! These little fellows have wide faces and big eyes, they hold a candy cane striped mug or candle holder but have gold strings attached to their caps so they look like they can be ornaments or candle holders. They are unmarked and have Japan tags. They each hold a green letter that spells NOEL. This set is so special and filled with Christmas nostalgia. In today’s market you can expect to pay $285-$350.
Vintage M.G. Japan NOEL Pixie Snowman Christmas Candle Holders
So excited to add this set of NOEL Pixie Snowman Candle Holders to my collection this year. The pixies are so festive in their red hats, mittens, and booties and green scarves with sponged gold snowflakes and their bodies twist and turn to the form the words NOEL. Their red hats hold the candle. They have wide expressive faces and big eyes. This set is made by M.G. Japan (has a label) and dates to the early 1960s. A few of these sets have come up for sale and auction this year and in today’s market you can expect to pay $195-$225.
I hope you enjoyed this round-up of my favorite vintage, retro, and mid-century holiday decor. There are so many great resources out there to help you find the perfect piece for your collection and home! If I missed any must have pieces in this post, be sure to let me know what they are in the comments below. Happy Holidays!
I included these Vintage Menschik Goldman Vintage NOEL Santa Cowboy Western Candle Holders in my post from last year but, I am still so excited to add them back into my collection this year!!
Visit my Etsy shop, where I showcase a carefully curated selection of rare Holt-Howard Starry Eyed Santa pieces, perfect for both new and seasoned collectors alike. Let’s share the joy of these charming treasures together!
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.
Collecting vintage NOEL Christmas candle holders, figurines, and bells
Vintage Holt-Howard Christmas collectibles
Pretty Ladies – Vintage Christmas Head Vases and Planters
Collecting vintage Christmas angels
Have yourself a Mid-Mod Christmas
Collecting vintage Christmas year-round
Holt-Howard Christmas Collectibles and Price Guide: Starry Eyed Santa
Vintage Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Thrifting Vintage Christmas Decorations: NOEL Sets from the 1950s-1960s