Christmas is a nostalgic holiday, steeped in past traditions. It’s no surprise then that this is also the time of year when the home decor shops bring out their artfully ‘distressed” reproduction antiques. Have you been in a Pottery Barn lately? It’s all reproduction vintage tree bulbs, tarnished vases and “weather-beaten” thingamabobs. This year they even have reproduction folk art from the American Folk Art Museum collection! On one hand, this is good. It shows a market interest in antiques and folk art that should ultimately benefit everyone related to the business. On the other hand, these reproductions are not cheap. They cost in some cases as much or more than real antiques. And, most importantly, they are mass-produced! There is no real character to the objects – none of the stories and history that give antiques appeal.
As a counter argument to all the reproductions out there, I submit a few real antiques I found on Collectivator this evening. I just searched keywords like “Christmas” and “winter” to find some lovely objects that you could use as part of your holiday decor as well as your every day collection. These pieces will add authentic nostalgic appeal to your holidays, and maintain their value. Take a look:
How adorable are these two vintage miniature cabins? They come from Quebec and have great details like cellophane windows, glittery snow and real metal axe. This is real folk art for a great price: the cabin with logs is $75.00 and the larger house is $145.00. They are offered by Shadfly Antiques.
Or how about this charming circa 1890 wagon? Imagine this filled with evergreen boughs or gifts! It would be a wonderful piece anytime of the year but during the holidays it would be a centrepiece. This wagon is offered by Land & Ross Antiques.
This antique cast iron nutcracker is around 100 years old, still useful, and a refreshing departure from the traditional Christmas nutcracker. This little fella is priced at $195.00 from Shaun Markey Antiques.
Finally, this 19th century child’s push sleigh with original paint is right out of a print by Currier and Ives! The shape, form and colour are all beautiful, and it’s in excellent condition. Priced at $800 from Wendy Hamilton Antiques, this would be the pièce de résistance of any Christmas decoration.
All these items are real antiques that serve beautifully as decoration but also as valuable additions to your home and collection. While these antiques are from Collectivator, antiques from any source can be just as attainable and suited for the holidays. I know some of these items may be out of your price range (mine too) but take what you can’t afford as inspiration. Think outside the box, or the pottery barn, and you might be surprised by what’s out there!