This Santa ornament’s skirt is made from spun glass.
In the 1880s, American five-and-dime store F.W. Woolworth became the largest importer of glass ornaments. By the early 1900s, the company was importing a quarter of a million a year to satisfy the growing demand. It’s believed that Woolworth made roughly $25 million by selling glass ornaments, most of which were sold one at a time. Today’s collectors would be thrilled to find these treasures for the nickel-and-dime prices of those days.
The Cox family displays their extensive collection every winter across multiple goose feather trees. These trees—made of readily available goose, turkey,
and swan feathers—were introduced in the late Victorian period as a result of deforestation problems and are considered among the first artificial trees. The original trees with the old ornaments are a perfect marriage. “It’s almost impossible to collect one thing; you just fall in love with everything,” Donna says.