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A wonderful gift at Christmas!
The tippy-top position (or "crown"), on our Christmas trees invites a very special treatment. Decorative Christmas ornament tree-toppers (treetoppers or finials) have their origin in the Victorian era, when Christmas trees became popular in England. Wikipedia notes that in 1848 The Illustrated London News published a picture of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and their family around a Christmas tree topped with an Angel. Thus the Christmas Angel became the most common tree-topper. Christmas stars are very popular, as are elegant Christmas reflectors. Santas, and Snowmen are also commonly used. My Growing Traditions offers some of each from Inge-Glas of Germany (the oldest Christmas ornament company in the world).
These glass finials and the elegant, simple, wooden Spanbaum (also known as span trees, wood shaved trees, chip or chipped trees, twilled trees, and curled trees) tree topper from the Erzgebirge (Germany's Christmas Center) that we happily carry this year for the first time, all require some special care when it comes to decorating your tree.
About.com - provides some useful "Tips for Topping the Tree"
The Large Santa Claus with Toys - the toys come separately, so that you can tuck them into his bag - is 6" tall and more than majestic! He makes a perfect centerpiece for your Christmas table.
and is wonderful displayed with the Pixies by his side.
Wendt and Kühn Santas are simply essential to Christmas!
The Emil Helbig Workshop in Gruenhainichen (in the Erzgebirge and known as a Toy Makers Village), Germany has been in business since 1933 and is the oldest woodcarving workshop in the Ore Mountains. Their work is unique, simple, and truly elegant.
We have expanded our Emil Helbig offerings to include two sweet little children bringing flowers.
Our new Angels are the Angel with a Deer (the Deer admires the star the Angels holds in her hands)
and the Angel with a Baby in a Cradle.
Sitting on their gold pedestal, each is 1-1/2" tall and sit perfectly beside the standing 2-1/2" Grünhainichen Angel Bearing Gifts pictured with two of them here:
Mix and match, create your own display, and enjoy the meticulous art of Wendt and Kühn Grunhainichen Angels - the Angels with the Eleven Dot Wings
treasured by collectors all over the world for nearly 100 years.
Click on the images or links above to find them in our shop.
Enjoy our Wendt and Kühn Pinterest Board.
This year we have significantly expanded our offerings of Wendt and Kühn Angels, especially the orchestra musician Angels.
In 1923 Grete Wendt sketched the first three of her angels - each with eleven white dots on their little green wings. They were:
We now carry these and a total of 25 of the Musician Angels, and are pleased to also offer the wonderful Grünhainichen Angel Slumber Vault.
The Slumber Vault is a superb place to keep your Wendt and Kuhn Grünhainichen Angels - the musicians and more. The vault stores 36 angels with compartments of various sizes, including a larger compartment to accommodate the grand piano. Grünhainichen Angels - stand alone and ornaments - are pictured along all four sides of the vault.
As we near this holiday season we realize that My Growing Traditions is truly about celebrating with the best of European folk art and Christmas. The artisans and their workshops whose folk art we offer are ones that represent the premier of their genre. All of them have histories that go back decades, some closing in on 100 years, and some beyond. They are artisans that have perfected their art and are recognized world-wide as masters in their field. They have been instrumental in creating and maintaining tradition. We carry Inge-Glas of Germany Christmas ornaments - the oldest Christmas ornament company in the world (since 1596) - and Marcel Carbonel Santons (since 1935) of Marseille, France, the preeminent Santons workshop.
These wood-working artisans are so beautifully depicted in Brück und Sohn's (printer Meissen, Germany since 1793) Advent Calendar - The Erzgebirge Woodworker's Shop.
Click here for Brück und Sohn's other Advent Calendars available on My Growing Traditions.
Our fondness for the Woodworker's Shop Advent Calendar led us to want to share with you photos of the workshops of many of the artisans that we carry.
Classic Angels and many other wonderful wooden figures have been created by the Wendt and Kuhn Workshop in Grunhainichen since 1915.
And last but not least, we want to share with you here this picture of the creation of a wood-chip tree, or Spanbaum, a folk art that dates to the 1930s.
We have been privileged over the years to visit the workshops of each of these artisans - a true joy and an experience that has cemented our desire to make their work available to you.