ceramic christmas tree

Ceramic Christmas trees were a common sight in the late 1960s and early ’70s. In the latter half of the 1960s, there were thousands of ceramic shops around the US. Families would go together to create theirs own work of art. Of course there were mugs and ashtrays and aplenty, but the most durable of these grassroots creations was the Ceramic Christmas Tree. People would make them in ceramics classes, and often personalized them by writing the date or their initials or the bottom. They usually came in green or white, had colorful twinkle lights, and occasionally rotated and played music. But unlike the ashtrays and mugs that would fall by the wayside, families would keep their Christas Trees for years, displaying them proudly on a mantle or on top of the TV set.

As the popularity of craft ceramics grew, the factories that manufactured ceramic supplies entered the marketplace with their own ceramic tree molds. Atlantic Mold was the first to create a tree mold in the fifties, followed by Holland, Doc Holliday, Nowell, Arnel and others. Each manufacturer’s design was distinctly different.

Early ceramic trees had tiny little lights that lit individually. In the latter part of the 1970s that changed over to one light bulb that was inserted into the tree to lite small plastic “bulbs” in a variety of primary colors. If you have a tree with glass bulbs, it is one of the older trees and extremely rare.

The average height of these commercially produced trees was 17-24 inches and they were produced, not only in green, but white, yellow, red and even pink. But the most popular were white ceramic trees and green ceramic trees. You will find an abundance of these trees manufactured from 1960-1980.

Most of the vintage trees you will find are from the late 1960s through the late 1970s. However, there are two exceptions that are difficult to find and quite valuable. These are the ceramic trees made in the late 1940s by private craftsmen and the first commercially designed trees issued in 1958 by Atlantic Molds.

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