Antique and vintage cotton ornaments – their story

Antique and vintage cotton Christmas ornaments - their story

Antique cotton Christmas ornaments can attract people who aren’t even collectors.

Cotton Christmas ornaments began selling in Russia in early of the 1900s.

Russia and Germany had good business connects before World War I.

Germany was a leader in the Christmas decoration industry.

Germany early ornaments imported to Russia very well.

These ornaments were as beautiful but expensive.

Only rich people could afford to decorate a Christmas tree with those German ornaments.

Sometime later, Russian small workshops began making own spun cotton ornaments.

The idea was taken from German cotton ornaments.

They were not such exquisitely made as German ones. 

However, they were cheaper and most of them were made in the Russian style.

Many middle-class people bought them. 

Russian cotton ornaments were: different fruit, vegetables, animals and birds.

Spun cotton people figures and characters of famous folk tales were especially popular.

Usually, their faces were made of paper-mache or clay.

Almost every ornament was covered with the slimmest coat of mica or Venetian Dew.

This protects the decoration and gives it a better finish.

Folks called them “Sugar Ornaments” though real sugar never used for these cotton ornaments.

Some of the spun cotton decorations had a felt cover.

 In 1917 the October Revolution happened and all the religious celebrations stopped because of the communist ideology. 

Christmas celebration was banned in Soviet Russia up to 1927 with the law. 

People who put up a Christmas tree had a ‘good’ chance to be to clapped in prison.

Many nice ornaments were fired in that period.

In 1936, a Christmas tree was returned to Soviet people.

However, it began with the name of a New Year’s tree and not a Christmas tree.

The same happened with Christmas ornaments; they became named New Year’s tree ornaments or decorations.

Many nice spun cotton decorations were produced in the Soviet Union between 1937 and 1941.

They were various cotton fruit, vegetables, animals, popular personages of folk tales, and many, many patriotic ones with Soviet symbols. 

Then World War II destroyed everything.

It is hard to get an original Pre-WW II cotton ornament in good condition these days.

This is a lucky day for us when we find something in very good condition.

The golden era of Soviet spun cotton ornaments is dating back to the beginning of the 1950s when they were all still fully made by hand.

In the mid of the 1960s making of these items was stopped.

We hope you found something new for yourself from this short article.

See pictures with some antique Christmas cotton ornaments below.

Cotton ornaments.

A ballerina. 95mm. (End of the 1930s)

01. A ballerina. 95mm. (End of the 1930s)

Yakut child on the sledge. 65mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

  1. Yakut child on the sledge. 65mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

Girl with a muff. 80mm. (End of the 1930s - early of the 1940s)

2. Girl with a muff. 80mm. (End of the 1930s – early of the 1940s)

Girl with a book. 100mm. (End of the 1940s)

3. Girl with a book. 100mm. (End of the 1940s)

Little baby. 70mm. (End of the 1940s - early of the 1950s)

4. Little baby. 70mm. (End of the 1940s – early of the 1950s)

Deer.  80mm.  (End of the 1930-40s)

5. Deer.  80mm.  (End of the 1930-40s)

Giraffe. 100mm. (End of the 1930-40s)

6. Giraffe. 100mm. (End of the 1930-40s)

Painted goose. 80mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

7. Painted goose. 80mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

Long neck goose. 110mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

8. Long neck goose. 110mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

Goose.  110mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

9. Goose.  110mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

Duck. 80mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

10. Duck. 80mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

Hen. 75mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

11. Hen. 75mm. (End of the 1930s- early of the 1940s)

Penguin. 80mm. (End of the 1940s)

12. Penguin. 80mm. (End of the 1940s)

Two little ducks in a basket. 70mm. (End of the 1940s)

13. Two little ducks in a basket. 70mm. (End of the 1940s)

Mushroom man. 100mm. (End of the 1930s)

14. Mushroom man. 100mm. (End of the 1930s)

Sailboat. 60mm. (End of the 1930s)

15. Sailboat. 60mm. (End of the 1930s)