186 comments on “Collecting Shiny Brite Ornaments

  1. I’m a shiny brite fanatic too! I have only used a white tree to showcase my beauties. This year we went with a real tree. They aren’t as pretty on a green tree but I still love each and everyone one! And sometimes the ebay prices are ridiculous, but I can’t help myself. I love the ones with the stenciled snow and chinese lanterns the most. I am lucky to have quite a few clear ones also.

    • Barbette, the lanterns are some of my favs too…actually, ANY of the shapes or stripes I will usually buy instantly (my price is about 1$ each)…but I have been know to spend a little more on truly unique ones…..
      Keep collecting , Sister, the one who dies with the most wins

    • Barbette,
      I was cleaning out some of my mother in laws basement and saw some Shiny Brite ornaments in old looking boxes, I researched a little bit and found that there is a whole group of people that value them as collectibles. These are probably around 1960 and are all gold color (not fancy). I am sure they are not worth trying to sell, but if someone found their own value in them, why should I just throw them out or give them to Goodwill? I have a picture of them but don’t see how to attach it to this comment. Would anyone want them for free? I am in the SanFrancisco bay area and probably wouldn’t want to ship them anywhere. email me directly if anyone is interested.

    • Yes, and no. Christopher Radko bought the Shiny Brite name in the late 90’s. They hadn’t been rpoduced since 1962, And his company continues to make them in the same styles that were originally produced and added a few designs of his own. So his newer ornaments are like finding vintage ornaments that have never seen the light of day… I have a bunch of new ones too.

      • Not the current Shiny Brite ornaments…..Radko bought the name in the 90’s. Before that they were 100% American made. I assure you….

      • Glenda, Radko ornaments aren’t made in China. They are hand blown/painted/glittered in Poland, Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic. The lines he created for Target and K-Mart were Chinese……with much more moderate prices too.

    • Hi DEE! Those old ornaments are like crack to me…I have more than I’ll ever need. Glad that you stopped in. Is Oklahoma as frozen as Dallas is right now?

      • Vintage ones are available at antique stores, garage sales, eBay and sometimes thrift stores. The new ones are at Macys, Amazon, and HomeGoods to name a few…. Just Google

  2. Hello,
    My name is Jenn. I have an affinity for antiques and have been collecting them for a few years now, though I don’t have a specific set of items I always search for.
    My husband and I have just bought our first house and now that we have a son our tree is decorated with 5 generations of ornaments as my parents gave us some from the tree in our house when I was a little kid. Some of my favorite ornaments are from my mother’s childhood. They are clear glass bulbs with colored angel hair on the inside and frosted designs and metallic decorations on the outside. My mother is one of 8 and I have two sisters so I have only a few of these ornaments and would like to add more to my collection. I assume they are Shiny Brite ornaments but I have never found any more like them. Have you ever found any like these? Is it just a matter of being diligent on eBay? Any information you could give me would be much appreciated.
    Thank you so much! Merry Christmas!

    Jenn Lara

    • Hi Jenn, I have seen ornaments with angel hair inside, tinsel too. I wanna say they are more 1960’s than 40’s. So probably not Shiney Brite. But I do think they are American. If that helps. I did a quick Google search and only found plastic ones….keep looking. Christmas ornaments last forever because most people keept them packed up for 11 months a year……

      • Hi Jenn or James,
        The ornaments with the tinsel or angel hair inside are rare. They are WWII ornaments, and were left unsilvered (uncoated) on the inside due to the metal oxide being unavailable during wartime. People added bits of tinsel or angel hair to brighten them up. Even rarer are the ones with paper circle caps or waxed cardboard caps, again a WW2 era thing. Hope that helps!

  3. You started an obsession – I saw your tree and I have been collecting my Shiny Brite Ornaments for the past year. The picture of your white tree with ornaments is so beautiful. I have yet to buy a white tree, but I’m thinking that the after Christmas sales may give me a chance to buy one at a good price. However, I’m so confused by all the different white trees for sale!!!! What type did you get? Is it made of PVC – is EVERYTHING made of PVC? Any direction you can give me would be so appreciated. Happy Holidays!!!! Thanks! L

  4. I didn’t realize there was anyone else who collected these shiny brite ornaments until just reading this article! I have ornaments from my grandmother (not from her childhood) also from my parents from our childhood, from our first christmas tree and some I’ve collected over the years. Shiny brite was the box I remembered as a kid and I picked up two boxes at a local department store last year after the holidays. Hurray! I’ll be looking for more. I had also picked up some at the thrift store in a paper egg carton while visiting our daughter in PA. They look like vintage shiny brites too. I’m hooked!!!

  5. My collection started when my parents downsized in the 90’s and I got the ones from my childhood. Ebay has been a Godsend. And every antique store we see when we are traveling gets a good going over. I tried to imagine the white tree and am sure it is beautiful. I just can’t imagine havibg a white tree though. I’m an Iowa girl and of the generation of going to the country to find a tree. Good memories! Now we have a gorgeous 9ft tree and every inch has Shiny Brite on it at Christmas. I only use small white lights and they bring the color out in such a beautiful way. I’ve never counted my ornaments but have too many to display. And I limit it to only 1 or 2 of each style.

  6. Hi ya’all, I just came across a few dozen shiny brites and most of them have animals, giraffes, lions, leopards, and elephants do you have any idea which decade they might be from? They are old and kind of dirty and when I tried to rinse one off all the color went down the drain with the water!! I only did that once!!!

    • Hi Jane….OOOHHHNNNNOOOOO!!!! Don’t “wash” your ornaments. Sometimes, I dust them with a soft feather duster. I can’t say that I have ever seen any Shiny Brites with animals on them. Usually Shiny Brites are stenciled with just one color, (bells, holly leaves or just “Season’s Greetings”)…..yours sound more European than American, but seriously I’m no expert. Hold on to them, and don’t wash anymore.

    • These are indeed Shiny Brites- I have been collecting for awhile. They are usually referred to as “Nursery” themed. They have white stenciled animal outlines such as tigers, elephants, bears, ect. and are on solid colored round forms. They go for a pretty penny online and don’t last long. Hope this helps! 🙂

    • Jane, I have had good luck cleaning old ornaments with Old English Lemon Oil polish, but be careful on stenciled or flocked areas.

  7. Hello everyone! I’m searching for a green teapot ornament for my mother. She had it as a child. It got broken during a move & she’s never been able to find a replacement. If anyone has any info or a place that I might find one (I’ve been searching etsy & eBay) I would appreciate the help. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi David. My Mom worked for Mr Eckhardt in the 40s and 50s in the office in Union Square in NY. I just saw your post today. I have alot of shiny brites. I’m not sure I have a green teapot, but if you still need one please email me so if I find one I can contact you. Thanks, Linda Esopa

  8. I’m sorting through my boxes of vintage ornaments and noticing what seems to be a mix of ornaments in Shiny Bright boxes. I guess some people were not concerned with putting ornaments back in their original boxes. How can I identify Shiny Brights from others. Do all Shiny Bright have the name and ridged sides? Other markings are: Made in USA, Made in U.S. of A., USA 5 5 5 , and unmarked.

    • Hi Greg, There were a lot of different glass ornaments made in the USA in the past 100 years. Most Shiney Brite are marked…but not all. I rarely find a Shiney Brite box with only Shiney Brites in it. The best way to identify them is to check listings on Ebay. Compare what you have with others that are listed. (Not 100% acurate, but worth a try) Hope this helps.

  9. Hey James thanks for posting this info. – man that wreath you have is awesome – was wondering how you have them attached – I would like to start a wreath of my own and some advice and direction who be appreciated – also ps. Loved the wreath next to the flag – very cool – thanks Mike

    • Hi Mike, all the ornaments are hooked into the chicken wire frme with plain ol’ ornament hooks. Every year it takes several hours to construct….and a few days to take down.

  10. Love, love, love the vintage ornament wreath! It’s even more impressive knowing that you must construct it each year! That is awesome! I started collecting vintage ornaments last year after finding a few bags full at my local Goodwill. The hunt is on!

    • Thanks Vicki. I started collecting the same way…. I found a bag of old ornaments at a Goodwill store. My favorite one is green with a log cabin painted on it.

  11. Hi James! Great blog post…I too am an avid vintage Shiny Brite collector. I have over 500 of them. Question for you…have you ever seen any books that catalog/highlight the ornaments? I’m always curious as to what decade some of the ornaments in my collection are. I can always tell the WWII time ornaments and I look on eBay to see if I can connect my ornaments with certain time periods but it would be great if someone put together a book on the generations of ornaments.

    My favorite is an unsilvered round ornament that is pink on top and bluish on the bottom and has stars and the moons on it. I’ve had it since I was a kid.

    I live in a suburb of Cleveland and fortunately we have 2 awesome vintage stores that are filled with Shiny Brites and various other vintage Christmas décor.

    So glad I stumbled upon your blog today!

    Have a Shiny Brite Christmas!

    • Hi Michelle, So glad that you found me too. I wish I did have a book on Shiny Brites, there has to be one out there somewhere. I can sort of tell the age of a few. To be honest, I think I have more European glass ornaments. My family is Polish, and I remember my Grandparents tree covered in them as a small child. Don’t we always gravitate to happy memories?

      Did you check out my wreath covered in them? Just finished installing it last weekend.

      Happy Holidays to you and yours, and have a Brite Christmas too,


      • Hi James…

        Ah yes … Our memories of Christmas’ past really makes collecting even more special!

        I saw the picture of your wreath…it is amazing and absolutely breath taking. You are so talented!!

        How long did it take you to assemble your wreath? How many ornaments are on it?

        We hang our ornaments on garland above all of our windows.

        We have too bouncy deaf white Boxer dogs (rescues) that we need so we n Ed to keep them out of their reach!!

        Wishing you a most happy and festive Christmas season!!


    • Hi Michelle

      Do you happen to live near Lakewood by chance? I will be there in a couple of weeks for business and am looking for a store to increase my wife’s collection of Shiny Brite ornaments. She started getting serious collecting over the past year and our tree is beautiful this year. But one can never have too many shiny brites!

      Thanks to all for the information on these fun little ornaments!


      • Hi Andy.

        Yes! I live about 15 minutes away from Lakewood!

        There are 2 stores you must go to on your trip…Flower Child on Clifton Blvd. (www.flowerchildvintage.com) and just a little more east of Lakewood in Cleveland (not downtown) is a store called Sweet Lorain (www.sweetlorain.com).

        Their Web sites are not up-to-date with their Christmas merchandise, but trust me … They both have huge inventories of Shiny Brites!

        You’ll have to post a message back and let me know how you make out!

        Depending on when you’ll be here, I would suggest calling ahead to see if they still have their Christmas stuff out.

        Safe travels and have Shiny and Brite Christmas!!

      • PS…I should have asked where you and your wife live. And I’m sure you know about all of the Shiny Brites you can find on EBay and Etsy. Some of the sellers will drop their prices after Christmas 🙂

        Happy shopping!

      • Hi Andy…just curious if you made it to Flower Child and Sweet Lorain on your visit to Lakewood? If so, did you find anything worth buying for your wife?

        Happy New Year!


  12. I’ve been decorating my tree with the ornaments that my parents owned when I was a child for the past 21 years. The boxes are labelled Glass Christmas Tree Ornaments – A Shiny-Brite Product on the side. Most of the boxes reference the Max Eckardt and Sons, Inc. New York City and patents 2,717,115 2,717,116-2,775,391 Other Patents Pending printed in the U.S.A. on the bottom. I also have some larger Shiny Brite ornaments whose boxes have the same logo and typeface on the sides, but on the ends of the box are the words Made in Western Germany and on the bottom of the box is Ges.Gesch.No. 1867382 German Patents applied for The numbers are in a font where there is a line through the leg of the seven. The metal collar on the ornament is stamped Shiny Brite Made in U.S.A.
    Since Western Germany is referenced these are obviously post 1945 ornaments, I’m guessing these larger globes were maybe a size that Corning couldn’t make? These are solild color with a script Merry Christmas and a snow scene with Chalet houses.

    I’m curious because you made a statement that Shiny Brite was all made in the USA, unless maybe the printing refers to the box only.

    On a different note one of the boxes of 5 round 1 3/4 size ornaments has a price tag still on it from a store named Grand-Way price is 24 cents. Another newer box I have has a price tag from J.M. Fields ( I would guess this was the Parsippany, NJ store in my hometown) these were labelled shiny brite Christmas Ornaments one dozen Finest Quality Glass American Made style 2154 price is 99 cents.

    • I wish someone would answer this, because I have the same questions. I have a shiny brite ornament with a cap stamped “Shiny Brite Germany” which would predate WWII. I thought the company was founded by Max Eckardt in 1937 to sell American made ornaments. Which did not begin production until 1939.

      • Hi Jennifer, I️ have the same question. Sometimes caps were switched by people when ornaments broke. I️ do it all the time. Everything I’ve read says far Shiney Brite were only made in America . But I️ have seen boxes that say “ made in Germany”. Let’s assume that any European manufacturing was done much after WW2.

  13. Thanks a million Michelle for all the info about these two locations for Shiny Brites so close to Lakewood. I will definitely contact them and hope to visit them when I am there next week!

    Have a Cool Yule and a Fantastic First!

  14. Michelle,

    I will be in Lakewood on January 20th for 2weeks so I plan on checking out the stores then.

    Thanks again for all the help!

  15. I have a bunch of ornaments my daughter is after me to get rid of. They are no longer shiny or bright. I refuse to trash the decorated ones like in the pictures above but should I keep the other plain colored ones? These are all inherited from my grandmother. Some just say Made in USA but lots of them say Shiny Bright Made in U.S.A. A few of them have tops that are really old looking but rusted so I can’t read what it says. Any suggestions? I like the wreath idea but again my daughter is pushing me to replace them since they are no longer pretty. I think they still look great on a lit tree.

    • Hi Liz, Im the absolute last person to ask….there’s no way on Earth that I could ever get rid of an ornament…I think they are all so beautiful. Especially with a little wear and tear….and your Grandmother used to use them on her tree?……How perfect.

  16. I’m just developing an interest in these ornaments and I’m so glad I found your page. I especially appreciate the catalog picture. It’s so hard to know if what you find online is from the era they say it is. You have a beautiful collection!

    • Hi Joyce. The best advice I can offer is to be careful of ornaments in the boxes. Just because they are in a Shiny Brite box, doesn’t mean that they actually are Shiny Brite ornaments. People shifted them around quite a bit over the past 60 years. The freeblown ornaments with hand-painted details are rarely American.

      • Thanks, James. From the past few months of looking, the box is one thing I have learned that you can’t necessarily trust. Also, the tops are easy to switch around.

        I just looked around online and found a number of old catalog pages which I think are a great point of reference. Eventually though, I’m going to have to dive in and make my first purchase!

  17. I found a snowman ornament with a Shiny Brite Made in USA metal cap. How can I find out if it is truly a Shiny Brite ornament or perhaps another manufacturer but the top got switched?

    • That did happen a lot Susan. Is the snowman hand painted or stenciled. Most, but not all, Shiny Brites were stenciled. Also, is the cap a perfect fit? With so much variation in ornament sizes, replaced caps aren’t always a perfect fit….hope this helps. Check on EBay for your snowman ornament…..too verify also.

  18. James and Jamie,
    just found your site a couple days ago. Love it.

    The Shiny Brite ornaments are a favorite. My biggest score was Craigslist, a box of over 65 Shiny Brites with some Polish and other vintage ornaments for $10. A duplex up the street was being cleaned out and they had several boxes of small bells and rounds. I have a few from Mom and Grandma too.
    My wife and I put up 3 full size trees, a 7″pencil tree and 6-7 various size alpine trees. They all have a different look but are the best way to display our collections. I will have to send pictures when I can.

    • Hi Rick, I’d love to see pictures!!!!!….My brother flips houses, and I always try to be the first one in the house after he buys it…..My best score was a box in the farthest dept of an attic……it was labeled “Mom and Dads Ornaments”…..I’d never seen any Shiny Brites like those since.

  19. James, how nice to discover you and zyour expertise. I recently bought 6 boxes of shinny brites. Most have, shinny brite Germany on the caps. Two boxes have hand written tags from Max Eckardt. The boxes are plain. Both the boxes and the ornaments are in better condition then most that I find. The ornaments are also larger then most that I find. Are mine pre-war?

    • Hi Michele, I’d love to see pictures….I’ll do the best I can at identifying them, they sound fantastic….but really, I’m not an expert….just an avid enthusiast…..I really just buy what I like.

  20. Hi James, I’m happy I found a Shine Brite fan. I have a box of 9 white with red houndstooth pattern ornaments. I’ve only ever been able to find one image of them online, from an already sold etsy post (already sold so I can’t see if the value was the fun and cute ornament price or the rare find type price). Have you ever heard of or seen houndstooth patterned ones? The metal cap says Shiny Brits so I know they weren’t just misboxed. I can’t tell year or era, but the price tag says $1.66!!! Anything you would know about this would be lovely. I’ve loosely looked into them the last few years but no dice! Thanks for your time!

    • Hi Peggy, You have me stumped with that one. I’ve never seen any hounds-tooth Shiny Brites. I would think they were from the late 60’s, but the price suggests they are more early 80’s. Sorry…..wish I knew more. Keep on collecting.

  21. How do you find out the value of the ornaments that you. I have a set of 12 in the original box that was made during WWII, with the card board caps and strings. 8 are clear with a thick green stripe on the upper half of the ornament with a thin white stripe on each side of the green. The bottom half has a thick pink stripe with thin white stripes. 4 have the colors reveresed, the pinks on top and the is green on the bottom. I have several other Shiney brite’s according to this article I need to unwrap

  22. As I decorate our Christmas tree, I realize I have quite a collection of Shiny Brites! I find them at tag sales and like them since they remind me of my childhood. Surely I will be more diligent about searching them out now.

  23. Hi, I see that you stated Shiny Brite closed doors in 1962. I have several boxes marked max Eckardt and sons New York 1965. Are these different?

    • Jennifer, I have some from the 70’s that are clearly marked Shiny Brite too. Not sure who continued on with the lable….but obviously, someone did.

  24. Pingback: Christmas Trees through the Decades: 1960s – LITTLE SIBERIA

  25. I love these ornaments and just found my “Holy Grail”! A purple moon/stars/planet stencil. I’ve been searching for it for over 20 years. We had one when I was a child along with many other Shiny Brites and unfortunately when my Mom passed away something happened to all those old ornaments in the shock and confusion.It’s the only one I just really wanted.I finally found one.I have many other sets including gold/pink/aqua/purple with the bell,indent,icicle set all in one box,I usually have one tree that is all Shiny Brites and one tree that is all of my Hallmark Grinch ornaments. Love your blog.

    • I have a couple Shiny Brites with the moon/star stencils….but not a purple. It must be pretty rare. So glad you found it….Don’t we all want the christmas tree of our childhoods?

  26. hi James!
    I love love LOVE your giant ornament wreath!

    How on earth do you store all those hundreds of glass ornaments? Do you keep them in their original cardboard boxes (even if they might not be the ORIGINAL original boxes, as mentioned above)? I would imagine you pick some up sometimes that aren’t in boxes at all… ?

    I’ve had people recommend just wrapping them individually in tissue paper, then packing them in foam peanuts in big tupperware bins! Is that something you’ve tried? It seems like a recipe for breakage to me? But I also have A LOT of glass ornaments, and not enough boxes to store them.

    What you you do / recommend? Thanks you for sharing your expertise!

    • Hi Monica! So glad that you like my wreath, can you believe I assemble it every November? And disassemble it every….ummm….sometime in March (cough) I have about 6 big Tupperware tubbs that I store them in. Some in “original” boxes…..some just layered between tissue. Nothing fancy. Ohhhh, and I keep them all in the attic. The drastic temperature changes in an attic aren’t the best place to keep painted glass……but I think it ages them just slightly more.

      • Thanks for your reply! The “aged look” is definitely something to try to embrace, whether it’s ornaments or one’s own self! Ain’t nobody getting any younger! LOL

        Happy New Year!

  27. James, I too love your wreath and respect you for all your work! Do you know how many different stenciled patterns were used? Maybe you can help me construct a list? There’s Merry Christmas , Silent Night, an animal pattern , a moon and stars pattern, a pretty loopy pattern, a solid star, a baby pattern, and which others? Do you know of rare patterns as mentioned above, with the baby stenciled above? My other question is, have you frequently seen a patterned bulb with a stencil on it? Or mostly solid bulbs with stencils? I’m very happy to have found this blog, thanks for sharing all your knowledge !

    • Hi Vici, I wish I knew more about them. I have a ton of Shiny Brites…but I mostly seek out Polish and German ornaments. I know that Shiny Brite did a ton of stenciling, and I have most of the ones you mentioned….what about candles, childeren’s toys, the sleigh, snowflakes, a crown, kids playing, “Humpty Dumpty” and ” Little red Riding Hood” with a picture, bells, snowy trees, toy soldiers, clowns, poinsettias, “The Night Before Christmas”, and icicles? Weren’t those stenciled too? But I don’t think there is much variety in them and they are mostly on solid balls. Occasionally on stripes or ombre…..I think the manufacturing price would have been too high to have both on one ornament. I hope this helps,

  28. I found a couple boxes of Shiny Brite today small 1″ red balls with 12 per box. I can’t quite date them using your example of periods. The tops have no caps, the inside I can see through (transparent) to the red paint on the exterior. It has a metal loop for each to hang from, but no metal or cardboard caps. I’m wondering if these were the coveted WW2 period pieces and the cardboard just rotted away over 70 years. They’re in overall great shape for being 70~ years old, even the boxes are entirely intact with no funky staining. Balls have a small amount of silver/black speckling here and there, a couple have a blotch or two, but overall they’re very nice.

    Any help would be appreciated. I’ve logged in with the facebook account but it does tie back to one of my gmails so I’ll keep an eye out for a reply.

    • Hi Jeff. Sounds possible that you have a real score there. But, Shiny Brite did produce “Silver-less” balls after the war too. But it’s the lack of a cap that’s strange. I’ve never heard of the cardboard just dissolving, especially if the box is in such great shape. I can tell you that a lot of time ornaments and their respective boxes were switched disassembling the tree every year. People just didn’t care. And you could have ornaments and a box that outdate each other by 20-30 years. Just saying, it’s possible. Shoot me some pics if you can. I’d love to see them.

  29. Hello,
    I picked up 2 Shiny Brite ice skater figures still in the boxes at a neighbors yard sale and I don’t know much about them. Just wondering if you had any information, I can’t seem to find any online anywhere. They are dated 1967 and look to be plastic in felt clothing and about 7″ high. The closest I found was a caroling figure, but it was only an image, no explanation or details. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Alicia, wish I knew more about your ice skaters….. they sound adorable. I honestly have never heard of any Shiny Brite plastic figures. Are you sure they weren’t just stored in the wrong box? To the best of my knowledge the company only made glass balls and other blown shapes. Try looking on EBay or Etsy for similar items….you’ll be surprised by the info you can find there.

  30. Hi, I’m concerned about asbestos with the fake snow. Do you know if the shiny brites were made with asbestos?

    • Hi Jen. I’ve never heard that concern before. Since most asbestos was used for sound barrier, resistance to heat/electricity and insulation…….I think you’ll be safe.

      • . What i read was that up until World War 2, basically pure asbestos was used to create snow on ornaments and decorations. With the war, most of it was converted to industrial use so things from the 50s on are safer, although ornaments from different eras being stored together is still a concern. However, I can’t really tell when mine are from, so.

    • Hi Jen, I recently read something similar. As I understand it, “fake snow” asbestos was definitely sold in the 1930s-50s as a product (in a cardboard boxes). What I can’t figure out is whether glass or metal ornaments with frosted surfaces (like Shiny Brites) contain asbestos in the ornament itself. Have you learned anything further since your inquiry last year?

      • Just a thought, as I begrudgingly empty large apothecary jars and cloches of my VAST Shiny Brite collection…… I read, somewhere, that some of that “white stuff” on the Shiny Brites was called “Venetian Dew”….. perhaps that may help with Asbestos research? Good luck…. off to start work on the double indents!

  31. Oh my goodness, I just stumbled upon this blog and I too love vintage ornaments. I got started collecting when my in-laws downsized and gave me their Shiny Brite ornaments. The hunt has been going on for a long time now. I love the indented tear drop Poland ornaments as well. Just today I stopped at a garage sale and found a dozen Poland ornaments that I got for 10 bucks; I was ecstatic! Thank you for all the wonderful information on this blog; it is the best.

    • Hi Patti!!! So glad you found me, and my blog. I wish I had a trophy story to tell about the great find I scored at a garage/thrift store/ estate sale……but I don’t yet. But someday I will. Lately I’ve been fascinated by milk glass digital light bulbs. I have about 50….and most of them still work. WOWZA!!! Stay tuned for more….

  32. I recently found a Shiny Brite plastic wind up nativity scene. I have been unable to find any information on this item, any one know what year it was made?

  33. Pingback: Add Some Vintage Christmas, | THE CAVENDER DIARY

  34. I found a large (at least 6 inch) Shiny Brite with the Merry Christmas stencil. It was $5 and had no problem paying full price. 🙂 I have never seen one this big and can’t find any info. Anything you can tell me?

    • Hi Dan, I was reading recently that Shiny Brite made 6inch ornaments as store displays. I found 2 bells the other day. Lucky us, I would assume.

  35. Hi James!
    love Love LOVE your website! I, too, am a hoarder when it comes to Shiny Brites or older ornaments. I also put newer ones on the tree, too – I’m not too picky 🙂 And blow molds, and my little Reindeer collection, and my cat-themed stockings (hung by the chimney with care – for the cats), and on and on….
    If I can get an attachment to work, I’ll send one of each of my trees. The large one is decorated vintage; the other is my “CAT” tree with nothing but CAT ornaments.

    I hunt throughout the year for ornaments and Christmas décor – I also collect antique postcards, mostly Christmas and Thanksgiving. Halloween, too, but they have about priced themselves out of the market. You can still purchase BEAUTIFUL Christmas postcards from the early part of the century for $1.00.

    Keep it going – I do love to look at your lovely decorations. I initially found your site when perusing the internet for a specific book about the generations of Shiny Brite ornaments. One sorely needs to be written.

    p.s. couldn’t figure out how to add pictures, maybe later!

    Best to you!
    Glenda Campbell

    • Glenda! I can’t believe that I’m just now reading this. Guess I should stop scouring junk stores for old Christmas de or and pay more attention to my blog. I also search all year. My latest obsession are the milk glass figural bulbs. Think I have amassed about 200 in the past year. Gasp……

      Of course, I collect postcards too. Mostly Large letter ones. In fact, a Canadian magazine featured about a dozen of mine last year. I love the holiday cards too, especially the Halloween ones. And, yes, I started collecting when most of them were a dollar……not anymore. HA!

      Please send me pics of you Christmas decor. I’d love to see. James@thecavenderdiary.com I promise to respond in a more timely manner.

  36. I too have an strange obsession with antique ornaments. I guess mine started with my grandparents. My Dad’s mother always put up a large tree and had so many decorations. I was lucky enough to be given her ornaments after she passed. Many are from world war 1 & 2. I feel very lucky to have these.

    I have found many in thrift stores and as you mentioned garage sales. Lots of younger people don’t seem to appreciate them, lucky for us!

    Great blog! Thanks!

    • Hi James! What’s not to love about vintage Christmas ? Most of the people I know are aware of my obsession, and I’m more than happy to take the old ornaments they don’t want anymore of their hands. Lucky us, indeed.

  37. I think I have old ornament but the smooth plain cap just says made in USA not shiny brite. Do all shiny brite ornaments say shiny brite? Susan 402-3502692

    • Hi Susan. No, all shiny Brites don’t say Shiny Brite. Or have the crinkled cap. Especially after another company bought the name in the late 60’s and started making them overseas.

  38. Hi James, Just bought 15 boxes of Shiny Brite Decorations at a Garage Sale in the original boxes and I know nothing about these. Boxes are the Uncle Sam & Santa Type. Would I be able to send you some Pics to help identify them as I know nothing about these. Thanks, Bob

    • Hi Heather. Glad you found me too…even if I did take over 2 months to respond. Please forgive me, not sure why I didn’t see this earlier.

    • Hi Mary Kay, they are all hooked into a chicken wire frame. I do it every year. Somewhere on this blog is a video of me making it. Stop motion style. Jamie set the camera to take a picture every 60 seconds. Look under the “Christmas” tag on the right……or google “ornament wreath” in videos.

  39. Hello Fellow Enthusiasts!
    I won an entire CARTON full of giant individually boxed Pink and Red Shiny Brite balls. The woman who sold them to me told me that the older woman who had owned them had been a professional higher end department store designer, and that the carton of ornaments had been for a humongous store display tree. Indeed, inside, I found the original purchase order from Shiny Brite, addressed to the department store, to her attention. They were described by Shiny Brite as, “Special Order Store Display “. I’m not sure, however, if that means they weren’t available to the General public at all or not? Happy New Year to all!

      • Thank you James, Happy New Year to you also! SO funny…. I, too, just discovered, and immediately amassed, a collection of milk glass lights. I thought I was “alone” in the way I collect….. apparently, there are “OTHERS”! Always wonderful to meet a fellow “tribe” member. LOVED your wreath SO much, I made 4…. yes, I’m just a little insane.

      • Nice to meet you to Darlene! Can you believe that I’m already shifting focus to Shiny Brites. I think they are pretty under appreciated. Al least, most people don’t realize it’s a brand name. Welcome aboard!

  40. Thank you, James. I landed on your blog about a year ago and have enjoyed reading the history of Shiny Brites and also love your craft and flower arranging ideas. Keep them coming! I have been a collector of Shiny Brites, Germany and Czech ornaments for about 20 years. I mostly collect the colors of blue and pink. I sometimes intersperse some other colors if I truly love the shape or uniqueness of a hand painted beauty like the snow-ish stripe ones. I was given a few from my husband’s grandfather but my real obsession began when I found a whole large wooden crate at a yard sale full of ornaments. The lady was taking them out of the box one by one and placing them on a table. I was so afraid that they would be broken by many people touching them that I made an offer on the whole crate, sight unseen before she removed any more. I was immensely delighted when I unwrapped them all at home to find the most gorgeous ornaments ever! They have been proudly displayed with my hundreds more that I have collected since (all from yard sales) every Christmas.

    • Hi Linda!!! So glad you found me. I can honestly never have enough vintage ornaments. I think there’s a part of me that thinks I’m saving them….For, or from who, I have no idea.

  41. Thank you for giving such a terrific history lesson! I own an Antique store in New Hampshire, and have collected a vast inventory of ornaments- I tell myself that they are all to be sold, but somehow, every year, my personal collection seems to grow a bit. Of all the wonderful and beautiful things that come through my door, none of them tug at my heart like a dusty old box of Shiny Brites. Again, thank you for the trip back in time. I think that I’ll start putting a few Christmas ornaments out in the store this week. Even if they don’t buy them, my customers ALWAYS smile when they see them, and if you look close enough, you can catch most of them taking a brief, yet happy, visit to their long ago.
    Sincerely, Lisa

  42. Loved your article! I have many Shiny Brite ornaments on my tree. They once belonged to my mom and mother in law. I still have them in original boxes which like you said have held up pretty well.

    • Thanks Diane. I think some of the boxes are more beautiful than the ornaments. In the 40s they were just cardboard, in the 50s the graphics got brighter and there was a tree shape cutout. And most people kept them!

  43. Do you know much about his business in Germany? I have a very unique Santa Claus ornament. He is an embellished round ornament; hand painted with mica accents, has a chenille mustache and white raffia like(I believe it is plastic) stringy beard. He is old. He has a Shiny Brite metal cap that is stamped Germany. I have combed the internet and have not seen anything quite like him.

    • I have to tell you, I’ve been collecting Shiny Brite for a few years, but didn’t know that much about the company. Or the broad line of products they produced. Just a few weeks ago I “discovered” 2 German made balls in my hoard, both with Santa stencils. After the war, early 50s-late 60s, Max Eckart helped to revive the struggling country by building Shiny Brite plants in Germany. Japan also. I’m just not that familiar with anything these countries produced for the line. I’m alway on the lookout for old ornaments, if I see anything like you have I’ll let you know. Is it possible someone embellished it? Usually they just glittered someone’s name….. but, you never know.

  44. Thanks for the informative article. I’ve picked up a few and an old 1940s box over the years.
    I just last week found about 15 clear blue with no paint and cardboard caps. I’m guessing they’re World War II bulbs. Just started making wreaths and I’m hooked!

      • Lol! I was going to!😬😱 Maybe I’ll just do one or two. I got them at a church flea market. The ladies working the market felt bad charging me 50 cents for the lot of them because they weren’t pretty or sparkly.


      • I thought I replied on this comment, but it’s not showing up. But I was going to use these clear blue bulbs on future wreaths, but I haven’t yet😬 maybe just one or two.

        The funny thing is, the ladies at the church flea market felt bad about charging me 50 cents for all of them, because the bulbs were so plain and had no sparkle.

  45. I had no idea these were “a thing” or had a name… but we grew up with them on our tree! I’ve just written this year’s Christmas-themed blog house (I am a historic house researcher and blogger, specializing in Sears kit houses), and I included a link to your blog, and a few of these photos… I hope that’s okay! Thanks for the info! Sears House Seeker: Scenes Of The Season

  46. Hi, I love your web site! Do you know what circumference sizes were produced by Shiny Brite? I have some that are 10″ but they are hard to find lately.

      • I just found your web site about shiny bright and I found it so interesting. I have some and really like the idea of putting them on a white tree as someone mentioned in his/her reply. I have one with a cardboard circle to hang it with.

      • Hi Joyce. My friends really have no interest in these kinds of things, and I’m so glad that I can share my passions with the interwebs. The cardboard hangers are kinda rare because they broke so easily….. hold tight to it.

  47. Thank you so much for this site! I’m helping sort items for a charity yard sale and another volunteer looked at a box of ornaments and was unimpressed, but I saw the Shiny Brite box and said “hold the presses”! Nothing fancy – it’s a box of solid colored ones – but still, all the nostalgia! Definitely a feel good moment! I did notice that one of them has the cap “Made in US of A” and on the bottom it comes to a point. Have you seen any like that? Thank you for being a fan!

    • Hi Andrea! Lucky you! Thats a “turnip”. I’m pretty sure they only made them in the 1940s. But I’ve also seen a smaller turnip shape with ridges.

      • Hi James! Oh, I LOVE that – it’s a perfect description! There is a blue one and two pink ones, and the pink ones especially do invoke the image of a turnip! One of the pink ones is very irregular, too, so even more “natural” like roots! Thank you so much!

  48. I just happened upon this page while looking for something else related to Shiny Brites and had to reach out to you–your collection of ornaments, along with your entire, gorgeous house, are just stunning. Thanks for sharing them.

    I also wanted to let you know about a piece of the Shiny Brite story–those ornaments were made in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. The ribbon machine that produced lightbulbs was retrofitted by the Corning Glass Works engineers in the Wellsboro plant, and that plant continued to produce the ornaments through the 1980s. Each year, the second week in December Wellsboro hosts Christmas on Main Street, which honors the town’s heritage and history with the Shiny Brite story.

    Obviously this year the event will look different because of Covid mitigation efforts, but when we are all back to normal, I invite you to reach out to me if you are interested in visiting. In the meantime, because of your love of RL and Shiny Brites, visit http://www.pennwells.com/about/glass-bulb-flag/ to see the display in our historic hotel’s lobby designed to honor returning WWII veterans of Corning Glass Works, and also visit http://www.wellsborochristmasonmainstreet.com for information about the festival in December.

    My personal collection of Shiny Brites grows every year and I really treasure them. Thanks again for sharing some of your beautiful and creative decorating ideas!

    • Hi Ellen! So glad you found me. I’m very familiar with the Corning ornament flag. I’d been searching for it online for years…. but everyone kept calling it the “Shiny Brite” flag…. and I could never find it online because it’s really Corning. Ha! Anyhoo, I would LOVE to visit sometime. And now that I know about the Christmas on Main Street, I know exactly when to visit. Thanks.

  49. Pingback: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Vintage Holiday Season: Retro Christmas Decorations and a Brief History of the Shiny Bright Ornament – Ramblings from a Housewife

  50. Can you possibly help identify the age of my ornaments? Many of the caps are crimped metal & stamped Shiny Brite Made in USA. They all have white mica on the tops & the bands. They are in fair/poor condition.

  51. Very interesting article. I’ve collected shiney brites for decades. I guess because they reminded me of my childhood. I’m finally getting my girls interested. I still do not own one of the “ Holy grails” cardboard tops. I’m sure in the Mid west you could find some, but not in Calif.
    Thank you for writing this piece.

    • Glad you liked it Cindy. Shiny Brites are pretty dear to me as well. I don’t see the cardboard tops very often, but I guarantee that now that you know what to look for…. they will find you.

      • The Golden Glow of Christmas Past is the largest collectors group, and they allow selling between members. All the other Christmas groups that I’m in don’t.

    • There are Facebook groups, such as Very Vintage Christmas (buy, sell, trade) who allow bragging as well as selling. I have at least 11 ornaments with paper caps for sale. It’s a great group but you will lose a lot of your life admiring everyone else’s collections. 🙂

      • Hi, I was reading all the comments about everyone’s ornaments. I’m looking for one specific ornament. It’s translucent red with a brown paper cap. My great aunt had given my one about 30 years ago but one Christmas when I brought my ornaments out to decorate my tree it was broken. I’ve been looking for one for years. It would mean everything if I could find one. I miss it every year at Christmas time. Thank you all so very much. If theres a website that I could look for one let me know. 🙂

  52. A my updates on the Asbestos issue with the painted “snow/ glitter” on the glass ornaments? Is there a way to tell if it’s Asbestos or mica? I’m freaking out.

    • Hey Jim, I know they used asbestos briefly as boxed “sprinkle” snow, but I don’t think they ever decorated glass ornaments with it. Not American anyway. It’s usually mica because mica glistens. Don’t fret, only long-term exposure to asbestos dust can be hazardous…..

    • Hello! Another vintage lover here. I’ve just been made aware of the asbestos question.
      In fact I am stunned with just 3 days of research about how extensively asbestos was used throughout the last century and the toxic stuff is still being mined and used in other countries. About the shiny brites, I can’t find out for certain but I did find a forum where the poster said that they were mentioned in a list of things to beware of by an asbestos inspector. (I will try to to find that page again.) As for a definitive answer, I see that the question has been mulled over here since 2017, it’s time to find out for sanity’s sake. I don’t know much about testing, I know it’s costly and I saw somewhere that not all tests are quality. I’m thinking, that after researching the types of testing, that several people, at least three or four collectors, send a frosted ornament for testing, each to a different lab and then consider the results. Personally, I am also freaking out, especially since in the past I have handled heavily asbestos flocked tree and wreath items.

  53. I have a mini boxed set of 12 ornments that measure 3/4 inch in mixed colors. The store sticker price is 15 cents. The box is in red, green and that vintage white colous. The side of the box says 20 m/m NO.G15/1
    1- DOZ. JAPAN

    Could you tell me if these are vintage?

    • Hi Janet. It sounds like you have a set of small bulbs from a five and dime store. If they were only 15 cents, sounds like they are vintage to me.

  54. I am fairly knowledgeable with regard to ornaments and still doing some research. One note of interest is the appearance of some Shiny Brite ornaments in Sears catalogs that have smooth sides post WWII. The caps are the ones with the fold-over petals having rounded bottom edges similar to the crinkle caps. I am assuming that these are stamped “made in USA” as opposed to the earlier “made in US of A” caps. The crinkle cap does not show up in their catalog until 1949 as opposed to the accepted 1946 issue of the crinkle cap. The ornaments in the earlier catalog with the smooth caps with curved fold over petals are unmistakably Shiny Brite ornaments some of which are identical to the pre-war “US of A” ornaments. I have searched the patents and have found them of no use as it appears they never patented the crinkle cap.

    I am coming to the conclusion that after WWII, Shiny Brite issued ornaments with “USA” smooth sided caps up to as late as 1949 when the crinkle caps show up in catalogs. I am still researching this but it is difficult. Since patents have netted no useful information, I will be checking other catalogs as well as any inputs i receive.

  55. To add to my last tid bit…

    A clue is also on the boxes. the 1946 Uncle Sam box (in green or red on plain cardboard) does not show crinkle caps. In fact, their later multi-color Uncle Sam Boxes boxes do not show crinkle caps until the late 1940s heading into the 1950s. So about 1949 which matches the Sears Catalog Photographs.

  56. Is there a resource that has photos of all the American made ornaments listing the company that produced them? Perhaps the name of the stenciled image or the name of the shape. I’d like to be able to tell a Shiny Brite stencil from a Franke or a Coby etc. I know the SB caps are distinctive but can be switched.

  57. Is this one made I have 4 with the shiny brite cap but wonder. They have a red houndstooth print around the middle on a cream background.

  58. Hello! I’m wondering if you have other sources for your amazing collection besides eBay and Etsy. I’m rather new to collecting shiny brites but I LOVE the ornament pictured that’s brilliant blue with silver house/church with red in windows. Are there other good sources for me to check? I’ve also tried Ruby Lane but always seem to be too late. Thanks for your help! Patti W

    • Hi Patti, eBay and Etsy are the best places to hunt for specifics. Facebook marketplace is ok. As are Goodwill and the Salvation Army online. Finding specifics is the wild is challenging. It’s a blind hunt because you new know what you’ll find. But try estate sales, thrift stores, garage/yard sales, antique stores/malls, flea markets, car boots, and church rummage sales. There’s plenty out there if you just look. Ohhh, if it helps that church ornament is a German Shiny Brite from the 50s.

  59. Hi-hoping someone can help me…growing up, our tree was covered in Shiny Brite ornaments, big lights and heavy tinsel; unfortunately, my sibling tossed ALL the Christmas decorations when moving our mom’s belongings to a smaller storage unit😤😭. I’m looking for my childhood favorite but since I didn’t know I’d have to, my memory is messing with me…I know it was light blue, smaller in size and had a little deer on it. Maybe also a white stripe at the top and bottom? I’ve seen the one with the 2(?) deer and trees but again, just not positive. Any ideas?

    • Hi Donna, Shiny Brite made a very popular deer ornament with long scene of a deer and some trees. It came in a couple sizes. The Franke company also made a few, one with a single deer head and another with 2 deer kind of but to but. Check eBay, maybe an image of one will jog your memory. Hope this helps in the hunt.

    • Hi, Donna!
      I think we’re looking for the same ornament! I recall that it was a fawn grazing next to a pine tree. Sound familiar?

      • Hi Elaine-
        That could be it!! Do you (or anyone else on here) happen to have a photo of one? 🙏🏻🙏🏻

  60. I have been collecting Shiny Brites for over twenty years. I love them all but I’ve really been into collecting the Written Nursery Rhymes. I have Old King Cole, Little Bo Peep, Jack be Nimble, Little Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs, Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Hi Diddle Diddle and yes it says hi not hey..so does anyone know if I am missing any? Thanks for any help.

    • Hi Jeannie, sounds like you have most of them. I think you’re missing the Old Lady in the Shoe, Old Mother Hubbard, and Little Miss Muffett. These 3 seem to be the rarest. There was another company making nursery rhymes at the same time as Shiny Brite, the 1950s. I’m pretty sure it was Franke – Shiny Brite’s biggest rival. Franke made some of the same Nursery Rhymes only with different images/fonts. Your 3 Little Pigs is Franke. And they also made a very rare Cinderella. I’ve only seen that one once. Happy hunting.

  61. Wow thanks for your extensive knowledge. I never ever have seen any of those you have mentioned. I’m surprised to learn the “Pig” is Franke. It is identical to my others and of course someone switched it to a Shiny Brite cap. Happy hunting indeed. Thank you.

    • Well you came to the right guy. I’ve been working on a book about American glass ornaments for a few years now. Are you sure your “Pigs” is identical? Mine has a completely different font than the Shiny Brite do (except Jack and the candlestick) you may have one I haven’t seen before. Send me a pic of you can, I’d love to see it.

      • I have recently moved and all my worldly belongings are packed into a 20 x 20 storage unit. If and when my contractor finishes my home I’ll be able to fully move in and find my Christmas! I’d love to share a picture. Thanks for all your kind information🌲

  62. Hey I picked up a box of Shiny Brite Poloron ornaments that I haven’t seen before. As a long time central Florida resident Disney is huge here so when I found a complete set of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs it was a logical grab (Snow white, Dopey, and 4 others, set of 6). I wanted to see if you have any thoughts on these, production numbers or insight into if other disney items were made by Poloron etc. I still have young kids and if these are too expensive I might not put them on the tree, so that thought entered my mind as well. Not sure how to attach a picture of them here but if that helps let me know how to get one to you.. Thanks for the help with this and all the info on your site.

    • Hi Brad. I have several early Disney stencils on Corning bulbs. There was also a Snow White set in the 1930s made by Heidt Glass for Doubl Glo. Poloron is more 1970s. You can email me a pic of yours to james@thecavenderdiary.com Is’d love to see what you got. Btw, it just so happens that I’ve been working on a book about vintage ornaments.

  63. Pingback: Pink Christmas Tree Decorated with Vintage Shiny Brite Ornaments

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