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This bibliography about Christmas ornaments is by far not complete, but it lists some important contributions to the topic. Stared (*) entries refer to books that I have in stock; they may be purchased from me (when marked with a double asterisk (**) they are listed in my store under Books and may be ordered directly from there; please follow the corresponding links below). Some of the other books are out-of-print. You should be able to get most books in a well equipped bookstore. Some titles, however, are published by the author, and it’s not easy to find out where to purchase them. I have noted the address if known to me. The order of the entries is chronological and depends on the date of publication.



  1. * Eva StilleAlter Christbaumschmuck.   Hans Carl Nürnberg 1972.
    A first, more concise edition of Stille’s later classic work. Sold out. 
  2. * Philip V. SnyderThe Christmas Tree Book.   The History of the Christmas Tree and Antique Christmas Tree Ornaments. The Viking Press New York 1976.
    One of the first well-founded historical treatises on Christmas ornaments. Numerous illustrations (mostly black-white) and much more informative text. 
  3. * Eva StilleChristbaumschmuck.   Ein Buch für Sammler und Liebhaber alter Dinge. Hans Carl Nürnberg 1979.
    A classic in German language. Unfortunately sold out, but possibly to hunt up in a second-hand book shop. 
  4. Maggie RogersThe Glass Christmas Ornament. Old & New.   A Collector’s Compendium And Price Guide. Revised and Updated Edition. Timber Press Beaverton, Oregon 1983.
    A detailed, but concise description of the glass ornaments from all countries until to the Seventies with a good historical introduction. Illustrations partly black-white. 
  5. Maggie RogersThe Santa Claus Picture Book.   An Appraisal Guide. Photographs by Peter R. Hallinan. E. P.Dutton, Inc., New York 1984.
    A well founded and elaborate description of one of the most important branches of Christmas ornaments. 160 color illustrations. 
  6. * Margaret SchifferChristmas Ornaments.   A Festive Study. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. West Chester Pennsylvania 1984.
    A picture-book with little text. The quality of the shots could be better, but the field is covered in a rather extensive way. 
  7. * Francine KirschChristmas Collectibles.   Tree Ornaments and Memorabilia. Wallace-Homestead Book Company, Lombard IL 1985.
    An early introduction to collecting Christmas ornaments. Most of the illustrations are black-white. 
  8. Robert BrennerChristmas Past.   A Collector’s Guide to its History adn Decorations. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 1985.
    208 pages picture and describe over 1000 items. As a recension has stated: “Any book by Robert Brenner is a must for the dealer or collector”
  9. Margaret SchifferHolidays.   Toys and Decorations. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. West Chester Pennsylvania 1985.
    The author is looking over the fence (how we say in German): besides the Christmas ornaments she is also concerned with traditions and ornaments of New Year, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and other (American) holidays. 
  10. Margaret and Kenn WhitmyerChristmas Collectibles.   Collector Books 1987.
    224 pages, 556 illustrations. Despite its age an impressive book, owing to the concise, accurate annotations and the abundance of items represented in a flawless manner. 
  11. Georges JohnsonChristmas. Ornaments, Lights and Decorations.   Collector’s Identification and Value Guide. Schroeder Publishing 1987 (Band I), 1997 (Band II und III).
    A compendium in three volumes - downright the authoritative work for the lover of traditional Christmas ornaments: comprehensive, competent, indispensable. Purchase address: Collector Books, P.O.Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009, USA. 
  12. * Robert M. MerckDeck the Halls.   Treasures of Christmas Past. Abbeville Press New York 1992.
    The overwhelming inventory of Bob Merck’s personal collection of Christmas ornaments with short, but well-informed remarks about the various sections. Written with heart’s blood. 
  13. Oh, Tannenbaum.   Zur Geschichte des Weihnachtsbaums. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin 1992.
    Small brochure, but nonetheless with a lot of useful informations. 
  14. Eva StilleChristbaumschmuck des 20. Jahrhunderts.   Kunst, Kitsch und Kuriositäten. Klinkhardt & Biermann, München 1993.
    Whoever wants to get a quick, still comprehensive view of the development of Christmas ornaments through the last hundred years until the eighties and nineties, is best served by these 100 informative pages. 
  15. Robert BrennerChristmas through the Decades.   Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 1993.
    A historical survey, divided in decades, of the development of Christmas ornaments in all its ramifications from the beginnings at about 1840 until to the latest years. Covers especially the American facts. Nevertheless a real bonanza. 
  16. * Mary MorrisonSnow Babies, Santas and Elves.   Collecting Christmas Bisque Figures. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 1993.
    The amateur of porcelain figures must not avoid this representative synopsis of his collection field. All illustrated objects (over 700 photos) are characterised down to the last detail and valued by a rarity scale. Exemplary. 
  17. ** Manfred KlaudaDie Geschichte des Weihnachtsbaumes.   Zentrum für Außergewöhnliche Museen. München 1993.
    Accompanying booklet to the exposition Christbaum und Gabentisch im Wandel der Zeit (Christmas tree and table of presents in changing times) in the museum ZAM (that is: Center for Extraordinary Museums) in Munich, Germany. Richly illustrated. — More informations, order
  18. * Uwe-Volker SegethNostalgischer Weihnachtsschmuck.   Battenberg Verlag Augsburg 1994.
    Suited for a first glance at the ample field of Christmas ornaments. The quotations of prices would be useful, but they are outdated (except for simple ornaments). For beginners. 
  19. Evelyn und Jürgen UlzenGablonzer Christbaumschmuck.   Herstellung und Verarbeitung hohlgeblasener Perlen. Melete Buchverlag Berlin 1994.
    Informations about the manufacturing of Gablonz glass beads. Unfortunately, only black and white pictures are provided. 
  20. Waltraud NeuwirthGlasperlen Christbaumschmuck.   Glass Bead Christmas Tree Ornaments. Selbstverlag Dr. Waltraud Neuwirth, Wien 1995.
    All-embracing review of Gablonz glass ornaments in the beginning of the 20th century. Written in both German and English. 
  21. Robert T. IwamasaAntique Christmas Figural Light Bulbs.   RTI Publishing Co. Midland, Michigan 1996.
    The Bible of the collector of bulbs. Not less than 1300 of the known 1500 diverse forms of bulbs (electrically lighted Christmas ornaments) are carefully pictured in the book. A price guide (level 1997) is enclosed. 
  22. Wolfram MetzgerBäume leuchtend, Bäume blendend …   Historischer Christbaumschmuck. 2. erweiterte Auflage. Info Verlagsgesellschaft Karlsruhe 1996.
    This is a revised and enlarged edition of the catalogue of the exposition Bäume leuchtend, Bäume blendend (shining trees, glaring trees) in the Badisches Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe, Germany. Professionally made, excellent photos. Worth reading, too, the practical tips by Helmuth Thoma. Unfortunately out of print. New edition desirable. 
  23. Torkild HinrichsenThüringen. Das gläserne Paradies.   Die Tradition der Herstellung von gläsernem Christbaumschmuck in der Art von Lauscha. Eine Ausstellung des Altonaer Museums. Altonaer Museum Hamburg 1996.
    Whoever is interested in glas ornaments from Lauscha, will get here all the informations he needs. 
  24. Elfriede KreuzbergerWeihnacht anno dazumal.   Christbaumschmuck für Sammler. Wien o.V. (1998).
    Published oneself. Not recommended. 
  25. * Inszeniertes Fest. Vom Biedermeier- zum Designerchristbaum.   Eine Ausstellung mit historischem Christbaumschmuck aus der Sammlung Josef Huschle, Dornbirn. Vorarlberger Verlagsanstalt Dornbirn 1999.
    A small brochure about an exposition in the Stadtmuseum Dornbirn in Austria affords an insight into a remarkable collection.  
  26. Robert BrennerChristmas Revisited.   Second Edition with Revised Price Guide. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 1986, 1999.
    168 pages. More than 50 black and white illustrations, more than 350 color illustrations. I agree with the inside jacket text: “The type of reference guide a collector cannot afford to pass up”
  27. Jutta Tremmel-EndresZur Kulturgeschichte des Christbaumschmucks. Zeitgeist und Geschmack.   In: Sammeln. Das Magazin für Sammler und Kunstliebhaber, Nr. 20, Dezember 1999, pp. 7–17. Schaffhausen 1999.
    A concise history of Christmas tree and ornaments. — More informations, order
  28. Waltraud NeuwirthGlas-Christbaumschmuck. Glass Christmas Tree Ornaments.   Made in Austria Czechoslovakia. Selbstverlag Dr. Waltraud Neuwirth, Wien 2000.
    All-embracing review of glass Christmas ornaments by means of an old manufacturer’s catalogue. Written in both German and English. 
  29. Uta SchnürerParadiesgärten – Brauchtum und Weihnachtsschmuck.   Reihe Weiß-Grün 21. Sächsische Landesstelle für Volkskultur, Schneeberg/Erzgebirge. Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft Marienberg mbH 2000.
    Interesting informations about the paradise gardens, fenced Putz scenes under the Christmas tree. 
  30. Eva StilleChristbaumschmuck traditionell multikulturell sensationell.   Ausstellungsprojekt des Heimatmuseums Reutlingen, des Museums im Gotischen Haus, Bad Homburg und des StadtMuseums Bonn. Stadtverwaltung Reutlingen 2000.
    German Book with 52 pages and about as many pictures. Companion to an exposition of old Christmas ornaments. 
  31. * Weihnachtliches Träumen.   Alter Christbaumschmuck vom Biedermeier bis zur Neuzeit. Wien o.V. 2000, 2. Auflage 2004.
    147 pictures on 84 pages. This was a companion booklet to a exposition of old Christmas ornaments in the Austrian Ethnological Museum, Vienna, in the year 2004, and features a truly exquisite collection. Unfortunately, quite a handsome number of fakes have crept into the more than 600 represented items. 
  32. Nina GockerellWeihnachtszeit: Feste zwischen Advent und Neujahr in Süddeutschland und Österreich 1840-1940.   Katalog anläßlich der Ausstellung im Bayerischen Nationalmuseum München vom 22.11.2000-04.02.2001. Prestel München, London, New York 2000.
    Ursula Kloiber’s unique collection presented in a unique exhibtion and in a unique book. In every respect a brilliant work. 
  33. Waltraud NeuwirthGlasperlen-Christbaumschmuck aus Böhmen.   Drei Lilien Edition Wiesbaden 2003.
    A sequel of the above mentioned book of the same author from the year 1995. Many pictures of items from private collections were added. 
  34. ** Oh! Tannenbaum. Der Deutschen liebster Baum.   Mit Beiträgen von Konrad Auerbach, Wolfram Metzger, Elke Osterloh, Markus Pohlmeyer-Jöckel, Rüdiger Vossen. Info Verlag Karlsruhe 2003.
    A pictured documentation of a part of the rich ethnographic collection of Maud Pohlmeyer on 95 pages. — More informations, order
  35. Georges JohnsonPictorial Guide to Christmas Ornaments and Collectibles.   Identification and Values. Schroeder Publishing 2004.
    This is a follow-up to the three former volumes, similar in presentation, but with much more illustrations. Purchase address: Collector Books, P.O.Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009, USA. 
  36. Mary MorrisonMary Morrison’s Big Book of Snow Babies.   Tualatin Press. 2004.
    1200 pictures on 240 pages: Mary Morrison’s new book about Snow Babies. More on her website
  37. Ralf RossmeisslGlanz & Glitzer. Lametta-Christbaumschmuck aus Roth & Allersberg.   Herausgegeben von Konrad Bedal und dem Privatverein Roth von Hans-Christian Fiegl und Walter Mehl. Schriften und Kataloge des Fränkischen Freilandmuseums, Band 39. Bad Windsheim und Roth 2002.
    Accompanying booklet to an exposition in Bad Windsheim, Germany. Very comprehensive and historically well-founded. 
  38. Christmas Ornaments. Imperial Russian, Soviet and German. 1900 - 1970.   Collector’s Guide. Sankt Petersburg 2004.
    The text is confined to the preface (Russian, but with English traduction). The rest belongs to more than 1200 pictures with (too) concise legend. Anyhow, a must for the collector of Russian ornaments. 
  39. Susanne  von Goessel-SteinmannHimmlische Boten. Nürnberg und seine Rauschgoldengel.   Schriften des Spielzeugmuseums Nürnberg, Band VI.. Nürnberg 2004.
    100 pages, numerous illustrations in color. Unfortunately not available in English. The title reads as follows: Celestial Messengers. Nuremberg and its Tinsel Angels.
  40. ** Margrit  UtzVon Fadenglas, Rauschgold und Tragant.   Eine kurz gefasste Geschichte des Weihnachtsschmucks, erläutert und illustriert anhand von Beispielen aus der Sammlung Margrit Utz. Zürich 2004. 4., korrigierte Auflage 2010.
    72 pages, 119 illustrations in color. Also available in English as Of All the Trees Most Lovely! (see next item). The German title reads as follows: About Thread Glass, Tinsel and Tragant. A Summary History of Christmas Ornaments, Explained and Illustrated by Examples From the Collection Margrit Utz. Features my own small collection. — Title page. Sample page. More informations, order (German edition)
  41. ** Margrit  UtzOf All the Trees Most Lovely!   A Summary History of Christmas Ornaments, Explained and Illustrated by Examples From the Collection of Margrit Utz. Zürich 2004. First English Edition 2010.
    72 pages, 119 illustrations in color. Features my own small collection. This is the English edition of the previous item. —Title page. Sample page. More informations, order
  42. Schmücken und Schenken.   Nostalgischer Christbaumschmuck und weihnächtlicher Lichterglanz. o.V. Luzern 2005.
    About 30 pictures. Companion booklet to an exhibition in the Glacier Garden Lucerne, Switzerland. 
  43. Monika LennartzKultobjekt Weihnachtsbaum.   Der geschmückte Lichterbaum und seine Geschichte. Städtisches Kramer-Museum Kempen 2006.
    About 20 pictures. Companion booklet to an exhibition in the Kramer museum in Kempen, Germany during winter 2006/7. 
  44. John I. LightnerChristmas Rarities.   A Pictorial Collection of Rare Antique German Glass Christmas Ornaments. John I. Lightner 2007.
    With about 1500 pictures a rich repertory of seldom found antique glass Christmas ornaments. Available at Amazon
  45. ** Torkild HinrichsenDas ist die liebe Weihnachtszeit.   Fotografien von Günter Pump. Husum Verlag, Husum 2007.
    64 pages, 84 illustrations mostly in color. Unfortunately not available in English, but the title reads as follows: This is the Beloved Christmas Time.More informations, order
  46. ** Wiltrud ElbertChristbaumschmuck aus 100 Jahren.   Ein Bilder- und Bestimmungsbuch. Wiltrud Elbert 2009.
    428 pages, 1700 pictures. This outstandingly informative and comprehensive book should not be missed by any serious collector of Christmas ornaments. Unfortunately, there is no English edition. However, all ornaments displayed in the book have got a symbolic rating regarding age, rarity, and price, easy to understand also for English-speaking readers. — More informations, order
  47. Joseph G. HrncirikLuxus aus Pappe.   Dresdner Christbaumschmuck 1890–1914. Joseph G. Hrncirik 2010.
    160 pages, 410 pictures. German book (the title reads as follows: Luxury Cardboard). Clearly arranged and cleanly laid out representation of a rather comprehensive collection of old Dresden ornaments with appealing pictures. It’s a pitty, though, that you will learn much too little about the history and importance of the collected items. 
  48. ** Tucker BeesleyKugels: An Antique Christmas Obsession.   Infinity Publishing West Conshohocken PA 2012.
    308 pages, more than 700 photos. The one and only must for all fanciers and collectors of kugels. Comes with a rarity guide. — More informations, order
  49. ** Wiltrud ElbertSebnitzer Christbaumschmuck.   Original – Phänomenal – Museal. Wiltrud Elbert 2012.
    116 pages, 276 pictures. This is the first comprehensive and expert book that focuses on Sebnitz Christmas ornaments. Unfortunately, there is no English edition. — More informations, order
Star Ariadne’s Thread: The Ornament → Bibliography

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Revision 13.3.2019