Saturday, January 8, 2011

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My True Love . . .

. . . went shopping for vintage ornaments and found these pretty ones to decorate Darlington House's Christmas tree . . . next year.

Yesterday was a snowy day in the Hudson River Valley, so, rather than brave the drive up to Darlington House after work in less-than-pleasant conditions, we decided to spend the night in the city and take in the current exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and drive up to the house today under more salubrious circumstances.

On our way up we stopped at a three-level-barn-of-an-antiques-group "shoppe" that was having a post-Christmas 50% off sale of holiday decorations, and we picked up the vintage ornaments you see here to add to our collection.  For eight dollars.  That's right: eight dollars!  Of course we had to search through the center's decidedly mixed offerings to come up with this selection, pawing through piles of hideous ornaments to assemble this assortment of lovelies.  So it took some work.  But what a pretty group of ornaments we found!

Some of Reggie's readers mistakenly believe that he only frequents carriage trade purveyors of the highest quality that only stock expensive goods and merchandise.  Not so—he loves a good bargain, and he is quite happy to search amongst the dross to find one, particularly when it comes to pretty vintage Christmas ornaments.  He recommends that his readers shop high and low—as he does—when decorating their houses for the holiday.  And once Christmas has come and gone, bargains are to be had!

Now is the time to visit your local antiques malls and group "shoppes" to buy vintage ornaments to decorate your tree next year.  Not only will you be rewarded with steep discounts versus what you would have to pay in the days leading up to Christmas, but you can also set the stage for ridding your house—once and for all—of the odious Retail Red that Reggie so abhors.

Photograph By Boy Fenwick


  1. Quite the find Reeggie, they are just perfect and I adore the colors!

    Art by Karena

  2. Aww, pity you didn't take the long route to Darlington, swinging by here----I just acquired a marvelous collection of vintage ornaments, also inexpensive (I have the reverse problem: People think I only sell expensive things---Not true! I love all sorts of stuff)

  3. I guess one could say that Retail Red gives Reggie the blues. Lovely selection of finds, nevertheless!

  4. I love vintage Christmas decorations, especially the old glass ones. About twelve years ago, I picked up some new but remarkably mellow ornaments that really appear to be antique mercury glass. It was also appreciated that they were reduced 75%; the Devoted Classicist does not necessarily associate high style with high cost. These ornaments never fail to receive universal raves, especially if I happen to mention that they are Turn of the Century.

  5. I've just seen the photographs of your tree and think it wonderful. We've rather grown out of the habit of regularly decorating a tree the last few years but having seen Boy's creation, next year, if we're home, we will begin again. Actually, I've just remembered, last Christmas we had a small tree with roots (still surviving on our terrace) which was simply decorated with white lights and silver balls.

    First chance to say this, Reggie and Boy, but a Happy New Year to you both. We celebrated part of ours with Rose in London.

  6. I still love retail red and I love you too, Reggie.

  7. I'm just a little bit jealous of the Christmas ornament sales you all enjoy on your shores!

  8. Lovely ornaments and a good job too pawing through the "dross"! I actually looked that up. Reggie is always teaching me something new. xo

  9. Vintage ornaments are my favorite. It started years ago when for $5 I bought a whole paper grocery store bag full of assorted 1950s ornaments. I love your silver bell and the interesting shaped ribbed ornament.

  10. Oh, they're incredibly pretty Reggie. What beautiful colors! I had a similar experience in an old antique store. Strangely enough, it was in a barn that had seen better days. The owner sold me a huge box of glass ornaments for an insane price. Some were very dirty and had to be cleaned up, but I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I'm glad I'm not the only one who buys ornaments in January. Thanks for sharing your great find!


  11. Love the bright colors! It will be a beautiful tree next year! I look forward to it...
    Happy New Year!

  12. Oh are SO RIGHT. Now is the time. If only...could..get..self...out

    Oh- look at that- It's the cocktail hour already!

  13. Some of my most treasured ornaments were antique shop finds. I'm on the lookout for Christmas all through the year. You did rather well here!! Congratulations!

  14. a whole bowl of shiny!
    i just took my tree down but am still shopping for a few shiny things before i pack it all up. some of my favorite ornaments have been little precious bargains!

  15. I just love all these beautiful vintage ornaments - especially the blue/green assortment in the back. I'd love to indulge in a few of these lovely balls but I already have way too much - we didn't even put everything up this year!

  16. Dear Reggie, the vintage ornaments had much more beautiful colours. What a lovely find. They will look glorious on your tree next Christmas xx

  17. Dear Mr. Darling,

    Happy New Year to you and Boy!

    Your ornaments act as wonderful artillery against the war on Retail Red. I've been collecting vintage ornaments in shades of teal and turquoise, silver, gold and green for about 20 years now and there is something about their faded patina that makes my knees weak each year I start to unpack them and decide on a color scheme for that year's tree.


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