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Why Soviet Christmas tree decorations cost hundreds of thousands, and How to recognize a treasure in old trash
Why Soviet Christmas tree decorations cost hundreds of thousands, and How to recognize a treasure in old trash

Perhaps, in every home there is a box with New Year's toys, which is removed with trepidation from the mezzanine once a year to decorate the New Year tree. Balls, glass beads, figurines of fairy-tale characters and funny animals … Each of the toys has its own story. Take a closer look at the old New Year's toys. It is possible that you are the owner of a fortune, but do not know about it yet.

From the history of Christmas toys in Russia

The history of New Year's toys began with Peter I. It was the first Russian emperor who appointed the spruce as the main New Year tree, which is supposed to be decorated. At that time, Christmas tree decorations were only edible, and much later, paper flowers, cotton wool crafts and gilded cones appeared.

Box from a set of Christmas decorations "Chippolino". The price at the auction is 23 thousand rubles

According to legend, New Year's balls came to us from Germany. There, Christmas trees were traditionally decorated with apples, but one year there was a crop failure, and then people asked the glassblower to make glass apples for the holiday. Since then, Christmas balls have become the main New Year's decoration, and craftsmen have learned how to blow a variety of glass figures for the New Year tree. In Russia, the first glass Christmas tree decorations appeared only in the 19th century, they were brought from abroad, they were very expensive, and therefore only wealthy people could afford them.

Soviet Christmas tree toy "Doctor Kashtan" from a set based on the fairy tale "Cipollino". The price at the auction is "only" for 19 thousand rubles. due to defect

In the young Land of the Soviets, all the old foundations were destroyed, and along with them the New Year was banned, because somewhere above they decided that this holiday was extremely harmful for Soviet children. The ban lasted for 10 years - from 1925 to 1935. When the New Year holidays were still allowed, Christmas tree decorations appeared again, but with an ideological stamp. New Year trees were decorated with figures of parachutists, pioneers, Red Army men, portraits of Stalin and Lenin flaunted on the balloons, and the tops of the trees were invariably decorated with a red star.

During the Great Patriotic War, it would seem, there was no place for a holiday. But they did not abandon the production of Christmas tree decorations. They were made from military production waste. Metal shavings, wire, cotton wool, small pieces of metal were used. Wartime Christmas trees were decorated with tanks, soldiers, orderlies dogs, pistols, and on New Year's cards even Santa Claus beat the Nazis.

Soviet Christmas tree toy "Frog" from the set based on the fairy tale "Buratino". Sold at auction for 585 thousand rubles

In the 1950s and 1960s, a new Christmas toy trend emerged. Agriculture developed in the country, and now literally everything grew on spruce: corn, grapes and lemons, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, peas, eggplants, peppers, onions and garlic. And even more popular are collections of New Year's toys, created based on fairy tales. And today it is these retro sets that are of particular interest to collectors.

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Pioneers, a clock with an arrow frozen 5 minutes before midnight, space satellites and an ear of corn. It seems that the history of the Land of the Soviets can be read from the Soviet Christmas tree decorations of the middle of the last century. However, these New Year decorations themselves have become part of history. And therefore, like any antiques, they have their own, and sometimes a very impressive price. Of course, among the old Soviet toys there are those for which they will not give even 100 rubles, but there are real rarities for which collectors are ready to pay hundreds of thousands.

How to see a real rarity in a Christmas tree toy

Soviet Christmas tree toy "Mister Carrot" from the set based on the fairy tale "Cipollino". Sold at auction for 30 thousand rubles

A simple rule is that the less often a Christmas tree toy is, the more expensive it is. After all, if a rare Christmas tree decoration breaks, then it is already impossible to buy it for any money. So, clowns with a pipe, which many have in their grandmother's boxes with New Year's toys, are almost worthless. Although these are beautiful figures, almost perfectly shaped, bright and clearly drawn. But not several factories produced them at once. If the toy is in perfect condition, then it will be good to sell it if it costs 100 rubles.

Soviet Christmas tree toy "General Mouse-Dolgohvost" from the set based on the fairy tale "Chipollino". Sold at auction for "only" 40 thousand rubles. due to a small defect

At the same time, for example, the ridiculous yellow Cheburashka costs at least 5,000 rubles on the collection market. And the thing is that this toy was blown out at a Ukrainian factory and taken out of production quickly enough. If there are also toys-samples that have not passed the thin board and have not been released into mass production. Such toys are known, as a rule, in single copies, and their prices reach several hundred thousand rubles.

Soviet Christmas tree toy "Dog Hold-Grab" from the set based on the fairy tale "Cipollino". Sold at auction for 120 thousand rubles

Today, among collectors, sets of Christmas tree decorations based on fairy tales, which began to be produced in the 1950s for the 150th anniversary of Pushkin, are especially popular. Goldfish, Tsar Guidon, Ruslan and Lyudmila. Later, the fairy tale theme was continued: "Aibolit", "Kolobok", "Chipollino". The latest set by artist Voinova is a real hit today. The malicious Lawyer Peas, the grinning Signor Tomato, the good-natured Professor Pear will not leave anyone indifferent. Even an empty box from this set is offered at auction today for 23 thousand rubles.

Soviet Christmas tree toy "Leek" from the set based on the fairy tale "Cipollino". Sold at auction for 77 thousand rubles

And although the "Cipollino" set was produced in large quantities, collectors are ready to pay about 500 thousand rubles for a complete set of 14 characters in the original box. And the cost of individual characters from this set reaches 70 thousand rubles. But there are nuances. So, today at the auction the price for a sniffer dog Hold and Grab is 120 thousand rubles, and for a Leek from the same set - 77 thousand rubles. Whereas Strawberry and Cherry from the same set of "Chipollino" are unlikely to be sold for more than 500 rubles. The fact is that some of the figures from the series were produced by factories and sold separately. Therefore, they are not uncommon.

Soviet Christmas tree toy "Fox" from a set based on the fairy tale "Kolobok". Sold at auction for 333 thousand rubles

The situation is approximately the same with a set of New Year's toys based on the "Tale of the Golden Cockerel". The Stargazer figurine was produced in large quantities and does not represent a collectible value, while the Tsar Dadon figurine can be sold for 10 thousand rubles without any problems.

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Myths about Soviet New Year decorations

It is worth saying that Soviet Christmas tree decorations are shrouded in many myths. For example, glass cobs of corn so popular in the middle of the last century are often mistakenly associated with Khrushchev's agricultural experiments, but in fact they were produced even before the war. Like toys, watches appeared much earlier than Ryazanov's film "Carnival Night" was released.

Soviet Christmas tree toy "Beauty in a fur coat". Sold at auction for 330 thousand rubles

Another popular myth is that toys on clothespins appeared before hanging ones, which means they can be sold at a higher price. But connoisseurs of the topic claim that toys were produced with different mounts in parallel. But the cost of toys on the mount was higher, and when the country took a course towards saving in all areas, they simply abandoned such a mount. The type of fastening does not affect the price of the toy.

How to sell a rarity correctly

Open-page spread of the catalog of Soviet Christmas tree decorations and toys

If a rarity was found in a box with old New Year's toys, and it was decided to put the relic on sale, you first need to find out its real value. "Soviet glass Christmas tree decorations", which shows the prices of toys and their rarity. You can also contact connoisseurs and experts on the topic on specialized forums and communities on social networks. By the way, there you can find not only appraisers, but also real buyers.

The keen collectors seem to have nothing to stop on the way to the desired acquisition, even its cosmic price. Confirmation of this 5 rare books, for which fabulous sums were laid out at auctions.

For those who like to look for values ​​among the trash, our material about Flea Market Treasures: How to Find Your Treasure at a Flea Market.

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