Vintage Easter decorations have become popular at auction

The Smart Collector

WHAT: Holiday decorations have always been popular with collectors, but Easter has lagged behind until recently. In a stunning come-from-behind shift, Easter bunnies, chicks and peeps of all kinds currently enjoy renewed attention from collectors and dealers.

Victorian and pre-World War I die-cut lithographed cards with spring and Easter themes are traditional, steady sellers. A newer wrinkle is collector interest in items from the first half of the 20th century, up to the 1920s through 1950s. The vintage items shown with the column are from that time.

MORE: A funny bobblehead duck marked “Germany” and the rabbit with a basket on its back are molded composition, a mix that ranged from sawdust and animal glue in its early days, to a later mix including clay or other materials.

SMART COLLECTORS KNOW: Victoriana and old items made in Germany remain the gold standard of holiday decorations and are priced higher. Fancy, more complex, and better made items can be very expensive.


HOT TIP: The cohort buying later decorations is a group that identifies with vintage. Check out that buggy in the photo center: Reminiscent of baby gear from the 1930s to 1940s, it resonates with today’s buyer more than Victorian frou-frou.

BOTTOM LINE: Because vintage holiday decorations tend to sell for less than golden oldies, collectors can indulge wants while seasoned buyers are able to broaden collections for less.