Christmas tree pins are exactly as they sound; brooches in the shape of Christmas trees. They have been around since the 1940s but their range and popularity increased during the 1950s as American mothers with sons fighting in the Korean War wore them and sent them as a gesture of Christmas cheer and support.
Christmas tree pins were generally made in the festive colours of red and green although others like the blues and icy whites of a Christmas snow scene were also used. They were beautiful with intricate and often exquisite designs featuring crystal rhinestones, beads and enamelling. They were made by most costume jewellery designers of the time with Eisenberg, Stanley Hagler, Cristobal and Trifari being names to note.
Eisenberg was an American clothing company. Originally pins were made as accessories sold with their dresses but popularity saw they quickly sold in their own right. Eisenberg tended to use white enamel or gilt metal casting with simplistic forms featuring coloured rhinestones. Early pieces are signed with Eisenberg Original or simply Eisenberg, after 1945 they were marked Eisenberg Ice and towards the 1960s many were not signed or marked at all which can make them difficult to date.
Stanley Hagler was one of the most renowned costume jewellery designers of the 20th century, he originally worked for Miriam Gaskell before setting up his own business in 1950. Stanley Hagler pins are often considered some of the most intricate and innovative of the time, he was famous particularly for his new techniques using hand blown glass; glass beads feature heavily in his designs.
Christmas tree pins are still made today and there is a strong collectors market for both vintage and modern examples.
Senior Valuer Michael Dowse
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