I have come across a ton of vintage glass ornaments lately. How can you tell what is valuable and what is a reproduction?
Well, there are a lot of companies that made these beautiful ornaments. Its been very interesting researching these.
Kugel Ornaments (A German word that means "ball")
They were hand-blown in Germany in 1848 and made of thick glass, colored or clear, and sometimes decorated with paint.
The Kugels were too heavy to hang on tree branches so they were suspended from the ceiling. Soon after their invention, the Germans decided to make small Kugels for trees and made shapes such as grapes, berry clusters, apples and pears. These ornaments made it to America in 1880.
A REAL Kugel:
Has brass cap virtually flush with surface of ornament. The cut under the cap is smooth and almost flat to the ornament.
A Reproduction of Kugel: Top of the neck is raised and has a rough cut. The Cap is also raised.
After WWII--Lauscha residents fleeing East Germany brought glass ornament molds that had been in their families for generations with them to the West German town of Neustadt. During the 1940s and 50s, West Germany attempted to recapture the market using the old German ornament molds. These caps are stamped "West Germany".
Shiny Brite is another very popular Glass ornament made in the 1940's- 1960's by Max Eckardt. The ornaments were painted completely on the inside and the stripes or patterns were painted on the outside.
The Poloron Products purchased the Shiny Brite division from the creator Max Eckmar about 1973. Authentic 70’s vintage Shiny Brite boxes from that time display the “Poloron” trademark, a red circle with a large white “P” and the name “Poloron” on all four sides of the box.
Shiny-Brite Division entirely closed down in the early 1980s.
Christopher Radko, in the year 2001 introduced Shiny Brite, a vintage-inspired line featuring recreations of uniquely American ornaments. These reproduction very collectable too. I prefer the real vintage ornaments
IF REAL: It will be stamped with the words “Shiny Brite” and “Made in U.S.A.” or Some will have a cardboard cap with a string instead of a hook.
Fantasia from Poland - These glass ornaments are little dull in color and were made in Poland in the 1940's-1950's
IF REAL: It will say Poland on the cap.
Now I will know what to look for when I grab them at Estate Sales and hopefully you will too.