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  • The Origin of the Golden Angel

    000_0006eggl-of-bavaria-wax-angels.html  The Origin of the Golden Angel

    Master Hauser was called the Doll maker. His beautiful and angelic daughter had just died. He was so heartbroken he walked the streets of Nuremburg. He thought of home, where his wife was sick with sorrow, and he thought over and over what could he do to help he and his wife. When the doll maker got home he found his wife asleep. He tiptoed through the dark into his workshop. He worked earnestly upon his angelic creation until satisfied with it. Upon completion he lay an angel like doll with finely creased golden shirt and apron and a little crown over the lovely face. It looked like his little daughter. Happily he carried the little treasure to his sleeping wife and placed the little doll in her arms. The poor woman awakened and looked with wonder at the beautiful little golden Angel. She pressed it against herself sobbing bitterly and said Yes, this is how our beloved looked.

    The doll maker's business reawakened and he worked diligently so that he could offer these tinsel-gold angels at the Christmas market. He had very good success with them. More than 400 years have passed and the world has changed greatly. However, the little tinsel-gold angels of Nuremburg have remained as they were then to the present day

  • Easter in Germany and Around the World

    Egg Tree

    Depending on where you are in the world, the tradition of Easter can be celebrated in a variety of interesting ways. In Haux, France, it’s become customary in the town’s main square to cook up and serve an enormous Easter omellette that serves thousands of people. Oddly enough, Sweden’s traditional Easter festivities have a lot in common with what we know as Halloween. Like Halloween, young children in Swedish neighborhoods dress up in colorful clothes and go door to door exchanging drawings and paintings for tasty sweets.

    If you’re in Corfu, Greece around Easter time, don’t be surprised if you see flying kitchenware falling from the sky. On Easter Saturday, the unique religious celebrations of this part of the world begin with the crashing of pots and pans. The people in Corfu are known to parade through the streets on this Holy day while pots and pans are joyfully tossed from windows and balconies to reenact the earthquake that followed Christ’s Resurrection.

    Although Easter is celebrated in different ways all around the world, each tradition shares the common theme of family and togetherness. For Germans, Easter is one the country’s most precious holidays. In fact, it is often said that the origins of popular traditions such as the Easter Bunny and decorated eggs were brought over by German immigrants over three centuries ago.

    In Germany, one could complete his or her entire Easter egg hunt by simply looking up at a tree. The Ostereierbaum, or Easter egg tree, is the tradition of embellishing trees of all sizes with colorful Easter eggs, making a springtime walk through the park unlike any other. Sometimes, the Easter Bunny will even leave chocolate eggs around the base of a tree for children to find.

    Easter in Germany is truly special. Almost every home, every garden, and every tree is decorated top to bottom with colorful decorations. With our Easter themed products from Christian Ulbricht and Lori Mitchell, you too can adorn your home with beautiful holiday décor that excites the whole family.

    Be sure to check out our brand new 2016 items such as Lori Mitchell’s Eggbert Hopperton, Brewster Williams, Bunny Williams, and more!

  • Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market

    Atlanta Show NutcrackerFor many people, the holiday season ended once the calendar flipped to 2016. At Old World Accents, however, our holiday spirit endures throughout the year as we stock up with the newest releases of nutcrackers, smokers, ornaments and other Christmas collectibles.

    To this end, we recently visited the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. Lasting a full eight days from January 12 to January 19, the show featured thousands of exhibitors showcasing more than 7,000 individual brands. We were among the nearly 100,000 visitors scouring the market's 12 floors to find you the best Christmas items from popular names such as:

    Along with these longtime favorites, we also looked at new products from newer brands such as Demdaco, Creative Co-Op and Cody Foster.

    This is why our holiday season is ongoing, and why we get so excited about these shows - it gives us an opportunity to provide you with the best Christmas items from your favorite brands as well as introducing new products to energize your holiday decor.

  • German Christmas Tree Stands

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    Have you discovered the Antique Christmas Tree Stands at Old World Accents, Richmond, Virginia's Year Round Christmas Shop? Visit our display of Antique Holiday Memorabilia.

    A document dated 1604 is the earliest record of a Christmas tree stand: “Man pflegt drum ein vierekent Ramen zu machen.” The first stands were simple wood stands or crosses with a hole for the trunk. Sometimes people just put the trunk through a hole of a chair or a wheel fixed across a basket filled with water. Even baskets with wet sand were used to keep the tree fresh. In bad times, a turnip might be used to hold a tree.

  • Wilhelm Fuchtner "The Father of the Nutcracker"

    The Fuchtner Workshop is located in the very same place where the family business started back in 1870. Wilhem Frederick Fuchtner, known the world over as the "Father of the Nutcracker" carved the very first nutcracker around 1870.

    His home workshop in Seiffen, the small toy-making village in the middle of the Erzgebirge in Eastern Germany, is still the home of the finest nutcrackers. Today, six generations later, Volker Füchtner photographed with me, honors his great-great-great grandfather by still producing nutcrackers in the old tradition in the very same home workshop- the birthplace of the nutcracker.

    Each Füchtner Nutcracker is stamped "Füchtner-

    First Family of the Nutcracker," hand-signed by Volker Füchtner, and comes in a Box, complete with the Füchtner family story in both German and English

    February 2015 Visit February 2015 Visit
  • Nutcrackers Are More Than Nutcrackers

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    Originally, the nutcracker was a tool developed to do just what it sounds like—crack the tough outer shells of nuts. Over the years, it has become much more than that, and is now a popular collectible item created by master craftsmen.

    The first nutcrackers were made of metal, since this gave diners the strong grip needed to crack the shells of the nuts. In the 1800s, wooden nutcrackers began to gain popularity in Germany and then around the world. Instead of the plain, pliers-like design of traditional nutcrackers, these were shaped like soldiers or other human figures. The nut is cracked in the figure’s “mouth” with the help of a lever to open and close the jaw. However, most nutcracker figurines today are purely decorative. Above you will see our limited edition North Pole Elf Nutcracker from Steinbach.

  • Statue of Liberty

    Our ornament of the week this week is the Statue of Liberty by Old World Christmas.

    The museum, which commemorates the 2001 terrorist attack, as well as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, opens to the public today on May 21 in New York.

    The museum was praised as "a sacred place of healing and of hope" that captures both the story and the spirit of heroism and helpfulness that followed the attacks.

  • A Continuation Of: Sofferia De Carlini Ornaments

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    Luca Terruzz was born in 1962. His mother, Rosa De Carlini, is the daughter of Enrico De Carlini, who found the factory. The Sofferia De Carlini family business officially began in 1947, which makes Luca a third generation family employee.

    Luca's mother and father, Giulio Terruzzi, are still active in the workshop. His wife, Sabrina, also helps out. There eight-year-old daughter Alice appears to be very artistic, so she may become interested down the road. As for there son Marco, it's very difficult to classify his artistic future at the tender age of three!

    Luca, what was it like growing up surrounded by ornaments?
    I could almost say I was born in the workshop. As often happens here in Northern Italy, the artisan workshop is located below our family apartments. When I was a child, I spent a lot of time among the silvered glass balls and bright colors. When I was nine, my mother put me in charge of attaching the little metal caps on each silvered ball. I remember sitting in the garden with my dog doing this "difficult" work. That was my first introduction to the business. I can't say I was actually employed because she didn't pay me!

    When did you actually begin learning the family trade?
    I started helping my parents with small jobs during school vacations when I was about sixteen. Gino began teaching me the art of glass blowing. I started with spheres, the easiest shapes to blow. After that, I advanced to ovals and finally, I was good enough to blow figures. That was the most exciting work! It takes about two or three years as an apprentice before one has the skills to blow a complete figural ornament. Gino, who is like a member of the family, still helps us during busy periods.

    What is your role today in the family business?
    After finishing my studies, I officially entered the business in 1985. Since then, I've been responsible for client relations and management. Unfortunately, I've have had little opportunity to devote to glass blowing. My parents have been very helpful to me by managing the blowing and painting departments.

    Who comes up with all of the whimsical designs for which the De Carlinis are so well known?
    In a small business like ours, everyone is encouraged to have creative moments. We do not have official titles like "design director" or "art creator". Sometimes our customers want to personalize an ornament and in so doing, a new idea is born. More often than not, new designs come from a member of the family. Actually, it's a simple matter of making suggestions, expressing sentiments and creating an element of fantasy.

    We also have a "sample team" who turn ideas into reality. They blow the prototype, spray the base color, and decorate it with countless details. The team creates many variations so our clients can make their "exclusive" choice.

    Tell us about the factory. How many employees are in your workshop?
    The workshop is located on the ground floor of our building and the family live upstairs. This is a typical setup in northern Italy. De Carlini's usually employs 15 to 20 staff, although there are seasonal adjustments. Our skilled glass blowers are mostly men and comprise about 40 per cent of the staff. Women are generally hired to paint ornaments and account for 50 per cent of the staff. The rest work in our packing and shipping departments.

    What do you enjoy most about the ornament business?
    I love the creative nature of this business. I can immerse myself in a Christmas atmosphere and let my imagination run free to dream up new ideas and designs.

    Excerpt taken from Connie Porcher 2007 Interview with Luca Terruzzi

  • It Began with a Crash

    As the legend goes, the Christopher Radko company started with the falling of Christopher’s family tree. After more than 1,000 vintage mouth-blown glass ornaments were broken to bits, Christopher tried to replace them by looking far and wide in the United States and by scouring Polish glassware markets. His quest did not produce even one replacement ornament that met his requirements, and he soon came to realize that his only option was to start completely from scratch. Armed only with his memories of his family’s ornaments, Christopher enlisted a Polish glass blower and together they went to work, trying to recreate his family’s lost heirlooms. It went so well that by 1985, Christopher was in business. Sixty unique designs debuted that year and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Today, after a quarter century and a transfer in ownership, the Christopher Radko company has produced more than fifteen million fine European glass ornaments and grown to encompass several additional lines of holiday decor including snow globes, ceramic cookie jars, tree skirts, stockings and more.

    Despite this fantastic growth, the company’s original passion for and pride in carrying on the noble tradition of producing only the finest holiday treasures remains 100% intact. Christopher Radko ornaments are produced in Europe by a seasoned team of artists and craftsmen, many of whom have been with the company since its very inception. Each piece is meticulously crafted by hand, using Renaissance-era carving, molding, glass blowing, silver lining, hand painting and finishing processes that require both unparalleled skill and several weeks to complete.

    The magical heirlooms produced by the Christopher Radko company have brought joy and happiness to millions of homes over the years. Christopher Radko ornaments have decorated the White House, adorned the Kennedy Center, and are included in the personal collections of Elton John, Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, Robert DeNiro, Elizabeth Taylor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.

  • Soffieria De Carlini

    After World War II, the goal of Mr. De Carlini was to bring Europe something really magical. Europe needed to be cheered up. So Mr. De Carlini achieved this by creating the most inspired, creative, and magical mouth blown Christmas ornaments available in the world. He had a critical eye for technique and proportion of each ornament.

    At Old World Accents, we work directly with Luca De Carlini, the third generation, to bring Richmond, VA the most magical ornaments made in the world. These ornaments bring happiness each fall with the arrival of our new hand picked selection.

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