By Charlotte Mutoro
Once again it’s time to pull out or buy the Christmas tree and festoon it with sparkling baubles, twinkling lights and copious tinsel. Whether you are set to celebrate a traditional winter Christmas amidst snow, or one in southern climes under baking sun, a majestically adorned Christmas tree speaks of the joys of the festive season.
So where did gorgeous Christmas tree baubles originate?
A German, Hans Greiner is said to have invented the Christmas ornament during the late 1840s in Lauscha, aGerman alpine town nestled in a mountain range in the state of Thuringia.The story begins with a descendent of Hans, also named Hans Greiner. In 1597, the later, along with Christoph Muller opened the first glass workshop in the town of Lauscha. They soon gained a reputation for their glassware, which included drinking glasses, bowls and glass beads.
In the mid 19 century, continuing the family tradition of working with glass Hans of ‘Christmas bauble fame’ came up with the idea of creating seasonal ornaments. The manufactured glass decorations were initially designed in the shape of fruit and nuts, before morphing into the spherical and round shapes we see more of today.
Queen Victoria of England became a true convert. Fully embracing the idea of the Christmas bauble, she had all sorts of them brought from Germany to Europe in the mid to late 1800s, and certainly didn’t hold back when it came to tree decoration.
Exquisitely handcrafted, glass baubles were initially the domain of the wealthy. Even today one gem encrusted decoration can cost as much as a luxury car. The Krebs Glas Lauscha companydecorated its translucent glass ball with solid 12-karat gold and 120 neatly-cut diamonds in 2008; the cost of one of this ‘beautiful work of art’ being 20,000 euros. Mark Hussey from Hallmark Jewellers in the UK topped this in 2009. He spent a whole year making his famous white gold orb with its 1500 diamonds and more than 180 rubies at the cost of £82,000.00 a piece.
The great news is you don’t have to re mortgage your house to buy some stunning pieces of glittering glass for your tree. Atty and Smart offers a great selection of high quality, affordable glass baubles. Also available in the shop and online are a wide range of other Christmas decorations and gifts including wreathes, wrapping paper, unique Christmas cards and gift tags.
For glamorous Christmas baubles and other decorations or for a great selection of gifts visit us at our Atty and Smart shop at Ivy House, High Street, Henfield, BN59ND. A selection of products are also available online at attyandsmart.com