Collecting European Holiday Antiques


Part of the magic of the holidays is decorating your home for family and friends. Antiques, especially holiday and Christmas antiques, are at the forefront of many collector’s first choice to reflect their love of the season. A collection of antique Christmas decorations brings childhood back…. at least for a while. There are so many holiday antiques to collect, tree ornaments, Putz figures and animals, paper holiday cards, tinsel, dolls, bears, trains, the list goes as far as our beloved memories of our childhood Christmases.

I was so fortunate to be able to take a trip to Europe right before December, and found some wonderful antique toys, dolls, and Christmas decorations for the shop. Many of you are always asking for beautiful Christmas antiques to add to your collection, and your holiday decor. I found some exceptional treasures!



My favorite find? Noel…isn’t she breathtaking? This antique Porcelain doll is most likely French, she wears her original cotton batting boots, coat with the pointed hood. Her coat is embellished with glitter, and tinsel trim, tied at the waist with silver bullion ribbon. She holds an antique pink blown glass bell ornament. BEST and ONLY ONE I’ve ever found, she is sure to delight one of our clients.

What a spectacular rare treasure she is! Quite large at 50cm {19-3/4″}  she will bring the joy of Christmas to your collection and home, this fabulous doll has beautifully hand painted eyebrows and lashes, a lovely set of ocean blue glass eyes, rose blushed cheeks and you can just see her teeth inside that sweet pouty open mouth. She is a rare, magical addition to your collection.



I found plenty of smaller holiday antiques, too, some not quite as old as the Winter Holiday Noel Doll….


This Antique Putz German Sled with Santa, pulled by his celluloid Reindeer.


A pair of Celluloid Reindeer, still covered in glitter and mica chips….


How darling are these two? Marie and her King Louis XVI, souvenirs of long ago, in their holiday reds.

antiquereindeerb Two Metal Putz Reindeer, a stag and his son…out roaming the forest.


And this little miniature band of hand carved wood Angel Musicians

There are small and large, inexpensive and costlier antique and vintage collector’s pieces for Christmas in our Celebrations department at FrenchGardenHouse. Holidays bring out the magic, and the child in all of us!


Here at home I lighten up the mood, and let my antiques play “Christmas” a little, so they are not so serious.  {There is fun to be had at holiday time! Liven up your decor a little with one or more of these little finds.} Now that we once again have a house filled with children, it’s only natural that I’d want to bring childhood antiques back into my decorating.


And don’t forget, every time you leave a comment on any post here, at my backroom FrenchGardenHouse blog, you are entered to win a copy of this fantastic book, SEGRETO VIGNETTES!

24 thoughts on “Collecting European Holiday Antiques”

  1. Betty Pfeiffer

    What an absolute joy, your blog is early in the morning while I enjoy my coffee. I’m so inspired after every post. Thank you for sharing all your beautiful knowledge.

    1. Betty, thank you so much! I am so delighted that my blog and thoughts bring you joy. Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving {if you are in the states!}

  2. At Christmas, a favorite in the south of France are the santons, which are not only crêche figures but also depictions of daily life in the Middle Ages.

    1. The Santons are so typically “French” aren’t they?

  3. Noreen

    I love the beautiful hand painted features, Marie and her Louis are quite exquisite!

    1. Noreen, they are so wonderful, aren’t they? Very well dressed, in their holiday finery.

  4. Ginger Valdes

    Oh Lidy, and the little dimple in Noel’s chin! What a gorgeous doll. Thanks for sharing your “toys” with us. You play very well with others! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    X0 Ginger

  5. Jeanne DeShazer

    Happy Thanksgiving! Love your blog! I’m building a new home which will be ready just before Christmas. Your blog has been very inspirational to me as I’ve waited for my home to be finished. We move in just before Christmas. Happy Thanksgiving! You’ve given me so much inspiration!

    1. Jeanne, how exciting! And thank you so much for your kind words…they mean a lot to me. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. Next year, you’ll gather around your table in your new home. xo Lidy

    1. Linda, they are so cute, aren’t they? Little small touches for the holidays…a shelf full of them would be amazing, but just two, in a sprinkling of snow flakes, are grand under a dome! Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Marilyn

    Thank You for the giveaway.
    This post is breath taking.

  7. Marion

    I am in love with Noel. The Santa sleigh and the reindeers are cute.

  8. Hello Lidy,

    What a buy and so beautiful antique French doll, she is lovely the eyes are so inchanting, love her, thanks for sharing, Happy Thanksgiving~~~~~~~~~~~

  9. Noel is breathtaking, Lidy! Yours is truly a one of a kind treasure! I think I’ve mentioned before that one of my Panoply sisters is a master dollmaker and repairer. Though she has just a small collection of the authentic antique ones, she made a career (now retired) of creating magnificent porcelain reproductions with handpainted facial detail, and used antique mohair or human hair, European fabric and ribbon, to fashion the tiniest of tiny details. It gave me a deeper appreciation for those from the past and the painstaking effort to make them. The fact that ANY survived the wear and tear of children playing with them (and they did!) amazes me.

  10. Lidy, love all your post and can’t wait to read them. I garner lots of ideas from you and especillally love your outdoor doorpost. Blessings to you, your family and all of your fans this holiday season. Health and happiness in 2017.

    1. Thank you Gail, I wish the same to you and all those you love. xo

  11. diane trahan

    I love the vintage Christmas decorations.
    I hope you have a blessed Christmas.

  12. Lorraine

    Wouldn’t it be fun to go back in time and see the little girl who received this beautiful doll many years ago. I can remember 60 plus years ago finding a baby doll underneath the Christmas tree. I can still feel the joy of receiving her.

    1. Lorraine, it would!! I love your remembering, I can remember receiving a little table and chairs in Europe, it is such a magical memory, isn’t it, as a child, to find that one special gift under the tree!

  13. The Noel doll is just beautiful! The vintage Christmas decorations remind me of my childhood. Your blog is so inspiring. Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

  14. Leslie Flippin

    The reindeer are fantastic. My husband had one when he was a little boy and we still have it. We hang it on the Christmas tree each Christmas. It means so much to him. I love the Noel doll. During World WarII my Uncle would bring me Walking Dolls from Germany. The dolls were as big as I was. I love your blog. Thank you for sharing.

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