Wednesday, November 13

Victorian Christmas lights

Back in the day, Christmas trees were lit with glass candle holders officially called Victorian illumination lights.  Most of these were from England and made during the early 1880's.  Because of the fire hazard, they were only lit for Christmas Eve.

The lights were made in beautiful colors -- some out of milk glass and others clear.  My father collected these and I am now the happy owner of 11 of these lights.  Daddy used tree lights on a string and placed a few inside each glass which made the colors show up and cast shadows all over the room.  Mine hang year round and are displayed where the sunlight can reflect the colors.  I love the history of these "fairy lights", their age and the fact that my dad enjoyed them so much.  He put the wires on these and I have left them there as part of their history for my daughter who will own them one day.  As with some of the other glass items that I posted previously, these are not as primitive as many of my things but I really appreciate their beauty and artistry.

Fast forward 120 years and some genius has invented the small battery operated votive lights -- I place one inside each of these antique "fairy lights" and they glow for over 24 hours and are completely safe!

I look for these at every antique show, shop or flea market that I go to but rarely find them.  They were fragile and easily broken and perhaps were damaged trying to store them from year to year.  I can't imagine the number of homes that must have had fires from these candles hanging on the branches of dry trees.  Scary!

Share with Tweak It Tuesday #65  Show and Tell Friday


  1. I go to a Christmas tea every year at an old plantation home here in East Texas. The owner has a wonderful collection of fairy lights and I always enjoy seeing them again. You don't see or hear about them very often so you are so fortunate to have some heirloom ones from your father.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to view my post. I haven't seen any of these lights for years and I am always on the look-out for them.