Easter Collectibles Stir Sweet Memories

Ohio Art made this brighly colored metal bunny pulling a cart.

Though not as plentiful as Christmas collectibles, Easter items are a collectible category in their own right. In fact, rabbits stand alone as a collectible and include the whole gamut such as: stuffed, plastic, glass, pewter and paper-mache bunnies.

Germany made the first composition candy containers in the shapes of Easter rabbits, ducks and chicks. These lovely old candy containers and statues are today sought after in antiques shops and secondhand stores everywhere. Germany continued to be tops until World War II. And today’s collectors recognize the quality found in these antique novelties.

The items in today’s column include a lovely paper-mache bunny that stands about 9 inches tall and reminds me of some of my favorite children books, the tales of Beatrice Potter. Pastel painted, it was made in Germany and might be worth as much as $100 to an avid collector if it is in perfect shape.

Another item shown today is newer, the Ohio Art metal rabbit pulling a cart. This Easter toy remains in great shape today and is colorful and perky looking.

Just as lovely is the heavy glass candy dish that looks like a rabbit with a backpack strapped to his shoulders. Dating to the mid-20th century, this glass dish is an example of the many rabbit images produced in glass over the last 100 years or so.

Others have included cake pans, vegetable tureens and toothpick holders. According to the experts, rabbits with painted-on clothes or attached fabric clothes bring more than the plain brown or white bunnies. With paper items especially, the bunnies must be in mint or near mint condition to be valuable.

Rabbits are more desirable than chicks and ducks to most collectors, by the way.

The composition Easter egg shown in today’s column is also German made and includes straw inside to hide treats in. I recall my mother having several of these and I still own one that I display on my mantle during the Easter season.

Spun sugar eggs are cool too and these charming eggs feature a hole in one end of a pretty sugar egg, with a miniature scene inside for a child to enjoy. These are one of my favorite Easter treasures. I had an old one from my childhood that broke after dozens of years of use and was pleased to find a newer version to replace it now in my collection.

Another fun Easter collectible is postcards. The art and illustrations on antique postcards is beyond compare! Beautiful religious images, sweet family scenes and whimsical animal illustrations make antique Easter postcards fun to display and enjoy. Plus, these Easter traditions are inexpensive to buy!

Other paper items like animal stand-ups with honeycomb paper bases also populate the antique Easter world. Garlands, foldout cards, paper cutouts – just about any spring like decoration from the past excite these Easter enthusiasts.

And of course, vintage cookie cutters are great too.

eBay lists a surprising number of Easter decorations that include truly antique items along with much more recent items like the melted plastic popcorn window decor so popular in the 1970s that is back in style with fans of kitsch.

So decide what you like and have some fun amassing your own personal springtime menagerie! Happy Easter everyone!

For comments or suggestions on local treasures to be featured in Antique of the Week, Maureen Zambito can be reached via email at zambitomaureen@hotmail.com or by writing in care of this newspaper.

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