Thursday, April 21, 2011

Which Comes First-Chicken or Egg?

    In this case, the EGG. Victorian hand blown opaque milk glass Easter eggs. Back at the turn of the century these eggs were useful-(Victorian multi- tasking).After Easter when these eggs would have been given as a present, you could put one in a holey sock and the darling needed to repair the hole was much easier. Also if your hens were in a snit and not laying,one could put these eggs under the hen then she would produce. That is the smaller sized ones!These days,I am not much into darning socks,also have no chickens , so I just like collecting these eggs.

One of my favorite things, a French wire egg holder.

Some eggs have blown raised design like the horse shoe on the  egg above. These were blown into a mold and are not as common as the plain eggs.

     The custom of offering Easter eggs has been around for many years. Although there were some earlier societies that gave eggs as gifts at Easter time, the practice was started in 18th century Europe. By the end of the 19th century, a variety of artificial eggs was being made. In Germany,paper mache and card board eggs with hand painted designs were the rage.  Here in America the first known artificial Easter egg was the hand blown milk glass egg. It soon became a cottage industry. The men would blow the eggs using a hot furnace and a rod.Some where blown into a mold while others were blown free hand.  The ladies would hand paint and decorate them. They used water based paint and usually this media has not stood up well to the times and many examples are  missing much of the paint. This is usually because people tend to wash them and rub hard, when a soft dry cloth would usually do the trick The missing paint never bothered me, just added to their charm.

The small horse she design on the center egg is also raised .
I love them when they are all in a pile like this.

This is the pontil, where the egg was cut from the glass rod after  being blown.

    Nothing could be more an Easter Tradition than an egg.The Egyptians,Persians and Hindus all believed that the world began with an enormous egg, this the egg was a symbol of new life, has been around for eons. Edward 1 spent 18 pence to have eggs gold leafed and colored for easter gifts. The first mention of Easter eggs in a book was written over 500 years ago. North Africa tribes had a custom of coloring eggs much earlier than that.

This was a very good artist that painted these two birds.

   Easter eggs are special eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime.The egg is a pagan symbol of the rebirth of the Earth in celebration of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ.The first dyed eggs were red to represent the blood of Christ, shed on the cross. The hard shell of the egg symbolized the sealed tomb of Christ. The cracking of which symbolized the resurrection from the dead. Legend is that Mary brought  cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned red when she saw that Christ had risen. Another legend is that Mary went to the emperor of Rome and greeted him with,"Christ is Risen", where upon he pointed to an egg on the table and stated,"Christ has no more risen than that egg is red", after making this statement, it is said that the egg turned blood red.

Don't you just love this sweet chicken?

Sometime in the very large eggs life some one added a decal.

   The egg has long been a symbol of,"fertility" and the,"begining".17th and 18th centuries saw the manufacturing of eggs to give to children to celebrate Easter. The Victorian Glass egg was one of many forms produces in those years.
  The Victorian glass eggs were made by hand and sold in General store, larger department store, traveling salesmen  wagons and from mail order catalogs. The good thing about them was that they would last for ever, had to only buy them once and would become a tradition where they were used every year. They were usually stored in the china cabinet along with the other family treasures. I started collecting these eggs many years ago for my country kitchen. I would  get a bunch, sell them off and usually end up starting all over again. I don't know why I sell anything, as I usually can't stand it and just end up buying more. You do not see these eggs all the time, but somehow they seem to come out of the woodwork around Easter. I looked on Ebay yesterday and there was a long list of them. They range in price from a few dollars to almost 100 dollars. Some of the paint and decorations are in better condition than the others. I have a standing rule that I will not pay more than $20.00 for one. I buy them when I see them all year long. They are usually at a better price when it is not Easter time. I keep mine in an old copper boiler on the floor in the kitchen. When I give tours they always catch peoples eyes and attention. Usually they come out and adorn my Easter table. I am having my family this year so will have to go all out, look for that post next week.

   I hope you all enjoy my Victorian Glass eggs as much as I do. I hope you all have a wonderful,safe and glorious Easter. Please come by any time for a tour. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss.

The one with the baby chick coming out  was made in various sizes. Again blown into a two part mold.


lvroftiques said...

They're wonderful Richard! I have to say I've never seen them around here. Now that you've opened my eyes I'll probably start to see them all over *winks* Nice to know if I don't there's always ebay!*winks* Vanna

Marcia said...

I haven't seen them, either, but now I will start looking for them. They are great! Thank you for another educational and picturesque blog. Happy Easter!

Sissysmom said...

Great info! I have seen a few of these, but I think you have cornered the market. Such a variety of sizes! Hope your Easter is a great time with family. Give Sissy Dog an extra pat on the head from me.

xinex said...

Pretty neat collection, Richard, and you sure have a lot!...Christine

Bohemian said...

I just knew you'd have a great collection and story for Easter about the collection! I learn something new each time I visit. I don't believe I've ever seen these type of Eggs, they are lovely.

Dawn... The Bohemian

Sarah said...

Richard, you have an interesting collection here. I've never seen an example of these Victorian eggs. Thanks for sharing all the information and the great photos. My favorite was the chicken. Then you showed the chick hatching. Now it's a toss up. LOL
I have a collection of hand painted eggs that I shared recently. Stop by to visit in you are interested. It's the April 15th post on my sidebar.
Happy Easter! ~ Sarah

Holt House said...

Great collection, don't think I've ever seen those either, thanks for all the great information to go along with it! Happy Easter!

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Wow, I've never seen Victorian glass eggs before, either! They are a very cool decoration for Easter! Those Victorians thought of everything. You have quite a collection. Thanks for sharing, and for the great history lesson too!


Bohemian said...

Oh Richard... if you do make some Doily Tops to sell on Etsy let me know, I love wearing them... so comfy and a great way to repurpose lovely old crocheted pieces... and don't forget to make them in Real Women sizes! *winks* I'm so weary of the Fashion Industry only catering to size 6's... those diminutive sizes are more the exception than the rule... most Gals I see are BMW's just like moi! *LOL*

Have a Blessed Easter... Dawn... The Bohemian

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter, Richard!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Richard, What a wonderful collection of Victorian eggs. They are all beautiful and I especially love the hatching chick. Have a wonderful Easter!

Bama Planter said...

Richard, this is a wonderful post. I have never seen these before. I have chicken feeders and chicken coops but nary an egg like this on my old plantation. Marshel ( bamaplanter)

Tea in Texas said...

Great post on the antique Easter eggs and traditions. I have seen glass eggs in my Granny's chicken house but never knew about the Easter eggs. I hope you survived the storms in Missouri.

we three dogs and me said...

What a beautiful home. Your chandy I love love love. Your party looks yummy.They all looked happy.

Sher Schwartz said...

Hello-- Very interesting post about the Victorian glass eggs. My husband and I are restoring an old barn, and we found a few of these eggs perfectly preserved in our barn circa 1860s.

I didn't quite understand how they were used for darning socks. Did you drop the eggs inside the sock so that the white would shine through and the holes could be seen more easily?

Also, what about ducks eggs--were glass eggs used for ducks to encourage them to lay or were they used only for chickens.

I know for pigeons, eggs were used to stop them from laying. Thank you, Sher

Unknown said...

Very Nice Blog !
I Like This Very Much.
Methods of Modern Farming
How to build a poultry house

Malinda Tamlyn said...

I love the antique milk glass Easter eggs. I have collected quite a few over the years and I enjoy displaying them at Easter time.

Unknown said...

Happy Easter 2013. My husband and I started collecting these Blown Glass Easter Eggs since we married in 1993. He had gotten a few of his mothers collection when she passed. We have found most of ours on ebay and now have about 45. I was looking for the history of them when I ran across your article. Thank You.

Unknown said...

This is wonderful I have been trying to find the history of my egg for 40 years. It came from my father to me, wrapped in his Grandpa's gray flannel night cap. His mother died when he was 5 and it was given to him by his aunt. I am 67 and it still lives in that night cap, n my dresser drawer. I have asked at many antique places along the way, and no one knew. Now I know it is an Easter egg, with very little paint left. It's a treasure to me.

Unknown said...

I have a 12 inch milk glass egg that has been in my family since the 1890s. My family came over from Germany, so the is certainly a history behind it! I am looking to sell it. Do you have any suggestions on who to contact regarding selling it? Thank you.