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.