Christmas Bells of the World’s Great Porcelain Houses
December 10, 2009 at 6:10 am #11346AnonymousInactive
Holly in Minnesota writes:
I was wondering if you ever heard of “Christmas Bells of the World’s Great Porcelain Houses” or ” The Christmas Ornament Collectors Club”. I bought a set of 20 bells about a year and a half ago. The bells are beautiful and each comes with a certificate of authenticity and an explaination of what they are. I think I paid $40.00 for the set I thought it was worth much more than that. There are bells from Ireland, France, Canada, Netherlands, Japan, England, Germany, West Germany, and Bavaria. There is also a short letter from the club that looks type written but not dated. Can you tell me anything I don’t know?
If you can help, please post a response.
This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.
December 11, 2009 at 3:09 am #15546Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
Carolyn I don’t know if this helps, or if you even wish to post it, but here’s a site that lists all 25 bells with photos of them:
This is a great way to identify bells and get an idea of their value. However, I would urge you or anyone else interested in finding the stories of bells to do a google search (I use dogpile.com as a search engine) to see what may come up. In the case of the Danbury Mint bells you are asking about, you’ll see that they go for about $20 apiece on replacements.com. If you were to search for them on ebay, you would find them for much less.
However, your question was not about buying them; it was to find out more about this series, I believe. So, now we have to hope that someone will jump in and tell us about the connection between the Danbury Mint and these porcelain houses. I presume that Danbury Mint commissioned the porcelain houses to make these bells for them and then they distributed (sold) them but I don’t know that for a fact. I’ve still got a lot to learn, too!
December 13, 2009 at 8:45 pm #15547AnonymousInactive
I want to thank Garry for his input, but I don’t think these are the same thing. The bell set I have are all Christmas ornament size bells under 3 inches in height, and most have a Christmas motif. There is no mention of Danbury Mint, but names like Poole, Harleigh, Wedgewood, Endo, Royal Mosa, Limoges Castel and many others. I am sure they could have been put together by Danbury, but no mention of them on the bells, box or paperwork. The paperwork says that they are “available exclusively from The Christmas Ornament Collector’s Club.” I did just note that the address on the letterhead is 14 Finance Drive, Danbury Conneticut. I am curious about the Ornament Club. I will do a web search and see what I can come up with. I really don’t have a clue about age either.
Let’s go back to square one! If you know something about the Christmas Ornament Collector’s Club, please let us know. If you are reluctant to post, you can always send your info to me at email@example.com and I will post it for you.
December 14, 2009 at 9:33 am #15548
I will post this one on my own. I attempted to look for the Ornament club on line. I found no information at all, so I looked up the address, there is a lock company there now. On a whim I contacted the Danbury Mint and asked if they knew anything about the set or the club.I will keep you posted on what I find out 😀 .
December 16, 2009 at 3:32 am #15545
Danbury Mint claims they have no information back that far 🙁 . I did find an Ornament club on the web and have now contacted them. Once again I will keep you posted.
December 17, 2009 at 6:54 pm #15543
Any chance of some photos? If you want you can send them to Carolyn or myself via e-mail and we can convert them for you.
It sounds like you have a different set than what we are finding so it would be interesting to figure out what exactly you have!
December 19, 2009 at 3:56 am #15544
Right now they are on my Christmas tree. I will try to photograph them and get them to Carolyn if Ican find away to get them on my E-mail 😆 .
December 19, 2009 at 6:59 am #15541
I am kind of embaressed 😳 . I took the pictures ofthe bells and relized that there are 25 of them not 20.Some day I am going to learn to count 😆 .
I will try to get to Walmart tomarrow and get them put on a disc and see if I can get them on to my e-mail.
December 22, 2009 at 7:54 pm #15542AnonymousInactive
Holly has asked me to post these 21 pictures of her set of 25 Porcelain Christmas Bells:
December 28, 2009 at 10:01 am #15540AnonymousInactive
Holly sends photos of the tags and certificate of authenticity for her Christmas Bells:
December 30, 2009 at 2:35 am #15532
I have been in search mode. I tried to call the phone number for the Christmas Ornament Club on the enclosure letter with no luck. I tried checking the internet for TCOC and found a name, address & phone number for Illinois. I tried calling the number and was unable to get through. I will continue to try and keep you all posted.
December 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm #15533
I am also making a stab at this for you. So far this is what I found:
The “Danbury Mint” is a division of MSI, that was founded in 1969 by Ted Stanley (Conneticut USA). They did NOT make collectables, but rather re-sold them (some of which were made FOR them exclusively).
So your bells have to be POST 1969.
I assume some information is on the Tags you show, possibly something about the country or bell manufacturer. I can’t read any from your photos though. Therefore I am concentrating on issue date and when they stopped selling them.
Is that what you are looking for?
December 30, 2009 at 2:17 pm #15534
I have also been approaching this from a different angle. As you have the bells, it might be easier for you to follow up.
Take each of the bells and research the manufacturer. That could give you a closer date.
For example, the Kaiser bell has the stamp “Kaiser” on it. The original stamp of “Kaiser-Porzellain” was changed in 1970 to just “Kaiser”. so that means the your bells are now later than 1970.
Here’s an interesting writeup for it and your bells in general:
So if you can find similar changes in the stamping of the other bells, you might be able to narrow down the dates!
PS. This seller appears to think that this bell was sold in 2006. Makes you wonder about Danbury Mint’s comment about not keeping records ‘that far back’. It’s only been 3 years!
December 31, 2009 at 6:13 pm #15535
The MBI makes sense because in one corner of each of the certificates is marked MBI 1987or 1988. I think that is the year they were offered. (I never said I was quick 😳 )
I think what I am looking for is some specifics about the set. What it sold for, who & how were the people “selected” to be able to buy them and what happened to “The Christmas Ornament Club” that moved them from Danbury, Connecticut.
I would assume that being a complete set would make them worth more than individual bells.
The Kaiser bell certificate says about their bell in this set “This charming bell is an original design found only in the Christmas Bells Of the World’s Great Porcelain Houses”. Each of the certificates repeats that their bell was specifically made for this set. That makes me wonder how many sets were made.
The certificate also goes on to give a history of the porcelain maker. For instance Kaiser was originally founded by August Alboth and the name was changed when his son married a daughter of the House of Kaiser which is commemorated in the company’s trademark “AK”. Which symbolized the joining of the two porcelain-making families.
Other names in the set are: Hutschenreuther, Eminence Ludwig, Jaeger, Kronach, Krautheim, Gerold Porzellan, Bareuther, Reutter, Scherzer, Parbus, Schwartzenhammer, Sunrise, Royal Tara, Royal Franconia, Endo China, Wedgewood, Harleigh, Poole, Yamakuni, Masutomi, Royal Mosa, Limoges Castel, Konig Porzellan & Lindner. I would be glad to pass on any information I have about any of these companies to anyone who wants to know about any of them.
December 31, 2009 at 6:18 pm #15536
FYI: The Kaiser bell is the first one in the second row. 😛 I had to look 😀 . Thanks for your intrest!
December 31, 2009 at 10:42 pm #15537
Humm, I have a sneaking suspicion, from what I surmise from the fact that the Danbury Mint is essentially a mail order resale company and that (from what you say) the Collector’s Club was ‘also’ based out of Danbury, that you are looking at a ‘paper club’ (i.e. probably no membership dues, or meetings etc.) that was possibly run by the Danbury Mint themselves. Likely you simply were on a registration mail list to be notified when a new bell edition came out and the mint probably produced a few new ones each year until interest waned.
It would explain why you can’t contact or find members or information of such a club right now, if it were little more than a mailing list that Danbury Mint maintained for pre-sales. As I recall, this was the Vogue back in the 80’s, and they all had a cutesy name. So your members would be anyone who wanted on the list and I some how doubt that it was exclusive – you could probably also simply buy them off the catalog too, just as you can buy other material from the website today.
The only ‘exclusive’ type clubs I can think of back then were ones like Avon who had special collection runs for those who sold the product for them. Interestingly there were also a few such as the Hummel collectors club that did the same thing, but again you had to actually pay to join. But I believe those types were the exception to the rule, tended to be for a very high end product line, and did not limit themselves to a single subset (such as Christmas bells only). Even the Hummel ones were primarily for re-sellers from what I have been able to see, hence the ‘dealer plates’ etc.
Can you group your certificates by date? For example if you find that each year only has a maximum of 6 examples, it would give you an idea as to how many ‘sets’ were made and what the total number likely is. (in my example you would be looking at one issued every couple months. If you had a year set of only 4 then you would probably be able to find two more from that year.) On the other hand,Twenty five, if all were grouped as no more than 5 of the same date, suggests a 5 year run of 5 bells, and you would have them all.
You would probably have more luck collecting information on the manufacturers themselves.
January 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm #15538
I have 5- 1987, 10-1988, 9-1989 .& 1-1990 and all but three of them are numbered (1-25) on the certificates. I think that may signify that they were sold as a set. Besides there is a dark green box that they fit into with “Christmas Bells………..” printed on the top.
I did find on line an address for The Christmas Ornament Collectors Club for illinois. I called the phone number but got some odd type of tone. It wasn’t a fax or busy just kind of a beep. I e-mailed someone and asked about the bells but have not yet gotten any answer. You may be complely right about their membership but I think I will continue to try to contact them. You never know what persistance will reap 😆 .
Thank-you for your insight I appreciate it.
January 16, 2010 at 8:35 am #15531
Here’s the latest update on the christmas bells saga. Thanks to Carolyn I was able to contact another ABA member who has a collection of similar bells she purchased in the 1980’s from “The Bell Collectors Club”. She said she has a different type of display case and thought there were 30 or so bells, though not christmas bells. She thought she paid $18-$20 each for them and when she had completed her set she discontinued her membership.
I have concluded that Garry is most definately right about the “Club” thing. Most likely they were an “on paper” type club solely for the purpose of selling these sets of bells. Once the bell orders dried up so did the club.
Questions still remain, however. I am still curious as to how many of these full collections are out there and what their current value is as they (in my opinion) look to be high quality bells.
I am open to any suggestions and/or discussions anyone has toward this subject.
Much thanks to Garry & Carolyn
January 16, 2010 at 10:38 pm #15539
Absolutely quality pieces! Look at the factories that made them!
It was a very interesting idea, they get pieces made for them, one each from the major factories of the world. The factories get to show off their work and essentially get ‘free’ advertising to people who might not ordinarily think to buy their product. So you get a unique piece and a taste of each factory’s workmanship targeted to buyers of your type of wares!
Wish I had thought of it!
They appear to have done this in two types of bell styles, the ones I found with handles and the ones you own which hang from loops. It will be interesting to try and get prices on it – I’d watch the auction sites for that.
There is another thing you might try, and it might possibly give you more bells for your collection! Because it involves a retail site and bell sales, I’ll send the idea to you via e-mail.
Good luck with it!
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