Dresden Ornaments

A Dresden Russian Troika sleigh Christmas tree ornament with three horses and driver

p4A ItemID D9671688
A Dresden molded and painted paper ostrich Christmas tree ornament

p4A ItemID D9669601
A Dresden girl Christmas tree ornament in paper dress with wire limbs

p4A ItemID D9669593
A Dresden molded and painted paper pig Christmas tree ornament

p4A ItemID D9669585

Dresden Christmas Ornaments & Candy Containers

Dresden ornaments often have the look of metal or tin but the base materiel is typically heavy paper or cardstock (non-corrugated cardboard). The paper is machine molded in two opposite halves and joined together at the seams creating a hollow and lightweight ornament suitable for tree hanging.

Ornaments were often designed with a dual purpose in mind for use as a candy container with loops applied for hanging once the contents had been consumed. Conversely, an item may have been intended primarily as a candy container without the Christmas theme or tree hanging loop.

Molds often employ a good deal of embossing adding texture and definition to the ornaments. A variety of finishes including paint and silver or gold plating or gilt were used in addition to fabric, cord and wire being applied for realism. The paper halves were factory made in German commercial paper centers such as Dresden and Berlin while local cottage industries were employed for joining and finishing. Animal and transportation themes were popular. Production was primarily from the mid to late 1870s to circa 1920.

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