Old World Christmas is one of the older figural glass ornament companies in the United States and they are one of the most popular ornament companies. They have always priced their products affordably. With an extensive line of over 900 pieces introduced each year, there is something for everyone from whimsical to traditional Christmas art.
Tim and Beth Merck founded the company and are credited with reintroducing figural glass ornaments to the United States. The company was founded in 1979 and is based in Spokane, Washington. Old World Christmas cobbled together a national brand from the handcrafted production of tiny artisan companies, some of them literally cottage industries. One of its primary suppliers was Inge-Glas, a family-owned German company that let Old World control the American brand for its Santa faces and stars and dozens of other classic designs.
The earliest lines used old molds that were rescued from various locations in Germany. Each ornament was made in the traditional way, hand blown into a mold, coated with silver on the inside and traditionally hand painted on the outside. As the company expanded it’s lines it commissioned it’s own molds from designs by Beth Merck. Old World Christmas ornaments were not sold boxed and were identified only by the distinctive star hanger.
In 2000, Old World Christmas discontinued it’s relationship with the German suppliers and switched it’s production to it’s own factory located in China. They discontinued the use of the star hanger in 2001. Inge-Glas continues to use that hanger. Current designs are generally identified by a heart shaped tag with the letters “OWC” inscribed. Boxes for the ornaments are now provided separately at no cost from some dealers.
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