Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Shiny Brite Encylopedia

** PRE-WARNING** There are LOTS of pictures for this post, may take awhile to load, especially if you're a poor soul that has dial-up internet still.

Okay, I've been a little under the weather as of late.  So this post has taken me awhile to compose.  Hopefully I can add to it, as I have recently purchased another Christmas tree for my house.  Couldn't pass up the 5-8' real pine trees they had on sale at the hardware store for $9.99.

Please read Barbara's original post where she asks me to respond to the question, "My question is, how many different Shiny Brites have you come across? I wonder how many different ones were made; not just colors but designs too."

Disclaimer: I am by NO MEANS an expert on the matter, but I consider myself to be a "vintage Christmas ornament hoarder."  That clearly means terribly knowledgeable in my book!  Truth be told a lot of the knowledge comes from my grandma or other relatives that acually lived during the Shiny Brite hey-day.  Some of the knowledge comes from Vintage Ornament Collector books.  Some of my knowledge comes from my own trial and error.  I do believe that, as with anything else, knowledge comes with time.

A Note of Interest: Some of the caps to these ornaments are not original.  When dealing with these fragile ornaments, a lot were broken, caps were saved and switched.  This is especially true of war era (see through) ornaments.  They usually (to my knowledge) came with a paper cap.  I only have one good paper cap and I do not use it.  I have either put new caps on, or I bought them with the newer caps.  Also, some Shiny Brites may say only "MADE IN USA" on the cap.  Some may actually say "SHINY BRITE."  There were other companies that used the "MADE IN USA" brand on their cap.  For all of these reasons, I would NOT use the cap as an identifier for a Shiny Brite.  Some folks (especially those selling on online) like to call an ornament a Shiny Brite, just because it came with that cap, or it has that a "scene" or "stencil on it.

There are many more ornaments than I could ever photograph and show you.  I have tried to capture as much of my collection as possible.  If you ever want to know if an ornament is ACTUALLY a Shiny Brite.  Just send me an email [melissasantiques AT gmail DOT com].

There are so many color combos,
some with mica,
some without,
some handpainted,
some not.

More stripes & the toy scene.

Toy scene, side 1.

Toy scene, side 2.

Some more stripes & see through.
See through was classified to be WWII era,
as silver was used for the war effort
and not for Shiny Brites.

Example of war era.

Scene ornaments:
They came in many colors:
red, gold, blue, green, purple, pink, silver.
Some even came in color combos.
They came in many sizes:
from a little over 1" in diameter
to a little over 4" in diameter.

Silent night, holy night scene.

Peace on Earth scene.

Silent Night scene.

Example of how some scenes ornament can come
in different color combos.

More scenes...

City scene

Santa & sleigh scene

Deer in forest scene.

The town scene... example of different color combos.

Many Merry Christmas scenes!

Merry Christmas scenes.

Merry Christmas scenes.

One of the shapes that Shiny Brite Made.
Many color combos.
Some handpainted, Some not.
Some with mica, some not.
Some see through (war era

A Merry Christmas scene & many 3 wisemen scenes.

My favorite ornament!  Side 1.

My favorite ornament!  Side 2.

My favorite ornament!  Side 3.

3 wisemen scene.

Example of more color combos.

Hand painted scenes.
Come from the same era as the
ornaments with hand painted stripes.

War era examples.

More scenes... Merry Christmas, Carolers, etc...

what is commonly referred to as the "UFO" shape.
Made in many color combos.
Some have mica.
Have not come across a see through one to date.
Ornament in top row, 3rd from left NOT a Shiny Brite.

War era.
Some in rough shape.

MORE stripes.

Nursery rhyme & some handpainted scenes.
There are more nursery rhyme scenes than I have shown.
I have seen several more, just do not own them.

Little Red Riding Hood.

Little Bo Peep.

Jack and Jill.

Humpty Dumpty.

The Cat and the Fiddle.

Hello snowman scene.

Snowman skiing scene.

SECOND Santa & Sleigh ornament...
"Now Dasher! Now Dancer..."

MIca scene ornaments.
Galaxy scenes.
Starry scenes.

MORE MORE MORE Merry Christmas scenes.

Night Before Christmas scene.
(This is the JUMBO XL size - about 4" diameter.)

More scenes.
(This is the JUMBO XL size - about 4" diameter.)

More scenes.
(This is the JUMBO XL size - about 4" diameter.)

Christmas Eve scene.
(This is the JUMBO XL size - about 4" diameter.)

More scenes.
(This is the JUMBO XL size - about 4" diameter.)

Commonly referred to as the "christmas tree" shape.
Available in many color combos.  Some have mica.
I have come across this in see through (war era).

Bells!  They come in lots of sizes, shapes, and color combos.

Another bell.

Examples of some indents.  Different sizes, shapes, colors.
Some have mica, some don't.
Do have a few see through (war era).

More see-through.
Stripes were popular with this type of ornament.
Probably because it was easy to hand paint.

More scenes.

Another shape.
Unfortunately he fell off the tree
and shattered in a million pieces.

More scenes.

More scenes.

More scenes.

One of my favorite scenes.
"Twas the night before Christmas!"

"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way"
and Santa & sleigh
There are so many more that
I haven't been able to capture, as I'm still putting up trees and still unpacking ornaments.  Help?


  1. Did you hear that?! It's the sound of me peeling out of my driveway on my way to your house!! (where do you live?!) ha.

    Major Shiny Brite envy right now...I love the stripes and the UFOs. And the Christmas tree shapes. And the stenciled scenes. *sigh*

  2. Ok package up all of those and send them to me. Thank You:)
    FAB collection, I am drooling, thank you for posting it!

  3. I Really enjoyed your blog hubby and I thought WE had a lot of oldies...just loved seeing your collection and some history. Thanks! A Merry Ho Ho Ho to you!

  4. Found you and love this! Thank you!!

  5. I found you also and love this. Thanks. You have a beautiful collection!!

  6. Loved to see your collection! Brought back my childhood in the 1950's. Could send you picture of my tree with Shiny-Brite decor. Unfortunately the ones I had as a child were accidentally taken to dump before a move. :( ....Rose

  7. I love that you love your Shiny Brites and still make time to share...where are your polka dots?! ;)

  8. Merry Christmas, Melissa!

    I don’t know if you still check in on this blog, but just in case...

    As a child in the mid-60s, I recall my favorite ornament. It was a pale blue and featured a mica scene of a fawn beside a tree in the forest. (Similar to the woodland scenes you show here, but just slightly different.). It may have said either, “Silent Night,” or “Peace on Earth,” bu I’m not certain.

    I believe based on the era and other examples, it must have been a Shiny Brite, but I can’t find this particular ornament anywhere on any site.

    Do you recall ever seeing an ornament like the one I’ve described, or am I simply remembering it wrong??

    Thanks so much! Have a lovely holiday season. ❤️


  9. I did a post on the plants that produced Max Eckardt's Shiny-Brites:

  10. We had a big tree filled with Shiny Bright striped balls.
    We also had the "picture" items but the stripers worked
    great to intersect the basically vertical lines of a big Balsam tree brilliantly. It was really the look of the mid 40's to early 1960's Christmas!!! It was the real America..
    we also had like 250+ c-7 1/2 lights (they would heat up the room, Rope and TONS of lead tinsle. (Before the griches
    in washington banned it) What Great memories. I still have like 50 of our original and about 50 later bought Shiney's
    on my tree today so....


  12. Hi Melissa, I LOVE this blog! I know it's been awhile since it posted, but the information is timeless and has been so helpful to me as a new collector.

    I did try to email you about an ornament I have that no one seems to be able to identify in the groups I'm in on Facebook for vintage Shiny Brites. If you're still checking that email address listed in your blog, I would love to hear if you think it's a Shiny Brite or not. Thanks so much. Susan

  13. Thanks for taking the time to do this! Wonderful collection; informative and FUN post!

  14. Your pictures were helpful in identifying some of my grandmothers ornaments. Many of them of them have significant paint peels or paint dust and can't be displayed as they are.Is there a way to refurbish them? My elderly parents want to toss them if they cannot be repainted. I look forward to your advise.

  15. I have some ornaments I inherited that are old. I do not see them here. How can I send a photo?

  16. Do you have any information on dating Shiney Brite ornaments by the design of the boxes??

  17. I'm trying to find the definitive list of all the nursery rhyme ornaments. I was told there were 12 total. I think I've seen that the 3 little pigs have 3 different ornaments (not sure if they are all the Shiny Brite version). Just wondering if you had any additional info? Love your post and pics!

  18. Melissa, great post! Is there an online source to date my ornaments?


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