Christmas Tree Stand Collecting by Harry Heissmann
Thursday Morning at Stair
November 19 at 11am ONLINE
I’ve always been very excited about Christmas and everything related to it. As an interior designer, of course slightly biased, I’m particularly interested in the decorating part, the more vintage the items the better. I discovered antique and vintage German cast iron Christmas tree stands almost 30 years ago.
I say German as that’s where most of them originated, mainly in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) region, home of mining and foundries. Shortly after the borders to the former East Germany opened in the early 1990s, I was studying Interior Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. The markets would be filled with items found in the East German basements and attics. A friend with an antique store would take me to the open air flea markets in the Bavarian country side. And there, on fields and pastures with little onion domed churches as a backdrop, we would look for treasures, often armed with a flashlight to illuminate ‘candidates’ in the early morning hours.
The first Christmas tree stand I bought was a Jugendstil , the German equivalent of Art Nouveau, model with irises, a model similar to one in the November 19 auction, and I’ve been hooked ever since. My first collection of stands was sold at a department store in Munich, providing much needed funds for my move to New York. Now people contact me online to offer me stands.
Except for some custom or one-off examples, I dare to say I have seen or owned most models ever made, still hunting a few ‘holy grail’ pieces I know exist, while scaling down my existing collection, editing and selecting and curating – just like you would expect from an interior designer. It’s in our DNA.
And what fun to be able to share my excitement with others through the sale at Stair!