Shiny glass baubles used to decorate Christmas trees in the holiday season originated in the German village of Lauscha, a center of glass-making since the 16th century. In the 19th century Laushca’s glass centers invented the first glass Christmas tree ornaments which became popular exports, particularly so when in 1846 glass ornaments were used to decorate Queen Victoria’s Christmas tree. In addition to baubles, silver tinsel also originated from the same German region. Original glass tree ornaments were blown in the shape of nuts and fruits, and featured lead or mercury inside to give a silvery look.
Christmas trees have a long history of bearing decorations, far preceding the invention of glass baubles. Original decorations were offerings to appease mythological gods and adapted to Christian religious symbolism in the 8th century. The earliest trees would be adorned with apples and flowers, and then this progressed to religious symbols such as stars, candles, wreaths and shepherd’s canes. With the advent of glass baubles as ornaments the symbolism continued in a more decorative form.
Today glass Christmas tree ornaments are still manufactured in Lauscha and the Krebs Glas Laushca factory outlet is open to visitors who can experience a tour with a glass ornament blower and a glass painter demonstrating original techniques. Over five thousand glass ornaments are displayed in the factory outlet. If a trip to Germany isn’t planned glass Christmas tree ornaments can be purchased from the Krebs Glas online store. Their vast range of decorated baubles includes red Christmas balls decorated with white snowflakes, snow white balls decorated with penguins, translucent gold balls with metallic starbursts, silver pearl balls with holly leaves, and emerald green balls decorated with reindeers.
Hand blown glass baubles from Lauscha are treasured pieces to be carefully stored in tissue paper when the tree comes down and passed down as precious family heirlooms.
In addition to glass baubles to hang from the Christmas tree Krebs Glas also produces beautiful seasonal glass figurines and practical ornaments to add to the festive vibe.
There are place card holders modelled on Christmas tree baubles
and a glass chef holding a blackboard. There are wonderful Christmas tree ornamental glass toppers to provide a focal feature, such as this old fashioned gold double ball tree topper.
The hand pained detail on these Christmas ornaments is amazing. There is a Russian Santa dressed in red robes with glitter gold embellishments, holding exquisitely painted Christmas parcels
and a wonderful mouthblown owl with meticulously hand painted eye details.
The company also specializes in fairy tale collections epitomizing the heritage of the region. The glass ornaments make beautiful Christmas presents with new pieces added to a collection each year.
If you are tempted to visit Lauscha, the birthplace of the glass Christmas tree bauble, then make it a Christmas visit so you can enjoy the town’s Kuglemarkt Christmas market featuring glass baubles. A trip to the town’s Museum of Glass Art with its glass-blowing workshop demonstrating traditional techniques is another must see spot.