Mrs. Claus Collectibles
It’s true that Santa Claus is considered by most as the main man throughout the Christmas holiday season. But behind every successful guy is an even more fantastic and capable woman – and in this case, it is unquestionably Mrs. Claus!
Although the origins of Santa Claus go back centuries, he is best known in America by his debut drawing by illustrator Thomas Nash which was published in Harper’s Weekly in 1863. Mrs. Claus, however, never had such a “defining” moment and appeared incrementally in Santa Claus related tales. In 1889, Mrs. Claus played a prominent role in Katharine Lee Bates’ poem “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride.” Bates, of course, also penned the words to the anthem, “America the Beautiful.” From 1889 onward, perhaps due to the popularly of Bates’ poem, Mrs. Claus has been embodied as a jolly, Rubenesque woman with white hair and a helpful, charming personality – with expertise in cookie baking, elf supervision, reindeer tending, and toy production operations management.
Although less commercialized than her husband, Mrs. Claus is a delightful Christmas icon worthy of rockstar status in her own right. Her patient and loving support clearly enables Santa to make his worldwide deliveries year after year! As such, she does have her own personal following, and is the subject for many interesting newer as well as vintage collectibles. According to Worthpoint’s Worthopedia, here are some of the more eye-catching and unusual Mrs. Claus items to sell at auction in 2017.
Katherine’s Collection 60″ Mrs. Claus Doll
A Katherine’s Collection Life Size 60″ Cuckoo Christmas Mrs. Claus Doll sold for $1039.99 in January 2017.
Katherine’s Collection is a manufacturer who specializes in designing and producing unique handmade decorative items. The company is best known for its Christmas, Halloween, spring, and fall themed collections. All editions, which are sold at top-tier department stores and luxury boutiques, are retired after one or two seasons. The company’s dolls are extremely detailed and dressed in extraordinary outfits – making them quite the statement pieces! A 60” Mrs. Claus doll with holiday-inspired red fingernails from the company’s “Cuckoo Christmas” line sold for $1,039.99 in January 2017.
“Mrs. Santa Claus” From Lladro’s “Santa’s Magical Workshop” Series
An example of the Lladro Mrs. Claus in mint condition sold for $299.99 in April 2017.
Lladro started this appealing collection of porcelain Christmas themed figurines in 2002. Editions include Santa with a puppy on his lap, an elf holding a bag of toys, an elf painting a birdhouse, a workbench, a sleeping elf, and of course, a Mrs. Claus. Her Lladro incarnation stands 10” tall, is wearing a red dress and white apron and hat, and carries a tray of fresh-baked cookies with a taste-testing squirrel for good measure. Mrs. Claus from the Santa’s Magical Workshop series was retired in 2008. An example in mint condition sold for $299.99 in April 2017.
Topps Santa Claus Autographed Card Collection
Who knew that Santa Claus and friends were part of the traditionally sports themed card collector’s universe? On November 22, 2016, Topps released their Santa Claus Holiday Set, which consisted of nine regular cards and eight “autographed” cards. This series was illustrated with a number of Santas, an elf, a reindeer, and of course, Mrs. Claus. All but one of the regular cards and one of the autographed cards featured previously released Topps holiday artwork – the vintage designs went back as far as 1957. Topps released a similar themed collection in 2007. A full 2016 holiday set with all 17 cards sold for $595.75 in January 2017.
Xenis Mrs. Claus Doll
Xenis dolls are all fully jointed and carved entirely from wood by hand. Their quality and appearance are second to none, with each one truly being a work of art. The company is family owned and run; it was started in 1995 by Marlene Xenis. Today, her two daughters are very involved in the family business. Xenis creates its own designs, interprets beloved fictional characters, and faithfully models historical icons. Xenis produced an edition of 75 Mrs. Claus dolls. They stood 24 inches tall and were dressed to the nines in a green skirt, white lace trimmed blouse, brocade girdle, and red shawl. Each was fitted with a Swiss music box that played “Its A Small World.” In April 2017, a Xenis Mrs. Claus doll sold for $400.
Betty Lou Nichols Santa and Mrs. Claus Ceramic Decanters
Betty Lou Nichols was a California ceramic artist best known for her head shaped vases in the form of idealized women with impossibly long eyelashes, big hair, and stylish (for the times) hats. Although these vases were commercially produced throughout the 1950’s, she added special detailing to each, making every one somewhat unique. She also made other decorative types of items, like ceramic planters, candlesticks, and decanters. A rare Betty Lou Nichols red and white Mr. and Mrs. Claus set of holiday decanters sold for $338 in January 2017; each was signed and featured incised and hand-painted details and applied features.
Tagged Mrs. Claus Dam Norfin Troll Doll
Dam troll dolls, known for their shocks of crazy hair and impish personalities, were invented in 1959 by Thomas Dam, a Danish fisherman and woodcutter. Unable to afford a commercial doll for his daughter for Christmas, he carved the first Dam troll from wood based on his vision of a playful companion. These troll dolls gained popularity across Europe, later becoming a huge fad in America in the early and mid 1960’s. The Toy Industry Association named Dam Trolls to its list of the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the 20th century in 2003. In October 2017, a 14” tall Mrs. Claus Dam Norfin troll doll sold for $143.95. This example, in tissue new condition, was marked “Thomas Dam, 1977, Made In Denmark” on her back.
Rebekah Kaufman is a Worthologist who specializes in vintage Steiff and other European plush collectibles. You can follow her blog, which focuses on vintage Steiff finds, Steiff antiquing and travel adventures, international Steiff happenings, and the legacy and history of the Steiff company at http://mysteifflife.blogspot.com. Sign up for her Steiff newsletter by contacting her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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