Just a short post today to show off one of our late 19th century Christmas tree ornaments, part of a large collection donated by sisters Martha and Katherine Poole.  The Pooles were descended from the family that founded Poolesville, but as children (Martha was born in 1890, Kitty in 1891) they and their family lived part of the time in DC and part in Rockville.  The ornaments they donated are handmade, of tinsel, glass beads, spun glass, pressed cardboard, chromolithograph ‘scrap’ pictures, and even napkins and wrapping paper.  (This one, 8.75″ long, is two kinds of tinsel and a glass bead (possibly a broken ornament or part of a string of beads, reused), with a wire hook.)  Some pieces in the collection, like the one pictured here, were trendy in the 1880s-1890s; others were more popular in the 1910s and 1920s.  A few are mended with tape, or are missing bits altogether. Although we didn’t get a specific story from the sisters, I imagine these ornaments were accumulated and enjoyed throughout their childhood, and carefully saved for their adult celebrations.

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