World’s ‘humblest’ Christmas tree, bought for pennies, sells for $4,000 at auction

The 1920s Christmas tree found in Leicestershire.

The 31-inch tree, complete with 25 branches, 12 berries and six mini candle holders, was estimated to sell for just £60-80 ($76-$102).Mark Laban/Hansons AuctioneersCNN — 

Festive magic fueled by nostalgia has been credited for the “astonishing” sale of a Christmas tree, “bought for pennies” more than a century ago, for £3,411 ($4,328) at auction on Friday.

The 31-inch tree, complete with 25 branches, 12 berries and six mini candle holders, was estimated to sell for only £60-80 ($76-$102) at auction house Hansons Auctioneers in the southeastern English county of Oxfordshire. A global bidding battle meant the final result far exceeded this, according to a press release Friday.

“The magic of Christmas lives on! The humblest Christmas tree in the world has a new home and we’re delighted for both buyer and seller,” said Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, in the release.

Dorothy Grant pictured at the age of 21 in 1933.

The Christmas tree arrived at the home of Dorothy Grant in 1920, when she was 8 years old, and was treasured until her death at age 101 in 2014.Hansons Auctioneers

The Christmas tree arrived at the home of Dorothy Grant in Leicestershire in England’s East Midlands in 1920, when she was 8 years old, and she was “wildly excited,” the auction house said in the release. She decorated it with cotton wool to mimic snow, since baubles were lavish after World War I.

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Dorothy treasured the tree until her passing at the age of 101 in 2014, following which her 84-year-old daughter, Shirley Hall, inherited it.

Shirley Hall pictured at home in Leicestershire with her mother's 1920s Christmas tree.

Shirley Hall, pictured at home in Leicestershire, England, inherited the tree from her mother at age 84.Hansons Auctioneers

“It would have been bought for pennies originally but it’s sold for thousands and that’s astonishing. I think it’s down to the power of nostalgia. Dorothy’s story resonated with people,” said Hanson.

“As simple as it was Dorothy loved that tree. It became a staple part of family celebrations for decades. The fact that it brought her such joy is humbling in itself. It reminds us that extravagance and excess are not required to capture the spirit of Christmas,” he added.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, with the humble tree.

Charles Hanson, owner of auction house Hansons Auctioneers, called the tree sale “astonishing,” adding: “I think it’s down to the power of nostalgia.”Hansons Auctioneers

Hanson suggested in the release that the tree could have been produced for an expensive London department store. Even though it resembles the first mass-produced artificial trees sold by popular department store Woolworths, he said it differs from trees sold there previously due to the red paint decoration on its wooden base.

“The seller decided to part with it to honour her mother’s memory and to ensure it survives as a humble reminder of 1920s life – a boom-to-bust decade,” he added.

A similar Christmas tree, purchased in Scotland for https://kebayangkali.com the equivalent of 6 pence (8 cents) in 1937, sold for £150 ($190) at Hansons Auctioneers in 2019, according to Hanson. Another, found in the English city of Derby, sold for £420 ($533) in 2017.

“But Dorothy’s tree has truly excelled,” he said.

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