Object of the month: Christmas decoration from 1944

Monthly Artifacts
Christmas decoration from 1944.

At first glance this Christmas tree decoration doesn't look particularly impressive. Perhaps it was made by some well-intentioned child at a Christmas workshop?

Home-made Christmas decorations are not exactly bursting the archives of museum collections. There are several reasons for this. Even though a wealth of Christmas decorations have been made through the years, it is mainly the decorations bought in shops that have been held on to. These have been regarded by the owner as being more valuable and is also more likely to survive for Christmas after Christmas. Bought decorations are seldom made of fragile paper, inferior glue and tinsel that falls apart. And for museums it is easy to overlook everyday things when we collect objects, and very often their value is not appreciated until long after they have been used and are gone.

This decoration is from 1944, and was used in the evacuation cavern in Skillefjord. When we turn it around we can see that it is made of a cork from the State Wine and Liquor Monopoly shop, and bears witness to people's creativity and the need to recycle. When I searched for information about Christmas decorations of the 1940s, I found an internet article by Geir Neverdal in Sel History Society. It included a picture of an almost exact copy of this month's object as an example of home-made Christmas decorations which were sold in Syver Holen's shop in Sel during the war years. Whether our example has made the long journey here from a shop in Sel, or whether this cork decoration was quite common at the time, we do not know.

At the museum you can see the object of the month on display alongside other Christmas decorations which also brightened the evacuation cavern in Skillefjord in 1944.


Anne Klippenvåg Pettersen - curator