Look out! Santa will be at Hansons soon - complete with festive crackers

Posted on 07/11/2018 in Press Coverage

It’s never too early to dress up as Santa, is it? I hope not because I’ll be sporting a Santa suit courtesy of our fabulous vintage costumes and textiles valuer Notty Hornblower this week, writes Charles Hanson.

Notty owns Hope House Costume Museum in Alstonefield, near Ashbourne, and at this time of year she’s the lady I depend on to add some classic Dickensian flavour to Christmas festivities.

And that’s exactly what we need right now because on Thursday, November 15, for the second year running, BBC Bargain Hunt is filming its Christmas Special at Hansons.

That means its yuletide jumpers at the ready - and don’t forget the Santa hats. So many visitors are already due at our Etwall saleroom to watch the show being filmed, there’s no room for more on the big day, so please don’t turn up only to be disappointed.

But a few weeks from now you can sit back in front of a roaring fire and watch the good folk of Derbyshire inject some magic into the Christmas TV schedules.

Bargain Hunt fans will love it, not least because some of the lots due to go under the hammer have a festive flavour – and we’d love to see more. There’s still time to dig out those vintage Christmas crackers in time for our December auctions.

Talking of which, one fascinating lot for sale on November 15 is a dozen Christmas crackers from the 1920s featuring gnome character decorations. Inside are the usual hats, toys and novelties and all is housed in an Art Deco design box.

They’re smaller in size than the standard crackers we use today but equally colourful and fun. They have an estimate of £30-£50.

And if you love a chocolate Christmas Santa, why not make your own? In the same auction is an aluminium Santa chocolate mould, circa 1950s, estimate £20-£40.

Making a Christmas cake? We’re also selling some vintage 1930s Santa cake decorations, estimate £30-£50.

It’s wonderful to see vintage festive items. Many families keep tree decorations for decades, adding to them each year, and this sparks nostalgia galore when we come to dress the tree.

This time last year one of the UK’s first artificial Christmas trees - found in a Derby garage - made headlines across the UK. The 1930s tree, bought at Woolworths for sixpence, sold for £420 to the American Christmas Tree Association.

I’ll never forget the look of astonishment on the face of our lovely vendor, Jean Rigby, when the hammer fell and I announced the tree was going to Texas. She kindly donated the money raised from selling the tree to the Great Ormond Street Hospital’s children’s cancer charity. That’s what you call Christmas spirit.

Got a Christmas cracker in the closet – an item that could deliver you a festive windfall? Entries are invited for our Christmas Fine Art and Jewellery Auction until November 20. We welcome jewellery, watches, silver, Asian Art, clocks, fine rugs, wine and whisky, fine art paintings, antiquarian books and more.

Join us at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall for free jewellery and silver valuations on Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am-4pm and free general valuations on Wednesdays, 5-7pm, Fridays, 10am-4pm, and Saturdays, 9am-noon. Plus, our valuers are at Fairways Garden Centre, Clifton, Ashbourne, every Monday, 2.30-4pm. To find out more, visit