Hot Air Balloon Shaped Christmas Ornament

Holiday or Christmas ornament, in the shape of an aerostat or hot air balloon. Free-blown glass, unsilvered, pink balloon shape at top of ornament, with smaller, milky-white balloon shape at bottom, connected by long thin tube with glossy scrap paper putti attached. Paper was likely cut from a print. The entire ornament is wrapped in crinkle wire and thin coils. Metal cap attached at top with brown string tied for hanger. No mark. A reflection of the rise in popularity of hot air ballooning in the United States and Europe during the second half of the nineteenth century. This became a standard form of ornament produced during that time, into the twentieth century.
Currently not on view
Object Name
ornament, christmas tree
date made
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paper (overall material)
cotton string (hanger material)
average spatial: 6 cm x 13.5 cm; 2 3/8 in x 5 5/16 in
overall: 2 in x 5 1/4 in x 2 in; 5.08 cm x 13.335 cm x 5.08 cm
place made
place used
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Nancy M. and Robert R. Garvey, Jr.
Additional Media

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