The world’s oldest artificial Christmas tree is set to be put out on display again, for it’s 124th year. It was purchased by the Parker family in 1886 and still has it’s original baubles and tinsel.
The tree is made of green raffia, stands 14 inches tall and has a base featuring the traditional Christmas icons of cherubs, the Virgin Mary and Jesus.
The tree was first authenticated by Christie’s auction house in London and then the Guinness Book of Records confirmed that the distinguished-looking ornament was indeed the oldest known artificial Christmas tree in the world.
‘It was never meant as a replacement tree, it’s ornamental,’ said Mr Parker, who was given the tree by his 88-year-old father.
‘Christmas really took off for the Victorians because of the influence of Prince Albert and the German tradition of the Tannenbaum Christmas tree.
‘This little tree would have been produced for the same reason ornaments of nativity scenes were made, as a Christmas symbol for the family.’
The tree cost only six pence when it was bought in the mid-Victorian era.
By the time it was seen by experts at the Antiques Road Show in 2005 it was valued at £1,000.