The Christmas Tree of Dorothy Grant’s Family
A 103-year-old Christmas tree, originally purchased for a mere pittance in 1920, recently fetched a price of $4,328 (approximately PHP242,000) at auction on December 15, 2023. Despite its modest appearance, standing at 31 inches with 25 branches, two berries, and six mini-candle holders, the vintage tree surpassed expectations.
Hansons Auctioneers in Oxfordshire, England, where the auction took place, initially anticipated the tree to sell for only $76-$102 (PHP4,000-PHP5,000). The unexpected interest and higher bidding were attributed to the tree’s sentimental value and rich history.
The Christmas tree was first used in the home of Dorothy Grant’s family in Leicestershire, England, in 1920. Dorothy, at the age of eight, adorned the simple tree with cotton to resemble snow. Over the decades, it became the family’s cherished Christmas tree. In 2014, the tree found a new owner after Dorothy’s passing at the age of 101. Her daughter, Shirley Hall, inherited the tree, and in 2023, at the age of 84, she decided to auction this special family heirloom.
Charles Hanson, the owner of the auction house, explained the decision to sell the tree, stating that Shirley wanted to honor her mother’s memory and preserve it as a reminder of 1920s life. The tree’s unexpectedly high value was attributed to the power of nostalgia, as Dorothy’s story resonated with people who appreciated the simplicity and joy the tree brought to her family celebrations.
Hanson emphasized that the tree’s sale highlighted the enduring magic of Christmas and the significance of sentimental value over extravagance. He expressed delight for both the buyer and the seller, noting that the humblest Christmas tree in the world had found a new home. The story serves as a heartwarming reminder that the spirit of Christmas can be captured without the need for extravagance and excess.