Clara Johnson Scroggins
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Clara Johnson Scroggins
Clara Johnson Scroggins
Born(1931-01-01)January 1, 1931
Arkansas, United States
DiedDecember 19, 2019(2019-12-19) (aged 88)
Florida, United States
NationalityAmerican
OccupationAuthor, collector, fashion model and broadcast journalist[1]
Edwin Redfern
(m. 1969; d. 1972)
Joe Scroggins, Jr.
(m. 1974; died 2008)

Clara Johnson Scroggins was recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on collecting Christmas ornaments and acknowledged to have the most extensive collection of Christmas ornaments in the United States.[2][3][4]

Biography

Scroggins started collecting ornaments in 1972 following the unexpected and sudden death of her then-husband from a cerebral hemorrhage a few weeks before Christmas. She recounted that she "needed something to really consume me, to help me." In a jewelry store she purchased a second edition Reed and Barton silver Christmas cross and started researching how to obtain a first edition one. By the following year, Scroggins's had collected nearly 1,000 silver and silverplated ornaments from past years and editions.[5] Through meetings with secondary market dealers and other collectors, she learned about ornament values and eventually documented ornament history.[6]

Scroggins's collection grew to 40,000 Christmas ornaments, from manufacturers such as Hallmark Cards, American Greetings, Bacarrat, Cartier, Enesco, Gucci, Lenox, Orrefors, Pfaltzgraff, Precious Moments, Rosenthal, Royal Doulton, Tiffany, Waterford, Wedgewood and materials including German keugel or blown-glass, porcelain, pewter, tin, paper, and crystal.[7][8][9][10] Many ornaments in the collection are from Europe, particularly Germany.[11] By 1994, Scroggins's ornament collection numbered 250,000 pieces.[12]

Scroggins was the author of a number of books about Christmas ornament collecting, values and history. She focused her writing on ornaments from Hallmark Cards because they were the most popular at the time.[13]

In 1973, Hallmark Cards started manufacturing Christmas ornaments. The first collection of 18 ornaments, including six glass ball ornaments.[14] Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments are dated and available for just one year. In 1996, the ornament industry generated $2.4 billion in total annual sales, an increase of 25% over the previous year. Industry experts estimated more than 22 million US households collected Christmas ornaments, and that 75% of those households collected Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments.[15] By 1998, 11 million American households collected Hallmark ornaments, and 250,000 people were members of the Keepsake Ornament Collector's Club.[16] There were as many as 400 local Keepsake Ornament Collector's Club chapters in the US.[17]

Scroggins was instrumental in influencing Hallmark Cards to introduce African American-themed ornaments, including its first Black Christmas ornament, "Cheerful Santa" in 1992.[18] She also wrote an ornament column for Collector's Mart - The Magazine of Art Collectibles.[19][20]

Publications

Books by Clara Johnson Scroggins
Title Published Publisher OCLC Notes
Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: A Collector's Guide, 1994-1998 1998 Meredith Integrated Marketing, Des Moines, IA OCLC 40227648 25th Anniversary of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, 192 pages.
Silver Christmas Ornaments: A Collector' Guide 1980 A.S. Barnes, San Diego, CA OCLC 5029287 24 silver collections highlighted, including Reed and Barton, The Franklin Mint, Lunt Silversmiths, and The Smithsonian Collection made by Stieff, 197 pages.
Collector's Value Guide Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: Secondary Market Price Guide & Collector Handbook 1999 CheckerBee Pub, Middletown, CT OCLC 797142383 Jeff Mahony, Managing Editor, Foreword by Scroggins. 367 pages.
Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: A Collector's Guide : 1973-1993 the First Twenty Years 1998 Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO OCLC 40554873 20th Anniversary of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, 480 pages.
Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: A Collector's Guide 1991 Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO OCLC 24465598 Features Hallmark ornaments from 1973-1991, 361 pages.
Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: Also Featuring Merry Miniatures, Kiddie Car Classics 1998 Collectors' Pub. Co., Meriden, CT OCLC 973163769 Jeff Mahony, Managing Editor, Foreword by Scroggins. 349 pages.
Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: A Collector's Guide. 4th Edition 1989 Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO OCLC 29478341 281 pages.
Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: A Collector's Guide. 2nd Edition 1985 Wallace-Homestead Book Co., Des Moines, Iowa OCLC 990756251 Featuring ornaments from 1973-1985, 158 pages.
Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: A Collector's Guide. 3rd Edition 1987 Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO OCLC 17341277 207 pages.

References

  1. ^ "Christmas decorating is no problem; Ornament collection numbers 22,000". The Los Angeles Times. 15 December 1983. p. I41.
  2. ^ Robinson, Ruth (12 December 1982). "DATED ORNAMENTS ON COLLECTORS' LIST". New York Times. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Talley, Olive (11 December 1983). "She goes to the bank before decking the halls". The Hartford Courant. p. E9.
  4. ^ Scott, Ruth (15 December 1987). "Christmas ornament collection: A keepsake for friends & family". Atlanta Daily World. p. 2.
  5. ^ Kelly, Katy (24 Dec 1992). "Holly Jolly Hang-ups: Ornaments Aplenty Light Up Her Life". USA Today. p. 1D.
  6. ^ Williams, Lynn (22 Dec 1985). "Collectors of ornaments deck their halls with history at Newspapers.com". The Baltimore Sun. p. IN. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Hotton, Peter (13 December 1987). "Trees not only light up, but move and sing". The Boston Globe. p. B43.
  8. ^ Soble, Ronald (10 December 1987). "1850-1930s mechanical banks still draw interest". The Los Angeles Times. p. F22.
  9. ^ Hagerty, Brigid (25 December 1992). "Christmas grows on trees for collector". Tampa Bay Times. St. Petersburg, FL. p. 59.
  10. ^ Kelly, Katy (24 Dec 1992). "Holly Jolly Hang-ups: Ornaments Aplenty Light Up Her Life". USA Today. p. 1D.
  11. ^ Soble, Ronald (10 December 1987). "1850-1930s mechanical banks still draw interest". The Los Angeles Times. p. F22.
  12. ^ Lignitz, Amy (15 December 1994). "Decorating the Christmas tree is big business". The Los Angeles Times. p. 10.
  13. ^ Werne, Jo (23 December 1985). "Hooked on the holidays. Christmas ornaments are a year-round preoccupation for Houston woman". The Poughkeepsie Journal. p. 13A.
  14. ^ Andersen, Erin (21 December 1998). "Lincoln Journal Star at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ Jones, John Philip (1999). "The Case for Collectible Brands by Jan S. Slater". How to use advertising to build strong brands. SAGE. p. 259. ISBN 9781452231396. OCLC 894769418. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ Andersen, Erin (21 December 1998). "Lincoln Journal Star at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com (17). Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ Barrs, Jennifer (23 Jul 1998). "Collecting Memories: Ornament collectors begin the hunt early". The Tampa Tribune at Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "200,000 and counting: Tampa woman's collection of Christmas ornaments worth more than $2 mil". Jet. 85 (9): 12. 27 December 1993.
  19. ^ Barris, Jennifer (23 July 1998). "Collecting memories". The Tampa Tribune. Florida. p. 17.
  20. ^ Kelly, Katy (24 Dec 1992). "Holly Jolly Hang-ups: Ornaments Aplenty Light Up Her Life". USA Today.

External References

Clara Johnson Scroggins in libraries (WorldCat catalog) [1]

  1. ^ "Clara Scroggins Obituary - Visitation & Funeral Information". www.tributearchive.com. Retrieved 2020.

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