Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Decorating With Putz Sheep

I have recently fallen under the spell of the collectible Putz sheep. Building a flock of these wonderful old wooly, stick leg, German sheep can become an addiction...... so let me warn you!! I enjoyed researching Putz sheep for this blog post so I could learn all about them myself. I have gathered some images and information to share with you!

The Putz originated in Germany and the word putzen means "to decorate". The Germans were responsible for many old Christmas customs and building "Christmas cribs" were a long-standing tradition of the Moravian church, a Protestant denomination in Germany. The Moravian Putz probably had the same origin as the Christmas nativity that was set up in Christian churches at Christmas time featuring the stable at Bethlehem, with figures of the Holy Family, the infant Jesus, three kings from the Orient, oxen, a donkey, shepherds and, last but not least, SHEEP. 

Today these old nativity Putz sheep are a favorite of collectors and sought after with an unquenchable thirst. I dare any of you to leave the post unsmitten with these little guys. Enjoy!

Jennie Trein's authentic 1908 Christmas putz at the https://glencairnmuseum.org/

Building the Christmas Putz was exciting for the Moravian family. Parties were held and children would have fun searching for materials to build their Putz such as moss, ferns, gravel, and colorful stones. The culmination of the event was when the figures, animals, and these cute wooly Putz sheep, as well as the plaster variety, were added.

The Moravians brought the custom of Putz building from Germany as they migrated to America. The flocks of sheep were always very popular with children AND adults.

@hjulsager on Pinterest

The holidays are a perfect time to display your collection of Putz sheep. They are so endearing with their black dot eyes and painted on nostrils.

@bill4862 on Pinterest

Christmas villages are another traditional way to showcase a small group of Putz sheep during the holidays. These elaborate scenes can be displayed on tables, mantles and even under the tree. 

Of course you can still collect the Putz sheep to add to your nativity scene at Christmas or do as most collectors do now.....just use them in displays of your choice.

Today's collector can find a plethora of ways to feature these Putz sheep at Christmas.

@rita_2016 on pinterest

Instead of using them in nativities try displaying your Putz sheep on a tabletop with some bottle brush trees for a wintery Christmas forest scene.

Here some wooly Putz sheep have been added in to make a Christmas mantle even more charming and merry.

via Pinterest

Putz sheep are perfect when used in vignettes of Swedish /Nordic/French brocante antiques. There is something shabby and chic about these cute sheep.

via Pinterest

One thing that makes collecting Putz sheep fun and easy is the fact that you don't need much space. A shelf or small cupboard will do just fine!

Lisa Farmer- Eye For Design

My flock of Putz sheep is displayed in my kitchen in an antique carved fruitwood French estanier.

How can you not fall in love with the faces of these sweet Putz sheep?

@jolandabrocant via Pinterest

It is trendy now to decorate all through the year with your Putz sheep in little vignettes around the house.

@brocante-victoria on instagram

@jminard118 on Pinterest

Putz sheep often get passed down for generations as they become beloved reminders of Christmases past. Four of my flock came to me that way, in a box of ornaments.

Putz sheep are delightful when displayed in large groups like here in this primitive cupboard.

Mark Kimball Moulton

The solitary Putz sheep is equally endearing.

The body of a wooly Putz sheep is made of plaster or composite and wrapped in wool.

via Pinterest

Their faces are usually painted in an almost childlike naïve style.

@ninapagano46 on Pinterest

This makes the Putz sheep desirable for the primitive home interior.

Sometime you can find a Putz sheep with a bit more elegant face. These are usually more expensive.

Originally a Putz sheep would have a ribbon or colored paper band around their necks. The band would usually say "Germany".

Some are found with bells still in tact which make them more expensive.

@RuLuOz on Pinterest

Stick Legs are a feature of the German Putz sheep. Sometime they are called matchstick leg sheep.

via Pinterest

Putz sheep come in a variety of sizes. They are normally 2.5" in height but can range from 2.75" to as tall as 5"

via Pinterest

You can also find Putz sheep pulling carts. Remember Germany was known for creating wonderful old toys.

Don't forget that a Putz sheep collection can easily transform into a fun Easter scene. Here they are mixed in with some lovely old German rabbit candy boxes.

via Pinterest

How cute is this wooly Putz sheep pulling a vintage papier-mâché Easter egg.

@annasxmas via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Maybe a barnyard vignette is more to your liking. Look for an antique toy barn and collect a flock of Putz sheep to display in and around it. Looking for the perfect piece in which to display your sheep is half the fun!

These lovely little Putz sheep are affordable and can be found at antique and vintage malls, on-line selling platforms and auctions. Even estate sales are good places to look.

 Of course condition is everything and the better the condition the more valuable they are so the price goes up.

@Sharon Randall (@sharonran1) on Instagram

Since they are relatively inexpensive a collection is usually in order. They are hard to pass by as they are all different and it is fun to happen upon one you don't have.

coerdefleur on etsy.com

Putz sheep have their own individual personalities which makes them pretty irresistible to collect.
5 out of 5 sta

Like WHO could resist this guy?

Click below to see the previous blog post.

This blog post was published by Lisa Farmer

In the event that I have not credited the correct source of an image, please contact me at lisafarmerdesigns46@yahoo.com and I will be glad to correct it.

Putz sheep have own individual personalities which makes them pretty irresistible to collect.

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