Is this the world's oldest decoration?

At more than 130 years old, this beautiful silver bauble could be one of the world's oldest festive decorations.

Grandmother-of-three Annabel Smith told us the story of the bauble – a family heirloom dating back to the 1870s – after our story last Friday about a pair of wooden dolls dating back 111 years.

Mrs Smith's grandfather John Swann was the original owner of the glass bauble, which she now hangs in the window of her house in Headingley, Leeds, every year.

The 77-year-old said: "The story goes that my grandfather was only a baby and he would see this bauble hanging in a shop window.

"He would cry out for it everytime he went past and his parents bought him it for Christmas. It has been in my family ever since."

John Swann died in 1937 and the bauble was passed to his widow – Mrs Smith's grandmother – who died 36 years later, in 1973.

The bauble then went to Mrs Smith's mother – who came to live with her that same year – and has remained with Mrs Smith since her mother died in 1981.

The grandmother added: "I think I will pass it onto my daughter when I go. It's been in the family for a long time and I'm very proud of that.

"It's very distinctive and people always notice it. We take good care of it because it's so old and it belonged to my grandfather.

"I've made a special box to keep it in as it was only stored in paper before and I want to keep it as good a condition as I possibly can."

As reported in the YEP last week, Sheila Hey, from Flockton, near Wakefield, is the owner of a pair of 111-year-old wooden dolls which decorate her tree every year.

The historic dolls – a boy and a girl – were brought by Mrs Hey's mother-in-law Mary Robinson to England in 1899 from South Africa.

Mary was born South Africa in 1895 and lived there with her parents and her brother Charles before returning to Yorkshire at the start of the second Boer War.

Mrs Hey, 64, fondly remembers the dolls on her mother-in-law's Christmas tree and they were then passed on to her husband Robin, 73, following his mother's death.

Mrs Hey said: "We took over the family tradition in 1967 and the two little figures have been hanging on our tree ever since.

"One's a little boy and the other a girl with moveable legs.

"My husband always remembers them hanging on the family tree. They are in great condition for being well over 100 years old, no serious damage."

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