Cottontail collectibles are every bit as adorable -- and abundant -- as bunnies themselves. For more than a century, rabbits have been a motif for springtime goodies, be they vases for daffodils or stuffed toys in an Easter basket. Rabbits' longtime association with spring started with the Easter bunny. Protestants in Europe celebrated the iconic figure as early as the 17th century, but the custom became more common in the 19th century when German emigrants to Pennsylvania brought the tradition of the Osterhase, or Easter hare, to U.S. shores in the early 1800s. In their tale, the multitasking, multitalented Easter bunny not only lays eggs, but also decorates and delivers them. Here is a look at some bunny collectibles going back more than a century, with cameos by a few living, breathing, highly lovable little guys and gals.
Putz houses were popular through much of the 20th century and remain easy to find today -- though they often need a little fixing up. Look for them online and from dealers who specialize in holiday collectibles. You can also find new versions or even make your own (get our templates and how-tos).
We love old glass bottles because of their quirks -- the trapped bubbles, the swirls of sediment, the color variations. Most of these changes came slowly, and the glass containers that result -- such as this molded demijohn made in the 1880s -- create a timeline of American ingenuity. To learn how to read history through the bottles you'll encounter at flea markets (including a glossary of terms) read on.