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.
If it was cute and ceramic, it was likely a Lefton. Sold at U.S. department stores after World War II, Lefton figurines and planters are often identifiable thanks to the stamps or paper labels on the bottom. Most bunnies are a few inches tall and can be found for as little as $5; large ones are rarer and cost more. The planter was probably a premium offered by department stores.