1.49K viewsAntique Collectibles Forums
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1.49K viewsAntique Collectibles Forums
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Hello my grandmother has had this Santa figure for years since at least the 1950s and I am looking for some information on its age and maker if possible it stands just over 16” tall.

Kovels Answered question December 20, 2023
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Your Santa is one of the many designed and manufactured by the Harold Gale Santa Company. Harold Gale began making department store display Santas in his Kansas City home, assisted by his wife, Viola, in 1946. The Gales invested their savings of about $3,000 to start the Harold Gale Santa Company. In their at-home workshop, they worked tirelessly, bending wireframes and hand-sewing Santa suits.

As their sales volume increased, they invested their earnings into the business, building a small Santa factory and developing a line of Santas over the next decade. They were able to keep costs down, retaining their original Santa pricing while building their business significantly. They built a 3,000-square-foot factory, employing 35-49 people, who used the finest velvet and DuPont’s neoprene rubber to create a colorful and varied line of highly sought-after Santas. By 1960, the Harold Gale Company had produced over 100,000 Santas—from the department store display size to the smaller consumer doll variety.

Originally available at Sears and Roebuck, the smaller Santas were also given out as prizes or bonuses and featured promotional themes, such as Stanley Home Products, Parker Pens, 7 Up, Teleflora, and Knox Hats. However, by 1963, they were difficult to keep on the shelf and were stocked by the majority of department and gift stores in their Christmas sections throughout the holidays.

The Gales eventually sold the family business, but Harold remained general manager. The company changed hands again in 1970. Not long after, the Gales retired to California. The factory closed in 1988.

For collectors, Harold Gale Santa Claus displays and dolls are the heart of Christmas nostalgia. The gold lamé vest—sometimes referred to as a “gold glitter belly”—on your Santa dates his manufacture to the 1960s. The gold vest is quite desirable and sets your Santa apart from his plain red/white outfitted brothers. While Harold Gale large mechanical Santa displays can sell for well over $1,000, these smaller doll-style Santas vary in price, depending upon the clothing style, color, and theme. A review of recent auction prices and eBay sold listings shows prices of $45-$100 for your particular Santa.

The Holidappy website features an in-depth article with photos of nearly all of the Santas manufactured by the Harold Gale Company. It is a great resource for those looking to date their HGC Santa Claus figures

Kovels Answered question December 20, 2023
Kovels Answered question December 20, 2023

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