This Pifco silver tinsel Christmas tree with a string of 20 ‘Dinkylites’ was purchased by its former owners, a Winchester family, in about 1955. It was used by them every year until it was donated to Winchester Museums in 1999.
The idea of decorating a tree with candles at Christmas dates back to the seventeenth century in Europe. The Christmas tree was introduced into Britain by the Georgian royal family, but only became a widespread custom in this country once made fashionable by the popular Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
With the invention of the practical commercial electric light bulb in 1879 it was not long before electric bulbs were being used instead of candles. The small size of this tree is perhaps a reflection of post World War II austerity in Britain.
Every year since 1947, the people of Oslo, Norway have given a Christmas tree to the city of Westminster, England, which is placed in Trafalgar Square. The gift is an expression of good will and gratitude for Britain's help to Norway during World War II.
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