This Christmas Stocking is by Weiss one of the most popular costume jewellery firms in America.  They were based in New York but they did not manufacture their own jewellery, there is in fact some dispute as to whether they even designed their own jewellery. In essence Albert Weiss was the supreme costume jewellery marketer, having his ‘logo’ placed on pieces of jewellery and then selling them under his name.  An early example of branding which we take so much for granted these days.

There are a number of stories claiming to describe the origins to the Christmas stocking.  I have picked two of the most popular.

A poor man with three beautiful daughters had no money for a dowry.  The man worried what would happen to his daughters after his death, he feared they might become prostitutes.  St Nicholas was passing through the village one day, heard about the girls but knew the old man was too proud to accept any help.  The following evening the girls hung up their one pair of stockings to dry by the fire and went to bed.  When it was dark and no one was about St. Nicholas came back and threw down the chimney three bags of gold which landed in the stockings hanging by the fire.

An alternative origin is from northern Europe.  In the lands of Odin, children filled their boots with carrots, straw and sugar and left them near the chimney for Odin’s flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat.  Odin would reward the child with gifts and sweets.  Over time socks replaced boots.

In 2011 the largest Christmas stocking was made, 168ft 5.6 inches long and 70ft 11.57 inches wide (heel to toe), in Tuscany, Italy by the emergency services raising money for a help the aged charity.  The previous largest stocking had been made for the Children’s Society in 2007.  It was made up of over 6,000 red knitted squares, weighed the equivalent of three reindeer and was filled with 1000 presents.