Three new arrivals to The Met Store's ornaments lineup: William, Degas Little Dancer, and Unicorn
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Branching Out: Introducing Our Newest Christmas Ornaments

We’ve added a few new faces to our Christmas ornament lineup this year, including “William,” Degas’s little dancer, and the unicorn from The Met Cloisters’ famed tapestries

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The Met Store, with trees, wreaths, and garlands adorning our displays. There’s also a host of seasonal delights—both in-store and online—spreading yuletide cheer, including holiday cards, calendars, and ornaments. Among the standouts of the season are three new holiday ornaments inspired by iconic artworks in The Met collection.

Our new artful trio


Holiday Hippo

William, The Met’s unofficial mascot, has been delighting Museum visitors for generations. Dating to the 20th–19th century B.C., the ancient Egyptian hippopotamus statuette stands at just under five inches tall and is made of blue-green faience. Our ornament, with its detailed river-plant decoration, pays tribute to this beloved figurine.

Left: William Ornament; right: Hippopotamus “William” (detail), 1961–1878 B.C. Egypt. Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1917

Tiny Dancer

Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917) first showed his wax statuette, The Little Fourteen-Year-Old—the only sculpture he ever presented in public—at the sixth Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1881. The model for this piece was Marie van Goethem, a student dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet. The Museum’s edition, cast in bronze in 1922, serves as the source object for this fanciful ornament.

Left: Degas Little Dancer Ornament; right: Dancer (detail), ca. 1880. Edgar Degas. The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 2001, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002


The Last Unicorn

Treasures of The Met Cloisters collection, the seven hangings known as the Unicorn Tapestries were luxuriously woven in fine wool and silk with silver and gilded threads. Perhaps the most celebrated of these tapestries is The Unicorn in Captivity. In this work, the unicorn is tethered to a tree and is thought to symbolize the beloved tamed. Our hand-painted ornament, the last of our artful trio, evokes the majestic beauty of this elusive creature. 

Left: Unicorn Ornament; right: The Unicorn in Captivity (detail)., 1495–1505. South Netherlandish. Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1937 37.80.6

Visit us in-store or online to view more ornaments from this year’s collection.

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