Sarah Seippel | March 31, 2024

Saint Patrick’s Day leprechaun collectibles gold Irish
Tales of these mischievous creatures date back to the 8th century; however, these tiny tricksters have gained much popularity around Saint Patrick’s Day over the years. In 2023, this vintage leprechaun piece sold for $39.99 on eBay.
Image Source: WorthPoint

My earliest Saint Patrick’s Day memory recalls a cozy and inviting environment with rustic wooden furniture. While vintage artwork, mirrors, and shelves adorned the walls, the lighting from antique-style lamps and overhead fixtures created a relaxed ambiance. Inside the welcoming space were energetic patrons dressed in green to celebrate the occasion. Families and friends gathered around tables, with the adults enjoying pints of beer while Irish tunes filled the air.

Overall, the atmosphere inside this Irish pub on Saint Patrick’s Day was one of celebration and a shared appreciation of Irish culture. There have been many symbols of past celebrations to collect, but what is the history behind this culture’s traditional items? How far do they date back? As rare as it is that a child spots a leprechaun, it might be rare to find Saint Patrick’s Day collectibles and memorabilia dating before 1900.

Shamrocks: Everyone Wants a Piece of Luck

In 2024, there has been an increase in Saint Patrick’s Day-themed figurines. While the leprechaun is a classic holiday symbol, they are receiving more recent popularity. This festive pair was sold on eBay for $69.99 in March of this year.
Image Source: WorthPoint

Millions worldwide wear their best green attire to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17, a custom that arose after people first pinned shamrocks to their clothes. Although shamrocks don’t have a specific botanical equivalent, we typically use the three-leaved wood sorrel or white and yellow clover plants to represent them. Lore states that Saint Patrick used the three-leaf plant to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity, and it has since become a symbol of Irish heritage and luck.

Companies like Annalee Dolls and Target have used the shamrock theme to market their seasonal line of collector’s items. For example, this 2019 Target Spritz Saint Patrick’s Day “Goldy” bird figurine is quite interesting to me because the item is only five years old but is often resold for many times more than its original retail price of $5.00. This jump is likely due to increased market demand and decreased availability, as it was only available in stores for a limited time. If you come across similar items, then running a price check might be worth it.

Not only are toys and dolls a hot commodity, but festive figurines are as well. On March 9 of this year, this limited-edition Swarovski Lovlots Lucky Mo figurine was sold for $119.95 on eBay. These crystal figurines typically sell within a $75–200 range, with an average resale price in the lower one-hundreds price point. This particular model is decorated with several four-leaf clovers and makes a simple and lovely addition to anyone’s Saint Patrick’s Day décor. While these can be difficult to come across due to their limited-edition status, an even more spectacular find was made that same day, perhaps to the same lucky buyer. That day, a beautiful vintage set of Walt Disney “It’s a Small World” Irish Goebel figurines sold on eBay for $58.00.

Finally, one set you don’t want to pass on is the Lenox Peanuts Saint Patrick’s Day figurines. These feature the most iconic Peanuts characters: Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Snoopy, and Woodstock. Each set is made from Lenox ivory fine china and hand-painted with gold accents. The set is quite precious but also highly sought-after. Sets can sell anywhere from $200 to $500.

Dopamine Décor

Saint Patrick’s Day collectibles garden sign shamrocks clovers
The bold colors and lively prints of themed décor items may increase the dopamine of their owners. This Saint Patrick’s Day-themed Shetland sheepdog garden sign went for $19.95 on eBay in March 2024.
Image Source: WorthPoint

Dolls and felt figurines aren’t the only décor items shifting to appeal to Saint Patrick’s Day fans. In June 2023, these shamrock salt and pepper shakers sold for $19.02. Themed items like these can be popular because they are practical while adding charm simultaneously.

Recently, young people across the county have been putting their homes in colors, textures, and patterns that bring happiness. Coined as “dopamine décor,” the possibilities of what this can look like are endless, but this is likely driving the market as young people look to fill their homes with items that spark joy.

Other vintage items that have been popular in the past include glass, plates, and dinnerware. Plates and delicate china were trending two decades ago, but recent sales show they are less valuable than they used to be. In 2007, this Belleek Saint Patrick’s Day shamrock basket sold on eBay for $265.27; however, a similar open weave shamrock basket only sold for $54.95 in 2022. This could be incentivizing if you are looking to buy instead of sell because the pricing is down. I am pursuing something similar to this Belleek basket weave shamrock teapot, which typically sells close to $200, but in 2022, it resold for $75 on eBay.

Early Saint Patrick’s Day Collectibles As Elusive As a Pot of Gold

The first record of a Saint Patrick’s Day observance in America was in 1762 when a group of Irish soldiers serving with the British marched to a tavern in Manhattan. Today, it is one of the largest parades in America; however, if Saint Patrick’s Day holiday traditions date that far back, why is it so difficult to track down collectibles, memorabilia, and letters from that time? Like my father used to tell me, “I don’t have answers to everything, but I can tell you things that matter.” While I can’t say why tracking such items is hard, I can share what vintage items you need to keep an eye out for. The first is antique and vintage postcards.

Old postcards are one of the easiest things to find at local antique malls and won’t cost more than a few dollars. They make great décor pieces, but some can be resold at a higher price. This 1909 Saint Patrick’s Day postcard features a woman in a green dress with a shamrock border and a witty message. You might get a better bang for your buck if you deal with a lot of Saint Patrick US postcards. In 2008, the lot set sold for $56.88. Lot sets can be appealing because the cards can be from a similar time and appear more like sets; however, preference is determined by the person. Sometimes, people prefer paper because it allows them to view the world through a different lens; other times, people just like the designs on the outside.

Happy Hunting!

Skip the beer glass and pour one out into this Saint Patrick’s coffee mug from Death Wish Coffee. Shaped similarly to a beer stein, this hand-thrown mug is part of a limited line. In May 2019, it sold on eBay for $99.99.
Image Source: WorthPoint

Whether you’re buying or selling, paying attention to the market is important. As seen with the Belleek dishes, market value can easily change a buyer’s market into a seller’s market and vice versa. Analyzing price guides is a quick and easy way to check the selling values for items you may want to attain or release into the world. Of course, finding something that speaks to you is always a good enough reason to bid or contact a seller. No matter what journey you are on, may the luck of the Irish be on your side. Happy hunting!

Explore the history behind collectibles and memorabilia of other special days, such as Valentine’s DayHalloweenThanksgiving, and Christmas.

Sarah Seippel is a freelance writer and finds much of her inspiration in her father’s unique collections. In her free time, she enjoys hunting down the best cup of coffee and pursuing for vintage deals.