Antique Kugel Christmas Ornament Germany circa 1880s The kugel was a large hollow ball ranging in size from 1 inch to 18 inches. Smaller ones were used for tree decorations. The blown, molded, figural glass ornaments that we are familiar with today evolved from the tradition of blowing kugels. These ornaments were not sold in America until 1880. “Kugel” is a German word that means "ball" and can be used to describe any type of ball-like object. Collectors used this term to describe any early thick glass ornament with a decorative cap. Early Kugels were too heavy to hang on tree branches; instead they were suspended from the ceiling. Soon after their invention, the Germans decided small Kugels should adorn tree boughs in shapes such as grapes, berry clusters, apples and pears. F. W. Woolworth is given credit for bringing Kugels to America in the 1880s. This rarer red variant Kugel with brass cap is 2" in diameter in good condition. Circa 1890.