Village Estate Sale

Have you ever cleaned out a closet, the attic or a storage unit in the garage and found treasured items that you had forgotten you owned? Or found that you have multiples of the same items? Well, that’s what happens year over year at Department 56.

As a working design studio, we get multiple pieces of each design that are used for development reference, for photography, and for our showroom displays across the globe. We get requests from retailers and sales staff for samples of certain pieces, and of course, we ensure we have samples in Memphis at the ENESCO Gallery and Gift Shop. But when our archives get too full, we have no other choice but to winnow down what we keep.

Normally we would hold a Sample Sale at our physical offices in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, but because our collectors are scattered far and wide, we opted this year to hold our sale online instead. Our need to declutter is your good fortune!

Over the next several weeks, we will be offering a variety of Village Lots as part of an online Estate Sale. The offerings for the online sale will be held through www.department56.com and will be live for one week before an entirely new group of treasured and retired Village pieces, accessories and landscape items will be posted. View Village Estate Sale Rules

What kind of things can you expect to see?

St. Marks' Cathedral

Well, during the very first week you will have the opportunity to bid on a very rare “Cathedral Church of Saint Mark” (56.55492). This was a numbered limited edition first issued in 1991. Originally scheduled for a numbered run of 17,500 pieces, production was stopped after 3,024 pieces. The reason for this was a production problem that occurred during the firing process. The piece was designed with two crenelated towers flanking the front entrance. During the firing, many towers sagged or leaned more than was acceptable to our quality control. So, sadly, with so many rejected pieces, it was decided to halt production. And the piece we have to offer is #001 – that’s right, the very first numbered piece!

Heritage Village Holiday Vans

Another offering will be a set of “Heritage Village” Holiday Vans. This set of seven vans were never offered for sale – they were given to Department 56 employees as a Christmas gift in 2002. These vans were modeled after a 1929 Morris Minor delivery van. Department 56 commissioned a 2/3 scale working model (built on a Chevy Geo chassis) that was used for conventions, expositions and company events held at Department 56 headquarters. Over the years we have introduced special Village-sized vans for various retail stores, our 25th anniversary, and most recently for our 40th anniversary. Scaled to be used with almost any of our Villages, you will want to check out this rare set!

North Pole Woods

We will also be offering a group called “North Pole Woods” that was part of a North Pole Village sub-series between 2000 and 2002. This series was designed and made from high-quality cold cast resin to give each piece incredible detail.

As of now, we’re planning for ten lots to kick-off our Estate Sale, then at least another ten more each week thereafter until we reclaim our closet space for the new 2025 (and some 2026) samples arriving now. So, set a reminder to visit us weekly and bid on your favorites!

Due to a myriad of contractual obligations, you won’t see licensed pieces as part of the Estate Sale.  You also won’t see pieces that are damaged. We will be making every effort to offer only pieces of the finest quality – however, there may be a few instances where the item is missing the original packaging, or the sleeve is less than perfect. If this is the case, we will let you know in the product description, so make sure to read through everything carefully before making your bids. We decided to still offer these items for sale because once you have them nestled in your display, only you will know the condition the packaging is in.

But if you’d like one more tease to whet your whistle, how about seven of the Snow Village Halloween “Rest In Peace” crypts? We have created a lot of all the crypts made between 2014 and 2020 to offer you a good start on a creepy graveyard in your display. Each crypt was limited to year of production so if you missed out on the crypts previously, this could be an excellent opportunity to add to your collection.

Snow Village Halloween Rest In Peace Crypts

We hope you will be excited to have an opportunity to add some very special pieces to your collection through this Estate Sale. Remember, the offers will change weekly, so check back regularly. Winners will be promptly notified of their winning bid. All Village Lots will ship from the Department 56 offices in Minnesota under our normal shipping policies posted on our website. Watch for an email announcement soon giving the exact date of the go live date on the Estate Sale. Until then, we’ll keep cleaning and sorting through our treasures.


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