Lights: Boxed sets Alps
Here boxed Alps sets are shown. They are Japanese. First is a series with boxes of the same design, the oldest first, based on the face of Santa, the oldest being more detailed, and the colors & cardboard of the boxes.

Box no. 7 and 8 are entirely different and have only been acquired recently.

I do not think that the electrical cords and bulbs are always contemporary.
Any additional information or comments is very welcome.

The first row shows samples of export/inspection labels I have found on some of the boxes.

Alps 3b & 4b: part of paper label

Alps 4 : paper label

Alps7 & 8 : paper is thicker

Alps 1 & 9 & 10: paper label and says
"Inspection Bureau"
Alps 1  

Box: 16 x 16,5 cm.
I think it is the oldest Alps box I have. The mica covering, now most of it gone, has a repetitive green web design.
The electric green cloth covered cord has 9 green sockets, while the box has only 8 compartments. Nevertheless I have the impression that it is all contemporary.
On the side of the box is printed “PAT. JAPAN BRITISCH & U.S.A.”. A red & white oval paper label with text “Japan Federation of Electric Lamp Mfrs. Ass. Passed Inspection Bureau” and stamped with an oval stamp “1.10.21”; on the two inside flaps is printed "3000 Aug. 1936. M".
On the front flap, besides information about the set, is printed: Japanese Patent No. 156, 184 British Patent No. 382, 786. Patent pending in U.S.A. (U.S.A. Patent Application Serial No. 574, 958).
All the bulbs are marked on the base “PAT.ALPS15VJAPAN”.

Box: 16,5 x 16,5 cm.
Another of the old Alps boxes. Same graphics as boxes 1 and 2. According to the blue stamp it dates from 1939.
Green cloth covered cord with 8 bakelite sockets for eight what look like “flame” bulbs, of which one is missing.
On the side is printed “PAT.JAPAN BRITISH & U.S.A.” and in the white panel next to stamped No.1311“ plus a logo:
On the flap of the lid is printed the patent information and user instructions. This text differs somewhat from that on boxes 1 and 2.
For details of the bulbs markings please visit the bulbs page. Funny thing though, the markings are not all the same and it looks to me that they have used recuperated metal for the bases. Similar bulbs are shown in Robert Brenner’s book “Christmas through the Decades”, pg. 111.
Box: 21 x 21cm.
Another of the old Alps boxes. Same graphics as box 1 and 2 and 9.
Green cloth covered cord with 8 bakelite sockets for eight figural lights. The lightbulbs did not come with the box, but I think they date from around the same period and I have seen an Alps advertisement with such a box and lamps.
On the side is printed “PAT.JAPAN BRITISCH & U.S.A.” .
The blue stamp on the inspection label, which could be used for dating, is not clear enough, but on the flap is printed “3000 Aug. 1936. M”, below the patent information and user instructions, which differ somewhat from that on boxes 1 & 2 & 9. But then the dating of box no. 9 could be 1937, when considering the text on the flap “2000 1937. K”.

Alps 3

Box: 19,8 x 19,7 cm
In this box is a green plastic electric cord with 8 sockets, I think bakelite, but not of the standard model. Are they Japanese?
On the side of the box is stamped, in the white reserve: No. 7060.

Alps 3b
Box: 19,8 x 19,7 cm.
This is a similar box as the previous one, as on the side of the box is also stamped the number “No. 7060”.
The electrical cord is cloth covered with 8 bakelite green ribbed sockets; no room for reserve bulb.
This looks more like the original cord.
On the side of the box is part of a red label with white text “JISC ….. EXPO……”; the rest is torn off.

Alps 4
Box: 14 x 27,2 cm
This is a set of 2 x 8 colored bulbs, with a green plastic electrical cord with green bakelite 8-sided sockets. On one side of the box is a white reserve is stamped “No.7000”. On the other side the red/white label “EXPORT STANDARD” and a blue round stamp, text I cannot decipher.
Inside the lid stamped text reading “ATTENTION Vissez bien vos lampes à fond” (Screw down the lamps well).

Alps 4B
Box: 31 x 16 cm.
Considering the graphics and the colors this box is of the same period as the former one, but is a larger version. Green cloth covered cord with 16 green ribbed sockets. Figural bulbs, engraved on the base 15V or 15V Japan. Cord and bulbs possibly not of the box.
On one side of the box there is the remains of the red paper label, “Export Standard” and in a white panel “..7000”.
Alps 5

Box: 15,5 x 15,8 cm.
The colors of this Alps set are already more vibrant. In it is a brown plastic electric cord with 8 brown sockets. This is the first time I have seen such a cord.
On the side of the box is stamped in the white reserve: No. 7010.

Alps 6

Box: 14 x 14 cm
This is the newest Alps set I have, the box anyway. I think the cloth covered cord with 8 sockets and the bulbs are older.
On one side of the box in the white reserve is stamped: No. 7004, and on the other side: 110 V.

Alps 7
Box: 33 x 23 cm.
Different design, but the Santa heads in the top corners are shown.
A once green ? cloth covered cord with 16 red bakelite sockets (one is missing) and white porcelain plug, marked “6 Amp 220 Volt”.
On the lid is printed “PATENT NO.127157”; on a short side of the lid in white panels “23652” and “FOREIGN” and a small oval red/white label “PASSED BY THE GUILD OF MANUFACTURERS OF ELECTRIC LAMPS FOR EXPORT”.
In the lid is a label with some information and the patent information:
Japanese Patent No. 156,184
British Patent No. 282,786
United Patent Application Serial No. 574,958
And stamped “FOREIGN”.
I think the clear glass figural lights are contemporary. They remind me of box no. 2, but seem older. They are engraved on the base “16V FOREIGN”.
Mr. George Nelson was kind enough to point out that this box is amazingly similar to the one by Real Lite pictured on his, by Paul Race reconstructed site:
. He noticed right away that his box does have Made in USA on it, where this one does not.

Alps 8
Box: 45,5 x 25 cm.
The same graphics as the previous box with the same cord and bakelite sockets, now complete, but the plug is probably a later replacement.
On the lid also printed “PATENT NO.127157”; on a short side of the lid in white panels stamped “23653” and “FOREIGN” and also the small oval red/white label.
Inside the lid the same label with the patent information.
The remaining 11 japanese light bulbs, engraved “16V FOREIGN” on the base, are the original, while the 7 on the top row starting from the left and the two with the cord are replacements. They are all clear glass, 9 cm high, with orangy red tassel, and copper base.