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Greek Arched Nativity
A large Greek crèche patterned on a German original

A brick arch crowns the manger, and the roof bends back to cover the nativity in this large Greek fatni from the 1950s. Notice the uneven die-cutting and that the plane with the sheperds is not centered—on the left, there's quite a bit of white showing.
This German early 1900s original cardboard gepägter Pappeprobably provided the inspiration for the Greek Remos edition shown above.
I was very surprised to receive this large nativity from a friend in Greece:

"There are no fatnes left anywhere," wrote my boyhood best friend Yiorgos, "but I found this one in a corner dime store. It was sitting, all dusty, in a top shelf. I don't think it had been moved since the 50s!"

Could it be a work of Greek artist N. Neros, who has given us our other Greek 'Fatnes' nativities?

The art certainly points towards that direction. The palm trees bear great similarity to those pictured in other Greek crèches in our collection, and the colors, roof, and the figure of Joseph are also similar.

Speaking of similarities, look at the less colorful German manger, above. It is constructed of heavy posterboard, is deeply embossed, and its paper engineering is mirrored in the Greek edition.

Was the German version perhaps intended to house 3-dimensional figures?

Crèchemania Collection

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