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  1. The facade of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella graces a paper nativity

    A masterpiece of Renaissance art, a magnificent facade by Leon Battista Alberti, adorns a paper nativity...

     
    A vintage crèche, a new facade — the Santa Maria Novella Nativity shown larger than its 4 x 4.75 x 1.75 inches. 

     
    The original asymmetrical front of the vintage paper nativity. Do the Magi figures of the Santa Maria Novella Nativity look familiar?

    That's because they're the same as those featured in the Garland Nativity ...
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  2. At Christmas, Father Anthony Salzman offers an icon of the Nativity — and a message

    "The Nativity is a now moment for us," says Father Anthony. "‘Σήμερον Χριστός Γεννάται.’ Today Christ is Born!

     
    The Birth of Christ "written" by Father Anthony Salzman and Aris Kovaci and inspired by a manuscript in Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mt. Sinai. (Crèchemania Collection.) 

     
    Written in pencil, in a child's script, Greek lyrics to a Christmas carol — A desire to sing along and be a part of Christmas in America. The first ...
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  3. Got the die-cut blues? Don't despair — there's a remedy for that!

    A little slip, and the die-cutting machine can take a nasty bite out of a lovely crèche. Luckily, there's reconstructive surgery available, with Photoshop...

     
    The Twelve-pointed Star Nativity No. 3 — four layers, an unusual curved front, and extensive restoration due to die-cut damage. The Celso Battistini C. Rosa Collection. (Image by Crèchemania.) 

     A cut, or two, too deep: rollover the image above with your mouse to see the restored figures. ...
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  4. The Lantern Nativity's pop up action surprises, its beautiful art delights

    There's that "wow!" moment when a flat piece opens and morphs into a 3-D marvel, but it is the beguiling art that proves to be an endless delight...

     Eleven layers pop-up to create an impressive nativity scene — The Lantern Nativity. Rollover the image above with your mouse to see a side view, and its construction. 


     
    First and foremost, a pop-up nativity requires a sturdy base. That of the Lantern Nativity has the position of all its ...
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  5. A vintage paper nativity in desperate need of some TLC

    There was nothing about the sad state of this beautiful vintage nativity that a few days of tender loving care couldn't fix …

     Rollover on the image above with your mouse to see the vintage version of the Five Angels Nativity, clearly in need of some TLC. Notice that the "jump" in the Magi and the Mother and Child groups is due to positioning these pieces higher for better visibility. The shift in the background is due to the addition of a missing column at right. 
    ...
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