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Wild Rose Nativity

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Let's be grateful that the flame that ate through the back wall of its manger didn't totally consume the Wild Rose Nativity…

The charming Wild Rose Nativity. Rollover the image above with your mouse to see a side view. 

A candle flame burned through the original manger of the Wild Rose Nativity. Rollover the image above with your mouse to see the Crèchemania color-corrected reconstruction. 
What to do when a stunning nativity in your collection bears the scars of a candle flame that burned a hole in it?

If you're world-class-enthusiast-collector Celso Battistini C. Rosa, you send it to the Crèchemania Clinic!

My buddy Celso has been most generous in his sharing beautiful nativities and his faith in me.

But this time, I literally had my work cutout for me. As you can see from the image at upper left, the manger indeed was in bad shape, and it's any wonder that the house didn't burn down along with this back wall!

Which is one of the reasons that caution is always in order when dealing with flame and paper: thank goodness for LED lights that can now add a glow through cellophane windows and not endanger our beloved paper nativities.

The Manger

As you mouser the manger at left, you can see the changes that were made to rebuild the window and straighten out the manger walls.

Also, notice that the tabs (two of which were missing and had been replaced with plain cardboard) were changed to ones that allowed the manger to attach to the back of the front, not be inserted through slots in it. By doing this, the front façade was not marred by four slots.
The original Shepherds front was missing the left gate and features tall palms. 
The Shepherd

The first thing you'll notice about the Shepherd piece is the missing left tab that joins it to the front, or Figures piece. After adding that to the Crèchemania version, it was time to pick up the running shears and go to work.

As lovely as the wild roses are, they needed a bit of running: gone are the blooms above the left well post that obscured the Magi. Also, you'll notice that flowers have been cut from the garland that encircles the palms.

Another primary issue with the Shepherd piece was the misalignment of the die-cut press that trimmed the right armed of the child, the face of the shepherd, the ears of the sheep, and the posts of the gate-tab at right, to name just a few problem areas.

But the most glaring change of the Shepherd piece was chopping down the topmost two palms that, in my mind on one hand created a very tall piece that would need reinforcement, and on the other hand extended higher than the front. I think having the Shepherds piece less high than the front enhances the 3D effect.

A few roses had to be cut from the Magi piece as well. 
The Magi

As I wrote in the introduction of this Premium Download, it's not often splendid Magi are overshadowed by a bower of roses!

That's not to detract from the beautiful rendering of the Three Kings, but to praise the loveliness of the roses that bloom everywhere.

The Magi piece was in remarkably good shape given its age, but it still needed some TLC.

Tabs were added that allowed it to be inserted into the sides of the Shepherd piece, and flowers were cut that obscured the Christ Child.

Otherwise, the usual image-editing was required to fix the myriad scratches and tears in this, as in the other pieces of the Wild Rose Nativity. Of course, one of the primary changes in the Crèchemania version of the Wild Rose Nativity is the color correction from the yellowish green due to age of the original crèche..

The missing top areas of the front had to be re-created. 
The Figures

The Figures front needed be mostly reconstructed at the top, where whole chunks were missing.

Luckily, Celso had in his archives a blurry web photo of another similar crèche whose outline I used to construct the Figures piece.

The major change to the Figures front, besides adding what was missing, was closing the four holes that I felt marred its façade. In the original vintage Wild Rose Nativity, the Manger tabs protruded through these holes, but do to the golden color of the aged paper, the tabs were not as noticeable.

But the wrong side of lily-white printing paper would be, so now the Manger is attached with side tabs at the back of the Figures front.

It might have taken a few days, but what a joy it really has been to once again see the beautiful Wild Rose Nativity almost as it might have been when it came off the printing press.

Enjoy the Wild Rose Nativity Premium Download, courtesy of Celso Battistini C. Rosa. Thanks, buddy!

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