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In search of a Holy Family

Rating: 5 votes, 4.60 average.
It's past midnight and I can hear the wind blowing outside, announcing yet another snow storm. But the fire is burning, Christmas carols are playing, and I'm working with our programmer wiz, Bernie, to find a bug that, suddenly, is telling you that your comments are not posting, when they really are. (So please do bear with us while we're working out the bugs.)

It's so heartening to hear from so many of you, many, many more than clicked our "Post Comments" button. I thank you for your good words, and want to tell you that yes, communicating with you fellow enthusiasts through my Blog is great fun.

I would like to share with you a letter I just received from a nativity lover who has been on a quest:

Dear Alexis,

I love the Crechemania site and all the beautiful paper crèches. I want to share with everyone how I used Crè to modify a recent acquisition.

I ordered a vintage créche from eBay but was disappointed when it arrived without the Holy Family. I went back to the original posting, and sure enough, the pictures showed that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were missing—something the description did not mention. It was my fault for not looking at the pictures more carefully.

I turned immediately to, thinking that I would be able to find my crèche and copy the missing pieces. I was surprised that it was not pictured, but I thought the figures from the new Swallow Crèche might work.

I made a copy on card stock and cut out Mary and Jesus, along with a sheep. It fit perfectly into my creche and looks like it was meant to be. Since these figures have shown up in several crèches, perhaps they were also used in this one. There is no publisher information; only the number 237.

Thank you so much for providing this wonderful resource for all us who love paper creches.

Mary Herzog

Great to hear from you, Mary. As you can see, I gave your separate photos perspective so that our friends can better perceive its three-dimensional quality.

I love the artwork, and the coloration is solft (manger, trellis) with splashes of color (Magi). And the Swallows Crèche Holy Family—and let's not forget that wooly sheep!—look at home in their new manger.

I promise to look through my collection and see if I find a similar artwork style, and augment this post with that information.

But, before I say goodnight to Bernie and get a good night's sleep, I'd like to tell you that you were not alone in your quest: I have been looking for the revolving angels that, once, accompanied my new nativity.

Just as you did, I spotted the same nativity on eBay, but I don't need to tell you that these museum-quality pieces go for hundreds of dollars, sometimes reaching into eight- or nine hundred. Luckily, I was on a shoot and missed the auction, so I wasn't tempted.

But I wrote the seller, in Germany, using a Web translation service to turn my English into understandable German, asking if the seller could kindly scan one of the little revolving angels and send me the file?

Most people would probably think I was asking too much, but I actually heard back from the seller who informed me, in German, that he had already packed the piece for shipping. And, I surmised, he wasn't about to tear into it so I could have my scan!

Until tomorrow, then.

Goodnight, Bernie!

Our Brazilian Sleuth to the Rescue!

While I was dreaming of blog entries yet to come, our good friend Celso Rosa was busy scouting his files for Mary's nativity. Brazil, you see, is five hours ahead of the Midwest.

And find a photo of Mary's nativity he did, complete with the Holy Family, if not the star (see image, left).

The original nativity shows the Child resting on his crib, cradled between the arms of the Virgin. Joseph, on the left, is leaning towards the Mother and Child, while two shepherds stand on the right.

Thank you Celso!

Note that these two nativities are different editions: the one missing the Holy Family (above) is No. 237; the one Celso has submitted is No. 1675A. And I would not be surprised if they were of two different sizes.

Now I'm off to see if I can spot a similar crèche in my collection. And think about Mary's comment, "these figures have shown up in several crèches," which is worth a blog entry all by itself.


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