Thursday, October 30, 2008

Selected Vintage Books About the Nativity

This post takes part in the Vintage Thingies Thursday sponsored by Lisa at An Apron a Day.

Here are a few vintage books from the Carola Nativity Gallery’s collection of Christmas books.

The first book is titled, No Room in the Inn by William Allen Knight. Boston: The Pilgrim Press, 1910.

It seems that this book was given as a Christmas gift the year it was published. It is inscribed, "For Miss Donohue/ December 1910/ With much love/ The Birchis"

Published by the Pilgrim Press in Boston on September 1, 1910, it was printed at the Plimpton Press in Norwood, Massachusetts. The front cover is embellished in gold and silver. The endpapers are embellished in a silver design.

The frontispiece is a lovely engraving of the holy Family, which is separated from the title page with a sheet of tissue.

Every page has a silver design border.

The oldest of these books is The Nativity In Art And Song: Its Varied Treatment With Pen And Pencil, Ancient And Modern, With Illustrative Notes, Historical And Legendary by W. Henry Jewitt. London: Elliot Stock, 1898.

The binding is in a dark green cloth contrasted with a lighter green and embellished in gilt lettering. The numerous illustrations are drawn after the artwork of various European artists

Here is the frontispiece and the title page with its elaborate design.

Next is Personalities in the Nativity Stories by Andrew Borland. London: Pickering And Inglis, 1965.

Each chapter deals with one of the characters in the story of Jeses’ nativity:
The Virgin Mary,
Joseph - The Carpenter
Elizabeth - Wife of Zacharias
Zacharias, - The Incredulous Priest
Anna - the Godly Widow
Simeon - The Just and Devout
The Magi - Men From the East
The Shepherds – The Men Who Saw
Herod – The Tyrant
The final two chapters deal with the topics of The Virgin Birth and The Nativity Songs

The First Christmas by Denis O’Shea, Canon of the Holy Sepulcher. Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1952.

It is illustrated with black and white photographs taken in the Holy Land.

Our last title is a little gift book published by the Peter Pauper Press.
The Story of the Nativity in Wood Engravings, The Text Taken From The King James Version of the Holy Bible; Wood Engravings by Boyd Hanna. Mount Vernon: The Peter Pauper Press, [1949]

One of the wood engravings shows Elizabeth and Mary greeting each other.

Each of these books focusses on the story which brings to us each year the most joyous of holiday seasons. Do take time to read all about it!
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To see more vintage treasures, please visit Lisa at An Apron A Day for a list of participating posts.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday – Isaiah 7:14

Sponsored by Amydeanne at The 160-Acre Woods, the "purpose of Word-filled Wednesday is to share God’s word through photos & a verse.

Lladro Creche Figure Ornaments

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

Very soon we will be engrossed in all the activities related to the Christmas holiday. Let us also prepare our hearts and mind to contemplate the true meaning of this special time.

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For more Word-Filled Wednesday please visit Amydeanne.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Materials Used in Nativity Scenes, Part II

In this post I will show a number of unusual materials used by various artisans in devising their nativity scenes.

Tree Thorn, Nigeria. These small figures were hand-carved using thorns from the Thorn Tree which grows in Nigeria. The figures are very light, similar to cork.

Recycled Tin Cutout - Haiti. Here is an instance of crafting with recycled material. This hand painted nativity was produced by the Comite Artisanal Haitien.

Wool – Nepal. This soft nativity set is made of felted wool in pastel colors.

Bamboo - Taiwan. An 8-piece set made of bamboo wood, this vintage nativity scene was made in the Potzu Studios in Taiwan.

Woven Reed - Mexico. This nativity scene was woven by artisans in Tzintzuntzan on the shores of Lake Patzcuaro, State of Michiocan, Mexico.

Beeswax - USA. This creche set is handmade of 100% beeswax, with natural honey fragrance. It is by Candles for Jesse.

Embroidered Canvas - USA. The set is of plastic canvas that was hand embroidered in bright colors.

Capiz shell - Philippines. The thin capiz shell is outlined in goldtone wire.

Plastic toy – Germany. This set is part of Playmobil’s series for children. Each figure is made up of snap-together parts. The stable is of color-printed cardboard.

Draped paper. This vintage nativity set is made of a paperlike material. I added animal figures which are of a woven material.

Stained glass Style. This stylized nativity is made from a panel with stained glass framed in pewter.

Cotton Fabric Beanbag. This whimsical nativity family is made of cotton fabric as beanbags. This allows them to stand upright.

Cornhusk and Wood – Slovakia Corn husk and wood. This set was handmade in Kosice, Slovakia by Katharina Krocanova.

A future post will highlight other interesting nativity sets.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Materials Used in Nativity Scenes, Part I

Here is a selection of the materials used by various artisans to make nativity sets. These materials are fairly traditional. In another post I will show unusual materials used by various artisans.

Limestone - Ireland. This is a Celtic Style Nativity, sculpted by Kieran Forde and handcast in County Kildare, Ireland.

Soapstone – Kenya. These stylized figures were hand carved in the African nation of Kenya.

Palewa stone - India. This handsome stone is very heavy and has been beautifully carved.

Porcelain - England. The Royal Doulton Holiday Traditions Nativity has handpainted figures decorated in 22 karat gold trim.

Colorful Paper Mache. This set of six figures is rendered in bright colors.

Crystal – France. Of 24% Lead Crystal this nativity set is by Cristal d'Arques®. J. 0. Durand & Cie. The cardboard manger is the original box in which the set was packaged.

Crystal – Ireland A contemporary design handcut Waterford Nativity. Made in Ireland.

Gold infused Glass - Italy. The figures are of art glass infused with gold, made in Murano, Italy.

Handpainted Wood – Denmark These are vintage nativity figures made in Denmark.

Handpainted Wood - Russia. The hand-carved linden wood figures have also been hand-painted.

Pewter plate - USA. The pewter-plated metal is flat, but it has been etched in relief on both sides.

Cardstock - USA. A die-cut paper nativity designed by artistTed Naos.

Plastic, - Italy. A vintage nativity scene of white plastic in a contemporary design. (It is set in an Avon stable.)

These nativity scenes have been manufactured of materials in a fairly traditional manner, though the various ethnic representations place the characters in their own country's setting. The next post will introduce other more unusual materials.