To fully appreciate this miniature porcelain Eiffel Tower, it helps to understand some French and even Roman history! January 6 marks the feast of the Epiphany on many religious calendars and the French celebrate it with the Galette des Rois (King’s Cake), in honor of the Three Wise Men who came to visit Jesus. This tradition actually borrows from the pagan days of Rome when various gods were honored during the winter months. Masters and slaves partied together and ate special dishes that had a bean baked inside. Whoever got the lucky scoop or slice with the bean was granted the privilege of being "king" for the day. In the French tradition, around 1870, the bean evolved into a porcelain charm or “féve.” The youngest child crawls under the dining table and dictates who should get which piece of cake. I imagine celebrators eat gingerly until the cherished charm is discovered by one lucky "king" for the day.
Collecting these lucky charms or feves, whether they've actually been baked into a galette des rois or not, is quite a hobby in France. Sets and series of most every theme/subject imaginable have been marketed, from Disney movies to sports vehicles. Very commercialized nowadays, many feves are made of plastic. These féves, at least, has a true French connection. They celebrate 100 years of the Eiffel Tower: 1889 to 1989! Yes, these little féves are almost 30 years old. They measure just a little over an inch and they are hand-painted porcelain.
For any Francophile, this would be a special gift. Use in a shadow box or convert into a souvenir brooch. If you're not into baking, use one to decorate a cup cake!
The Eiffel Tower ascension medal is listed separately here: https://www.rubylane.com/item/274812-8260/1889-Bronze-Souvenir-Medal-Commemorates-Ascension Buy the medal and I'll include one Eiffel Tower feve for free!
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