The original item from Matrix by Mail Inc. is now SOLD.
THE ITALIAN NEAPOLITAN CRECHE FIGURES are works of art. They are much like an Old Master Painting in the way they depict the depths of humanity in great detail. Each face is a canvas upon which the various populations of Late 1700’s Italy are drawn.
These figures were created to populate The Presipio, or Nativity Scene, representing the birth of Christ. These Nativities were made popular in Italy. At the center of the scene is the Holy Family. However, emanating from this core is a population of figures depicting the many layers Italian society. This is turn is a metaphor for the classes of society across the globe. The larger the Nativity Scene the more elements of society can be introduced. That is to say, ,merchants will be side by side with beggars and shepherds side by side with Kings. What they all have in common is the shared humility in the presence of a new born King... born in a stable.
This particular piece is very antique. It surely dates from the 1790’s. He has glass eyes, characteristic of the early figures. He is mounted on his original base which makes him 1" overall. He is quite compelling as, like most of us, he is a flawed individual. In his virile face you can see the rigors of his accumulated years which include a deeply furrowed brow, weathered complexion and somewhat uneven teeth. His steely glass eyes and strong jaw depict and an inner strength. The details that make him so imposing include his craggy face with high cheekbones, toughened folds of flesh and a stubbled growth of beard. This wonderful effect is further developed by his hairline as well...making the back of his head as fascinating as anything else.!
EVEN HIS ORIGINAL TATTERED SILK CLOTHING gives a romantic testimony to his fortitude.! The once richly elegant fabrics with metallic buttons are clearly 'as found'…yet they give us a portrait of who he was. HIs is a portrait of enduring virility as created over 150 years ago. For the Purest he is a dramatic personage…for the Conservator it is fortunate that there is an abundance of black silk in the world with which to recreate his britches which should stop mid way down his remarkable teal blue wrinkled stockings with wonderful tan shoes. No matter what he endured, his elegant posture belies his inner strength.
E-MAIL US of CALL US at: 212-787-7279 to add him to your group of distinguished early dolls….whether they be Mache, Wax or Wood, he might be your first Italian example.
CONSITION: as seen..ask for details if needed….fingers are fine…there are no facial restorations…the original paint is remarkably intact save for some surface paint flake on the nose and a nick in the outer edge of his left ear.
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HOLD FOR G.... 12” Dramatic and Early NEAPOLITAN CRECHE figure with Glass Eyes
San Francisco, CA
Sample of Recently Sold Items on Ruby Lane
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