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Nativities & Nativity Figurines

Nativities and Nativity Figurines from the Ergebirge

The setting up of Christmas nativities follows ancient traditions - in many countries it is a special and festive ritual during the Advent season. Not only children are fascinated by the three-dimensional presentation, which makes the Christmas story more lively. The Erzgebirge folk art also offers nativity scenes, and on top of this in a great variety of styles. In addition to traditional forms of representation, some very interesting modern designs have been coming up in the past decades. At Erzgebirgepalace we offer you a rich selection of precious and beautiful nativity motifs - whether classic or modern, small or large, colorful or natural, turned or carved.

more about „Nativity Figurines”

In our category Nativity Figurines you will find beautiful things such as award winning Nativities by Björn Köhler, Näumanns and others. There are several subcategories to help you find the product you are looking for.

Nativities and Nativity Figurines at Erzgebirgepalace

The setting up of Christmas nativities follows ancient traditions - in many countries it is a special and festive ritual during the Advent season. Not only children are fascinated by the three-dimensional presentation, which makes the Christmas story more lively. The Erzgebirge folk art also offers nativity scenes, and on top of this in a great variety of styles. In addition to traditional forms of representation, some very interesting modern designs have been coming up in the past decades. At Erzgebirgepalace we offer you a rich selection of precious and beautiful nativity motifs - whether classic or modern, small or large, colorful or natural, turned or carved.

Several hundred nativity figurines from well-known manufacturers such as Björn Köhler, Günter Reichel, Näumanns, Hennig Figuren, ULMIK, Holzkunst Schalling, Schnitzerei Helbig, FLADE, Marlen Tröger and Theo Lorenz can be found in the assortment of Erzgebirgepalace. The nativity scenes from the Erzgebirge (ore mountains) represent both regional authenticity and masterly craftsmanship. Every single nativity scene is created with much attention to detail and a passionate practice of traditional craftsmanship. Nativities from the Erzgebirge region have always been a part of the folk art, with rather simple, carved or turned forms - in contrast, for example, to the baroque carved figurines of the nativity tradition in South Tyrol. With much respect for the old tradition, some modern interpretations of the nativity scene have been created in recent years, with a lot of innovative ideas and new forms, so that Nativities are experiencing a sort of “renaissance” in the Erzgebirge.

Anyone who appreciates the original character of wood can be convinced by the nativity scenes of Schalling Holzkunst or Björn Köhler (one of the pioneers of modern form development in the Erzgebirge). The harmoniously rounded shapes of the awarded Björn Köhler nativity figurines are particularly impressive because of their pureness and simplicity. The shimmering, natural grain of the wood is deliberately placed to emphasize the shape of each figurine in an impressive way.

Näumanns' Kavex Nativity has also won an award for its innovative design. It impresses with timelessly elegant elements and a consistently modern design, combined with tradition: the basic forms are inspired by the ancient craft of tube drilling and create an extremely effective, unusual and yet emotionally appealing overall picture. The figurines’ heads and hands can be bent in different positions, to give them an individual character.

If you prefer miniatures, you can simply buy the nativity “to go”. Marlen Tröger places her nativity scenes in a small chipboard box which can easily be carried around and also serves as a pedestal. Tröger hand nativities are also very special: the tiny holy family is placed in a beautiful, hand-caressing ball made of oiled lime wood.

The beautiful Christmas Nativities by Theo Lorenz in natural or coloured glaze rather follow the traditional Erzgebirge style, with more details and painted faces. Also the Ulmik nativitiy, stained in different wood tones or cheerfully colored, is more traditional, with special attention to a sweet-naive way of representation, which radiates a childlike innocence. The lovely Nativity Figurines by FLADE with real flax hair, glued by hand with the greatest precision, also bring children's dreams back to life. Just take a look and see what else you may discover!

By using different glazes or varnishes the Erzgebirge nativity scenes get an original natural or modern elegant style. The palette ranges from warm and cold colours to bright and classic variations. Especially modern nativities often impress with a uniform colour scheme that gives them a noble touch. In some cases, electric lighting also conjures up a contemplative light on the holy scene.

A Christmas nativity is not just a simple decorative element, whose scenery is viewed like a picture. Building and arranging the figurines during the Advent season can be turned into a personal event within the family, and at the same time the Christmas story is brought directly to the little ones in a playful way. If you or your own children have ever participated in a nativity play, the nativity scene is a wonderful reminder of the joyful event.

The history of Christmas Nativities

The tradition of setting up nativity scenes goes back to early Christianity and is one of the most important symbols for the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. The basis of the nativity scene depiction is the prehistory of Jesus' life from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and often a combination of the stories of both evangelists.

According to the Gospel of Luke, which was probably written in the 2nd century AD, the Child Jesus was already at that time depicted in a manger with an ox and donkey. Mother Mary was added in the Middle Ages, Father Joseph even later. It cannot be strictly determined when exactly the first nativity scenes were set up in churches. St. Francis of Assisi is often referred to as the founder of the nativity scene, because in 1222 he re-enacted Christmas events with real people and living animals in a forest in Greccio. The Sistine Chapel of S. Maria Maggiore in Rome houses one of the oldest nativity scenes, dating from 1289 by Arnolfo di Cambio.

Christmas nativities reached the great heyday in the Baroque period. The first reports of church nativity scenes come from southern Germany: after the Reformation the nativity scene was used as a devotional object and means of religious instruction. The Jesuits themselves built thereupon impressive nativities, which took on more and more folkloristic character and quickly spread throughout Europe.

Each figure of the typical nativity scenery has its own symbolic content: the child in his poor crib with sparse clothing symbolizes the Son of God, who became a human being without possessions. The young mother Mary embodies virgin innocence and purity. She is often positioned beside the manger in a kneeling or seated position. Joseph's slightly bent posture, with his staff and the shining lantern show him as protector and guardian of light. Shepherds and sheep are just as welcome in the setting as ox and donkey, which have been an integral part of the Christmas nativity since early Christian times and represent the burden of mankind, assumed by Jesus. As if to crown it all, the arrival of the Three Holy Kings adds some glamour. Numerous legends and stories entwine themselves around the appearance of the Three Wise Men, who are supposed to have represented the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. They carry gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts with the appropriate symbolism, and often arrive by camel or elephant.

Different forms, materials and sceneries make up the variety of Christmas nativities today. Anyone who decorates his room with a Christmas nativity is the guardian of a millennia-old ritual for the holy season.

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