Posted on December 16, 2012 | 0 Comments
Every year the Marcel Carbonel Santons workshop in Marseille creates at least one new Santon, sometimes more. 2012 brings: The Olive Gatherer - La Ceuilleuse d'olives in Size #2 - the Elite size.
We always look forward to each new figure, but this year we were, to be honest, particularly pleased with the Olive Gatherer. We imagine our delight is on several different levels. She is more than elegant, wearing a wide-brimmed black hat to shade herself from the sun over a green cotton headdress. She has a headscarf on her shoulders, a pinafore around her waist, and carries a basket of olives on her left arm, a branch of olives in that left hand, and an olive rake in the other. Another container of olives lies at her feet. The painting of her costume is, as always, exquisite.
Yet, more than that, I think she is especially appealing to those of us who are not from the French culture, as she symbolizes the harvesting of the glorious olive trees and in turn the pressing of those olives into olive oil, that we, as foreigners automatically and rather romantically associate with Provence. Provence is known not for the quantity of its olive oils, but for their superb quality.
You may enjoy reading the books and website of Carol Drinkwater, of All Creatures Great and Small, who has "retired" to an olive farm in Provence and has written of all things olives. Her story is charming, as is Carbonel's new figure. It is hard to imagine someone not wanting to add The Olive Gatherer to their Santons collection.