Brück and Sohn (Printers in Meissen, Germany 1793-2018) celebrate European cities and culture with their exquisite Advent Calendars. After honoring their 225th anniversary in October 2018, the 7th generation, Annette and Helmut Brück, retired, closing their doors. An era has come to an end.
My Growing Traditions has scavenged where we could and replenished our inventory in hopes of being able to make them available to you as long as possible. We do have limited supplies available.
Here we present a few customer favorites -
The Brücks continue to memorialize the history of their company and offer a small museum and postcard archive which are preserved in Meissen and which are open to the public by appointment.
Given our limited supplies we recommend you secure yours now. You can click on the photos and titles above, or click here: to find the entire collection
New this year, from the Carbonel Santons workshop in Marseille, is the Size #2 Milliner / Hat Maker / la Chapelière.
This delightful figure commemorates the traditional folkloric straw hats worn by Carbonel's Provençal Santons.
There exist several modern hatmakers where one can find these wonderful Provençal straw hats, including Tracelet
One can also find at Mouret the traditional black felt hat worn by many of Carbonel's male figures
Felt Frederic Mistral ( Capeu di Frederi Mistral ):
Of French manufacture, exclusive creation, the black hat, with broad edges, of Frédéric Mistral and felibres is the typical hat of Provençal. Can be worn on horseback as in the city everyday.
Add the Milliner / Hat Maker / la Chapelière in Size #2 to your collection and celebrate the 18th / 19th century dress of the Santons world.
A Swiss nativity scene with a French touch - by Thomas Kern, pictures and text.
as published in swissinfo.ch - This is such a special celebration of a Santons Christmas, one cannot help but share the magic.
"Joseph, Mary, and the Christ Child are joined by common folk in a priceless nativity scene on show in northern Switzerland."
All alone, but not for long Putting the animals in position
"The nativity scene has been put together under the expert direction of art historian Rudolf Velhagen. Velhagen, head of the historical collection at the Museum Aargau, discovered the nativity figurines, 'Santons', while teaching art history in Marseille, and decided to bring them to Switzerland."
The people of Provence Creating the background by hand
"Made by the late French artist Marcel Carbonel, the Santons include not only the usual nativity figures, but common folk from a cross-section of Provençal society. There's a baker, knitting grandmother, fishmonger, vagabonds and men and women in traditional costume."
There's room for a shepherd....Putting together a nativity is much like putting together a train set.
"Velhagen has over 60 figurines in his collection. Each Santon has its place, representing society in its entirety and without any direct reference to the nativity story. An important source of inspiration for the figurines was the 'Lettres de mon moulin' by the French writer Alphonse Daudet (1840 - 1897), who describes happy and sad events."
They've arrived... Joseph and Mary The Three Kings are on their way
"The figurines are placed in reference to political or social conditions, while the traditional Santons - the shepherds, angels and the Three Kings - are moved each day, slowly approaching the birthplace of the Christ Child."
An angel has a prominent place.... As does a baker
The landscape of Provence Missing Jesus... who arrives
The Pharmacist is, simply said, essential to any community. This year, 2018, Carbonel has added this smart figure to their Size #2 / Elite Santons collection.
We enjoyed reading about the history of pharamacy - here - going back to 2100 B.C.E.
He joins the townspeople to include the Mayor, Mr. Jourdan, the Notary, etc. and will make a lovely addition to your collection.
Happily, 2015 brings The Olive Gatherer - La Ceuilleuse d'olives - to Marcel Carbonel Santons Size #3 / Grande - the 3-1/2" size.
First introduced in 2012, we loved the Olive Gatherer in Size #2
and we love her even more in Size #3. 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 right arm, a branch of olives in that right hand, and an olive rake in the other. A bag of olives lies at her feet. The painting of her costume is, as always, exquisite.
Yet, more than that, we 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.
Olive trees were planted by the Greeks when they settled circa 600 BC in Provence and around the Mediterranean. The trees thrived in the dry, stony, limestone soil and helped prevent erosion. Today, Olive oil from Provence is a limited crop. Varied and distinctive, Provence is known not known for the quantity of its olive oils, but for their superb quality.
Patricia Wells, a renown Provence cookbook writer rejoiced in this year's harvest.
Just last month, in November, she made the decision to pick the olives in her olive grove by hand. She writes:
"The events of Friday November 13th in Paris left us stunned and horrified. It is the city that I have come to call home and not uncommonly for a Friday night, I was out dining with friends at a small bistro on the left bank when the news of the attacks broke. We decided that the most positive action we could take was to continue with our plans to harvest our olive grove in Provence, both to celebrate the longevity, strength, beauty, and bounty associated with the revered olive and to soothe our saddened souls."
Carbonel's Olive Gatherers make a soulful addition to everyones Santons collection!
Enjoy our My Growing Traditions Marcel Carbonel Pinterest Board - click here
We have expanded our offerings in wooden stables this year. We are always looking for the best. These hand-crafted in Bavaria stables are stellar pieces of folk art in their own right, and work ever so well with Carbonel's Santons or the nativity figures from the Emil Helbig workshop.
For Carbonel Size #3 - the Grande - 3-1/2" size - this stable is perfection...
On a wooden platform, wooden and plaster walls, a hay crib - click here or on the image above to see close-ups of the architectural detail.
The visit of Pope Francis to the United States this year was to so many of us inspirational - inspirational and a breath of fresh air.
He is named, of course, after Saint Francis of Assisi. With his traditional humility, he says he was nudged by a Papal friend "not to forget the poor." Yet, his own deep-seated persona so thoroughly embraced the name - Saint Francis of Assisi was a man of poverty, a man of peace, a man who loves and protects the natural world.
Marcel Carbonel's Saint Francis has always been a popular Santon. He is the patron saint of nativities and of santonniers. He spiked in popularity with Pope Francis' election in 2013, and now is even more beloved as a commemoration of Pope Francis' US visit.
What a perfect year to add him to your collection!
Enjoy our Marcel Carbonel Pinterest Board.