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.
Advent Calendars are a special part of the Christmas season. From December 1 through Christmas Eve open a little door to discover an image or a biblical quote. They are simple and of an everlasting nature (spiritually and because they can often be reused year-in-year- out). They bring us a bit of "quiet time" amid all the hustle-bustle.
All of the advent calendars that we offer come, of course, from Germany. We try to add a significant selection of new ones each year.
and rejoice in keeping as many of the standard classics as well.
They make a perfect little gift for family and friends - add a touch of joy throughout the holiday season. Find our full selection here - German Advent Calendars .
The nativity set from the Emil Helbig Workshop, the oldest wood-carving work shop in the Erzgebirge (Germany's Christmas Capital), is without a doubt one of, if not the, finest hand-carved German nativity sets.
The joy of the Emil Helbig Workshop nativity is all the possibilities - rejoice in the complete set (above).
Choose a Helbig Nativity with a Bavarian stable (below) and a selection of nativity figures plus Bavarian accessories.
Choose the simplicity (below) of the Helbig Mary, Joseph, and Jesus with a hand-carved tree and a tree platform (both from the Erzgebirge).
or choose a set of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus (below)
When and if you want to add additional Helbig figures to your selection, we now offer all of them separately -
the ox -
and the camels -
We feel privileged to be able to offer the Emil Helbig nativity figures to you. To find them in our shop - click here or on any of the photographs above.
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.
We have always found Marcel Carbonel's pack donkeys to be very special. They are one of our favorite figures and are definitely more than cherished by our customers.
Carbonel provides us with three pack donkeys - the Donkey with baskets of fruit, the Donkey with sacks of flour, and the Donkey with fagots (bundles of wood). Shown here is the Donkey with Fagots in Size #3 - Click here to find them in Sizes #1 - 3.
Personally, our first experience with pack donkeys was in Morocco in the mid-1960s. Travelling in southern Morocco we would experience them in the mountains, traveling with their families, packed to the gills with all their possessions, young animals, and the youngest members of their families alike. We early learned to slow our pace to allow them to prevail on the road. Although not taken by us nor in Morocco, this photo always brings back those wonderful memories.
Memories that come to mind as we wrap up your pack donkeys ever so carefully - knowing how much joy they will bring you!
It turns out the donkey of Provence is special to us, and ever so special to Provence.
They came close to dying out. But, the people of Provence have made certain that would not happen.
They were especially bred for strength to help shepherds with sheep herding and the seasonal migrations - transhumance. The earliest records of Shepherds of Provence using pack donkeys dates to the fifteenth century, particularly during the seasonal migrations between the low ground where the sheep over-winter and the high alpine pastures where the sheep spend the summer months.
The donkeys of Provence were selected for their solid bone structure for carrying heavy loads, their docile temperament and good legs to carry them along the shepherds' migratory paths. The donkeys are outfitted with pack saddles that carry the equipment and supplies needed by the shepherds along the journey.
Modern transportation caused a sharp decline in the population of the Provence donkey (13,000 at the end of the 19th century, 2000 in 1956, and 330 in 1993. In December 1992 a breeder's association, the Association de l'Âne de Provence, was formed. They worked with the Haras National, in Languedoc-Roussillon to achieve recognition of the breed. In November 2002 the Provence donkey received the official recognition of the French ministry of agriculture. The current population is estimated at 1500.
One can understand why they are an integral part of Provence heritage and thus, are important figures in the Marcel Carbonel creche.