The Old Couple - Couple de Vieux.
The Old Couple, the plump, elderly man and woman, walk slowly and with tenderness, arm-in-arm, to the crib. They wear their finest clothes to honor the Savior. She wears a white cotton headdress, with a printed scarf over her shoulders and a simple apron, both of Provençal prints. He is in his best suit and may carry a lantern to light their way. They may bring with them a variety of gifts: a wicker basket of food (containing perhaps fruit, quince, or goat cheese), dried cod, and garlic. She is slightly stooped. They are happy in their old age. They come to the manger to express their thanks for the blessings they have received, and their request is a simple one: to leave this life together as they have lived it day-in-day-out. They are important to the creche as they represent the fidelity of a couple in old age the contentedness of two lives well-lived, entwined. Together, they embody the worthiness of life.
They are also known by their first names in the Provençaux language: Grasset (the old man) and Grasseto (the old woman).
Enjoy our blog entry on The Old Couple - considered to be the No. 4 "Essential" Santons for a Provençal creche.
Provençal Figurines by C. Galtier and E. Cattin, translated by John Lee (Editions Ouest-France, 13 rue du Breil, Rennes, 1996) provides a list of the top 20 Santons "essential" to the Provençal creche.
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