it all began when I was a child and there was this tiny little nativity set all in plastic. As far as I could remember it had always been in our family. No one considered it to be special but I always loved it. Over the years it sadly lost some of the little figures: a king, a sheep and the shepherd.
When grown-up I left home but the creche remained at my parent's place.
I have always loved to go to flea-markets, antique shops, etc.
One day, on a flea market in southern Germany, I saw a little nativity set. It was the equal holy family painted in the same colours that I knew so well. But the stable was different and there were no shepard and kings.
I bought it and next Christmas I put it under the Christmas tree. I phoned Mum if she would allow me have the original set as well. She said yes.
Two years later I went to Montana, U.S. for a holiday. There in an antique shop I suddenly saw the well known holy family again. It was another example with same family and sheep, no kings or shepard but again another stable hut.
I also bought it.
The next Christmas was getting nearer. This time I decorated three little nativity sets around the Christmas tree. And I got curious ...
I started looking through the internet and I found the little holy family in dozens of variations. I was flabbergasted to say the least!
These little nativity sets surely are not especially valuable in money but it is fascinating how they must have been Christmas decoration in so many homes around the world.
And I started collecting.
Well, I do not intend to ever own all variations of them but I want know more about it and expand my collection.
The oldest examples (I think) I have found so far are some German ones. I also have a nativity set produced in Austria and most of them are marked Hong Kong and a few China.
They seem to have been produced from the 1950s up to the 1970s.They must at least have been sold in Germany and the U.S.
I'd love to know who once designed this set and where.
If you can tell me something about it, please let me know! Or if you have one of these sets yourself, please send me a scan and if there is a production number inscribed please tell me, too. If you have some memories about this little creche that you are willing to share, I'd also love to hear it. Thanks!