Category Archives: Europe

Baltic Nativity

This delightful hand-lathed, hand-made wooden Nativity was created in the Baltic Nation of Estonia. The figurines are made of pine, birch and fabric. They are approx. 3 inches tall. The stable measures 16″ wide by 6.5″ high.

Note that the shepherd carries a star on a pole. This is a reference to the custom of children dressed as the magi going from house to house on epiphany, accompanied by a shepherd carrying the star.

Dravšnik Nativity

This nativity was handmade by Silva Dravšnik from Slovenia. The figurines are made of stoneware which differs from earthenware, using a potters wheel. Silva has used this technique for over 20 years creating many different figurines, both religious and non-religious.

The difference between stoneware and earthenware is twofold: first, the type of clay and second, the firing temperature. Earthenware uses low-fire clay. The firing temperature is up to 1,000 degrees F. Earthenware is porous when fired. Glazes used in earthenware are usually colorful, though there are exceptions. Examples of earthenware are bricks, flower pots, sculpture such as Raku pottery, Pueblo pottery, maiolica, and more.

Stoneware is made using high-fire clay, which is not porous when fired. The firing temperature is in the range of 2100 – 2372 degrees F. Stoneware glazes tend toward an earthy look, though there are exceptions. It is often used for handmade dinnerware, pitchers, outdoor ceramic sculpture, and handmade floor and wall tiles.

Blue Carnation Holy Family

This Turkish Holy Family has a beautiful carnation motive, hand-painted on white porcelain. This technique and decorative approach dates back to the IZNIK – Ottoman Empire period (14th – 16th Century) and is characterized by the grace, beauty and balance of stylized flower motifs.

Geometrical and symmetrical patterns are drawn and painted upon a ceramic figurines which contain a very high concentration (85-90%) of ground quartz . The high quartz ratio makes these figurines difficult to manifacture and adds to their esthetic value .

This set features Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and a traditional Turkish rug.

The Holy Family comes with a Turkish rug. Each rug has a unique pattern; the photo is only an example. The rug is machine-made and measures 6.25 by 4 inches.

Polish Holy Family

Set in a simple stable, Mary a stout mother Mary is holding a pious baby Jesus. Joseph stand protectively behind them. His facial expression seems to hint at the fact that he does not know what to think. The star rests on top of the stable. The tree of life grows right outside. The donkey is the only animal in the stable.

Jerzy Chodorowski is a Polish sculptor who had been active in Krakow since 1975. His style is very much influenced by the work of Southern polish sculptors, especially from the Podhale region. He mostly sculpts religious figures. His work is in private collections all over the world. (

Bronze Holy Family Relief

This bronze relief depicts a recumbent Mary holding the baby Jesus. Jesus is wrapped in swaddling cloths. Joseph, holding a staff in one hand and gesticulating with the other stands protectively next to Mary. The Star of Bethlehem brightenes up the scene. The ox and donkey look on from a distance.