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Duncan Royale Alsace Angel


Item Sku: 12Angel
In the sixteenth century the custom of the German Christchild as gift bringer became widely adopted in Europe. It started in Alsace, a border province, and moved into France.

In Alsace the gift bringer was called le petit Jesus and was depicted in various forms, induding a small boy child in a garland trimmed cart drawn by a lamb. The Cart was laden with gifts to be given to good children. Eventually the figure of the Christchild was replaced by child angels.

Probably one practice responsible for the change to child angels was a result of the enactment of a medieval mystery play of the Nativity done at the Rouen Cathedral as far back as the twelfth century. The parts were sung as a dialogue between the priests and a choir of young boys. A special choir boy dressed as an angel was chosen to sing the solo responses from the bakony.

Except for the choir angels, young children did not attend the midnight mass. They went to bed early after placing their shoes by the fireside in anticipation of gifts from le petit Jesus. Off to bed they went to dream of the miracle of Christmas.

When most of Europe was adopting the American Santa Claus as their Christmas gift giver, the French illustrators began to elaborate on the angel theme. In advertisements and story books, it was a common sight to see the French Angel putting presents down the chimney rather than accept the American Santa.
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$295.00 /   12''
$275.00
  
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