Duncan Royale Collectibles,
4000 years of rich tradition Santas have revealed a selfless love exemplifying
the true meaning of Christmas
in mind Duncan Royale are no longer in production, and are only available on the
secondary market. These collectibles are becoming rarer and harder to find
every day. Most have been out of production for 20 years.
“Santa Claus” is the
most famous of the myriad of traditions surrounding the Christmas season. He is
one of the most enduring global personifications of the holiday season.
Santa now enjoys a nearly
universal image as the jolly plump gentleman carrying his bag of toys, steering
his reindeer and sliding down chimneys. This image we all have of him is
relatively new, considering how long he has been part of the culture of
virtually all peoples for hundreds of years.
The primary reason Santa
Claus was not always perceived in the same form as he is today was the primitive
means of communication available in those early times, combined with the slow
intermingling of cultures and religious beliefs.
When Christianity spread
throughout the Old World, the drama of the first Christmas was told to each
succeeding generation. Gift giving commemorated the generosity of the three wise
men who traveled to Bethlehem bearing gold frankincense and myrrh as gifts.
Three hundred years later a
man named Nicholas was born in what is now Turkey. It was not long before
legends began spreading about him and the marvelous deeds reputed to him. One of
the legends directly concerned the giving of gifts demonstrating his concern for
those in need.
St. Nicholas was eventually
to become one of the most universally revered saints, a patron of many
occupations and even some nations. Although canonized by the Roman Catholic
Church in the ninth century, it is generally believed this official recognition
would have been bestowed years before had the Church developed the official
sainthood status earlier.
St. Nicholas’ death on
December 6th made that date on the calendar his special day. The various
cultural and religious rites commemorating St. Nicholas day gradually became
associated with Christmas as an extension of the holiday season.
The melding of Christianity
with pagan cultures over the centuries, through the Crusades, the movement of
nomadic tribes, and conversion, gradually provided St. Nicholas with a unique
role in each culture. As with the role he played. the visual perception of him
differed as well. In some areas his image was shaped by the belief in the pagan
god Odin. In others, Saturn played a major role.
This volume shows the
various images of the man and legend who has brightened the lives of nearly
every young child in the world for over a thousand years.
From earliest times when
gods and goddesses ruled the affairs of humans, legends grew to explain the
unusual and the unknown. There were no written records and each legend relayed
by word of mouth frequently changed at the discretion of the story teller.
In prehistoric times unusual
occurrences were attributed to the acts of gods and goddesses. The lore of
European countries is filled with legendary figures responsible for the sun,
moon, lightning, thunder, good crops, the rainbow and other natural phenomena.
Each deity had a day or period of celebration in his or her honor.
Many countries retained
their specific holidays until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries when
communication between areas became more common and cultures merged. It took many
years before the pagan beliefs were superseded by Christianity.
Throughout the legends, be
they Scandinavian, German, Italian, Russian, French, Spanish or English there
was a time of gift giving and celebrating during the winter solstice. The gift
givers were male and female, pixie and saints each coming from legendary heroes
of places of origin.
nations improved in 1850 when the International Postal Union was formed, then
the legends of Christmas became somewhat en - tangled. The Italian Befana and
Russian Babouska, both female figures, and the: German Christkindt and England’s
Sir Christmas left customs in confusion.
In 1821 an American scholar
wrote a poem about Christmas for his children. Little did he realize the St.
Nicholas he created would become so popular. In “A Visit From St. Nicholas”
by C. C. Moore, every group could find something familiar.
His name was St. Nicholas,
later shortened to Santa Claus, who satisfied the Dutch and German people. His
jolly character went well with his Pixie origin and the Scandinavians envisioned
their gods Thor and Odin going through the sky in a sled drawn by reindeer.
European countries took the
lovable American Santa Claus into their heart. Illustrators changed St. Nicholas
from priestly robes to more secular clothes; they also gave him a bag of toys
and had him on roof tops ready to go down a chimney. His clothing was sometimes
red, sometimes brown, blue, or purple; whatever suited the illustrator. It was
not until 1890 before red became the most popular color.
The American Santa Claus has
been accepted by most of Europe. The slow transition of nearly seventy years
finds some countries still practicing old customs but Santa Claus, as the gift
giver is nearly universal.