All our santons are real Provencal Christmas santons. They have been handcrafted in terracotta and painted by hand for 3 generations.
Each subject is first modeled by hand to create the mold. In production, each subject is hand painted, color by color, in oils and acrylics.
Did you know?
Originally, it was Saint Francis of Assisi who, in 1223, staged a representation of the nativity with real characters and animals (living crib).
It was not until the beginning of 1800 that cribs reappeared in churches (after the ban by the French Revolution). At that time, a Marseillais, named Louis Lagnel, had the idea to model the characters of the nativity in clay, and to create molds to reproduce his models in series. He also represented the people who lived around him, the baker, the grinder ... The first santon and the Provençal crèche were born, and the Provençals contributed greatly to its expansion throughout France.
Choose your crib figurines
The genuine santons of Provence are shaped in clay and painted by hand. It’s a French craft, coming from an ancient tradition.
This tradition of Provencal creche continues today in southern France, where the influence of Occitan culture remains. There’s a strong concentration of santonniers in Aubagne, Marseille, Aix en Provence and Arles.
To choose quality santons, you must take into account several criteria. They must of course be made in an artisanal way in terracotta and painted by hand… but that is not enough!
You must also pay particular attention to the finesse of the details (this is the signature and the know-how of a "great" santonnier). In particular, the face, the drape and the shapes of the santon attest to the quality of the mold. Likewise, the realism and expression of the face gives you guarantees on the painter's mastery.
A renowned santonnier must therefore be recognized as an 'artisan of art' ... And, as a guarantee of quality, our santonnier has also received the gold medal for the best worker of France twice!