December 17, 2012


Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Donald M. Rattner.

Porcelain figurines are among the great traditions in European decorative arts, but that doesn’t mean contemporary designers can’t make their own contributions to this rich legacy. Case in point: the charming Presepe Nativity set from Alessi.

Designed between 2007 and 2010 by comic strip artist and illustrator Massimo Giacon and Alessi designer Laura Polinoro, the set includes 5 hand-decorated figures and a wonderful manger in a symbolic egg shape.

The basic set comes with the manger and five figures: Baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary and two animals. The Three Magi, a pair of Sheep, Amir and Camelus, and two sets of angel musicians can be purchased separately to expand the scene. All of the figures are rendered in a smile-inducing illustration style that aptly conveys the joyous nature of the holiday.

The scale of the figures makes them very suited to a small space. The manger measures 6 1/4 by 5 by 5 1/4 inches, and the figures  range in height from 3/4 to 2 inches. Purchase them here.