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Neapolitan Nativity Figures


Since the 18th century, Naples' artisan families have created their Neapolitan pastori figures in workshops on Via San Gregorio Armeno, an alley in the Centro Storico heart of Naples. Established under King Charles III, artisans made life-sized nativity figures carved of wood, destined for elaborate church displays. Over generations, they evolved to the smaller , terra cotta figures of today. The artisans fire them then hand-paint them and often clothe them in elaborate costumes. It’s an art form that blends sculpting, painting, fashion and tailoring. The Neapolitan Presepio (nativity scene) is Italy’s high art contribution to the world’s beloved Christmas traditions.

The renowned pottery artisans of Naples have been making their Neapolitan nativity figures, called pastori, in since the 18th century. In the early decades, the artworks were life-sized nativity figures carved of wood, created for elaborate church displays. Under the support of King Charles III, they evolved to the miniature terra cotta figures of today, an art form that blends sculpting, painting, fashion and tailoring. Today the Neapolitan pastori are a widely-known Naples Christmas tradition, renowned for their meticulous attention for detail. Figures are fired in terra-cotta, then hand-painted and often clothed in elaborate costumes. You will find the usual nativity figures here, the holy family, the three Magi, angels, donkeys and oxen. But in Naples, they love to arrange these figures in elaborate settings called Presepio-- medieval town squares, villages with thatched cottages and spinning water wheels.

READ MORE: The Neapolitan Nativity Scene.

The terra cotta and glass-domed figures we offer here are made completely by hand, in the workshop of Gambardella Pastori, located on Via. S. Gregorio Armeno in Napoli. This is a third-generation family workshop.

Products

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Glass-Domed Neapolitan Nativity Scene, 10 cm. tall
Nativity scene under glass dome made in Naples, Italy by Gambardella Pastori
Domed nativity scene features hand-painted, terra cotta figures, measures 10 cm tall, 4 inches.
SKU: PO-5_06
$28.00
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Glass-Domed Neapolitan Nativity Scene, 11 cm. tall.
Miniature nativity scene under glass dome made in Naples, Italy by Gambardella Pastori
Domed nativity scene features hand-painted, terra cotta figures, measures 11 cm tall, 4 1/4 inches tall.
SKU: PO-5_07
$28.00
Qty
Glass-Domed Neapolitan Nativity Scene, 18 cm. tall.
Neapolitan presepe under glass, holy family nativity scene amidst Roman ruins, dome on wooden base measures 18 cm tall, 7 inches. The base measures 14 cm. in diameter.
Nativity scene under glass dome features hand-painted terra-cotta figures, made in Naples, Italy by Gambardella Pastori
SKU: PO-5_05
$89.00
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Glass-Domed Neapolitan Nativity Scene, 28 cm.tall
Neapolian presepe under glass, holy family nativity scene amidst Roman ruins, dome on wooden base measures 28 cm tall, 11 inches. The base measures 18 cm. in diameter.
Nativity scene under glass dome features hand-painted terra-cotta figures, made in Naples, Italy by the family workshop of Gambardella Pastori
SKU: PO-5_04
$159.00
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Nativity Set, Neapolitan Pastori, 7 pieces, 12 cm
Six pieces, hand-painted terra cotta Nativity Set by Gambardella Pastori in Naples, Italy
Adult figures, wise men, Mary, Joseph measure 12 cm tall.
SKU: PO-5_02
$145.00
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Neapolitan Presepio Nativity Set, 6-piece, clothed
Neapolitan nativity set consists of 6, hand-painted, terra-cotta figurines with fabric clothing
The figurines measure 4 3/4 inch (12 cm) tall and are handcrafted by Gambardella Pastori in Naples, Italy
SKU: PO-5_01
$175.00
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Neapolitan Terra-Cotta, Hanging Angel, 8-inch
Hanging angel, swarthed in orange and tan robing, handcrafted in Naples by Gambardella Pastori
Terra-cotta angel measures 8 inches tall, hangs from a hook on the wall or a fishline from the ceiling.
SKU: PO-5_03
$95.00
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