Uncanny Artist Ephemera and Objects for Artists and Collectors
  • Antique Papier Mache Infant Jesus

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    This is an unusual Antique Papier Mache Infant Jesus, which probably dates from the end of the 18th century.  The sculpture is made of hollow papier mache and measures 9" high by 3.75" wide (at the elbows) and 2.75" deep.  His arms are lifted across his chest with his two index fingers pointing upward and his knees are bent with one foot resting against the ankle of the other leg.  He is anatomically correct.  His facial features have been simply sculpted and hand painted.  There is a glossy finish over all of the skin.  Long, blonde curly hair has been glued to his head.  He is wearing a deep crimson gown with applied silver thread trim, a black spotted white fur vest, and part (the brim) of a black velvet hat.  He is clearly meant to be seen only from the front, as the gown is not closed and the fur is patched on the back.  He also has a red beaded bracelet around each wrist.  There is a hole near the bottom of his buttocks, suggesting that he was shown standing up.  He probably had either a top to his hat, a crown, and/or a halo (as there is a hole at the back of the top of the head).  This Christ Child was purchased at a Santa Fe estate sale, where he was identified as being made in Venice, Italy.  However, He may come from the Spanish Colonial tradition found in South America.  Given the age and fragility of the piece, this Antique Papier Mache Infant Jesus is in good condition.  His left foot has been damaged with the top part of the foot missing. Both his legs are cracked but intact.  There is very slight crazing on his face and arms.