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Kubasta Nativity - Prazsky Betlem - Orbis - With BOTH of the original free standing figures 1968

Kubasta Panascopic Orbis pop-up book Nativit

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KUBAŠTA, Vojtech. Pražský Betlém (Prague Bethlehem) - First edition

Imprint: Orbis 1968; illustrations © Vojtech Kubasta; SG-V. Šenov; price 10 kopecs

Vojtech Kubasta's Prazský Betlém features Prague landmarks, including the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle's St. Vitus Cathedral in the background

Includes BOTH of the ORIGINAL separate free standing figures - the kneeling Magi, and the four musicians with a violinist, trumpet player, oboist, cello player' and a singing dog.

Main pop-up scene is 10 by 20 inches unfolded. 50 [width] x 25 [depth] x 25 [high] cm. 33x25 cm when closed

Near Fine condition - all original with no damage.

Note - This is the rare first edition (1968). The second edition was 1969, and the third edition was 1991

Collector's information about this nativity: Notice the beautiful backdrop of Prauge. This is the first edition and was printed in 40,000 copies. A second edition was made in 1969 - but not released until released in 1970 - and it was published again in 1991.

Collectors Corner:

See the November 13 Volume 21 Number 4 edition of Movable Stationary for an informative article on all of Kubasta's Christmas pop-ups by Theo Gielen.

According to the book Pop-ups, Illustrated Books, and Graphic Designs of Czech Artist and Paper Engineer, Vojtech Kubašta (1914 - 1992) by James A Findlay and Ellen G.K. Rubin, "Among the more collectible and rare of Kubašta’s pop-ups are the nativity tableaux. It is estimated that he made fifteen to seventeen nativities including table decorations, greeting cards, and crèches"

The decorative creche sets, some with the stand alone figures are difficult to find with all the pieces.

History of Kubasta's stand-up nativities:

They started out as construction sheets that you put together. The ones that we know about are:

The first 3 were all inserted into a Czech magazine in 1952, 1953, and 1954 as Christmas decorations. They were:

1. Pojďte námi do Betléma - "Come with us to Bethlehem" - 1952

2. Lidovy Betlem - "People’s Crèche" - 1953 and 1967 - reprinted in 1991 by Pressfoto Publishing

3. Moravské Jesličky - "Moravian crib" - 1954

Later sets:

Lidové Jesličky - "People's Nativity" - 1967 and 1968 - possible 1991 reprint (had two free standing figures. 1st with two children, 2cond with one child)

Vánoční betlém - (Looks like a Palm Tree nativity) 1968 Oftis - issued two sizes - 15 and 21 cm. in height . Second edition - 1990 Giamon Roman - then later pirated editions in 90's and poorly printed 2011 edition. (two free standing figures that interlock) First edition has rough tan paper on back, later ones smooth white on back)

Pražský betlém - 1968 Orbis, 1969 Orbis and a 1991 panorama construction sheet
(two sets of stand-up figures. The kneeling Magi, and the four musicians (a violinist, trumpet player, oboist, and cello player and singing dog

Loretánský betlém - Orbis - 1972 (two free standing figures - sheep and a man with sheep)

Český Betlém - nativity sheet - (possible earlier one, we don't know) printed in Czechoslovakia in 1991, by Grafiatisk, A.S.


Product Code: K-32