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Kubasta Nativity - 1972 -Loretansky Betlem - Very rare stand up Kubasta nativity complete with both of the original free standing figures

Kubasta Nativity - 1972 -Loretansky Betlem pop-up

Alternative Views:

Kubašta, Vojtěch - Loretansky Betlem

Pop-up Nativity
1972. 1st edition. Complete.
43 X 24 X 13 cm.

Extremely hard to find Kubasta nativity.

Very good condition with no tears, and all parts, including both of the original free-standing figures. There are some bend lines - see photos.

These early interlocking nativities were printed on thin board. The scene depicts a traditional nativity with a slide-out background showing the Czech skyline of Loreta in Prague. The left side has an attached flip-out house scene that we did not know existed before acquiring this one. See photos. Very difficult to find in any condition, this one still has both of the original free-standing interlocking pieces, a shepherd holding a baguette and a sheep piece.

Collector's information on this nativity: Kubasta was friends with Loreto in Prague Castle. This first (1972) edition was made for the art hall in Prague, an enterprise of the Czech Catholic Charity. It's printing process was advanced for it's time . Added to the basic 4 colors was a 5th color as well as a gold one.
The 2nd edition was published in 1991 by AZ servis. A beautiful third edition, which brought back much of the original glory, was published in 1995 by Kubasta's Grandson.
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. 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 s námi do Betléma - "Come with us to Bethlehem" - 1952

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

3. Moravské Jesličky - "Moravian crib" - 1954

Later sets:

Lidove Jesličky - "People's Nativity" - 1967 and 1968 - possible 1991 reprint

Vánoční betlém
- (Looks like a Palm Tree nativity) 1968 Oftis - 1990 Giamon Roman - later pirated editions in 90's and poorly printed 2011 edition.

Pražský betlém - 1968 Orbis, 1969 Orbis and a 1991 panorama construction sheet

Loretansky Betlem - Orbis - 1972

Český Betlém - nativity sheet - 1991 (possible earlier one, we don't know)

Product Code: K-36