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Kubasta, Vojtěch - Original nativity set - Moravské jesličky 1954 – Extremely Rare

Kubasta 1954 Nativity Moravské  jesličky

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Kubašta, Vojtěch -

Original nativity set - Moravské jesličky 1954 – Extremely Rare

Pop-up Nativity
1954. 1st edition. Complete.

Almost impossible to find Kubasta nativity. Very good condition with no tears. All parts original, un-cut, un-assembled.

Movable Stationary printed an article by movable book expert, Theo Gielen in November of 2013, Volume 21, number 4. Theo mentions the possibility that a very early 1953 Kubasta nativity might exist because Dagmar remembered seeing it in her home as a child during that time. The 1953 nativity does exist, we have that one listed on our site as well. In fact there were 3 - 1952, 1953, and 1954. This is the 1954 version.

It is interesting to note that these first 1950's Kubasta nativities were printed on cheap, newspaper like paper. The instructions (in czech) translate to “Glue the crib to weaker cardboard, cut it out and fold under. (remember window, door, gate, window in the room can be cut and colored or cellophane added.)

Excellent vintage uncut condition!

Note that this set , Moravské jesličky , is still uncut from it's original magazine which is bound with other magazines into a binding. It would have to be carefully removed from the binding to allow it to be cut out, pasted onto cardboard per the instructions, and assembled properly.

Collector notes on this nativity scene - It is done in the Moravian style. This scene was published again in 1990 by Panorama Publishing to test interest in this old type of cut-out nativity. It was a small run ( available on this website or email us) and leaded to the 2 other nativities being published in larger numbers - Český Betlém (1991) and Lidový betlém (1992) with the 1990 one being the rarest of the 3. Unlike the original 1950's nativites - the reprints were published on hard cardboard - so there was no need to cut out and paste to stronger paper.

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 very first one appeared in a 1939 Czech magazine called Echoes (we will post photos on this website soon)

The next 4 were all inserted into a Czech magazine in 1951, 1952, 1953, and 1954 as Christmas decorations. They were:

1. ČESKÉ JESLIČKY – “CZECH crib” – 1951 (re-printed in Czechoslovakia in 1991, by Grafiatisk, A.S., with the later edition on heavier paper and entitled Český Betlém)

2. Pojďte s námi do Betléma - "Come with us to Bethlehem" - 1952 (no known re-prints)

3. Lidovy Betlem - "People’s Crèche" - 1953 - reprinted in both 1967 and 1991 on heavier paper (The one here is the original 1953 edition)

4. Moravské Jesličky - "Moravian crib" - 1954 - no reprints known to us

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

When viewing Kubasta's standup pieces, you will often notice a gray or black dog with a red collar. Tha was a depiction of Kubastas beloved dog Alina.


Product Code: K-41