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SOLD Kubasta Nativity - First edition - ORIGINAL 1953 NATIVITY - Very rare stand up Kubasta nativity complete - LIDOV BETLEM

Kubasta ORIGINAL 1953 NATIVITYLidov Betlem

Alternative Views:

Kubašta, Vojtěch - Lidov Betlem

Pop-up Nativity
1953. 1st edition. Complete.

Extremely hard to find Kubasta nativity. Very good condition with no tears. DIY Construction sheet set, constructed.

Movable Stationary printed an article by movable book expert, Theo Gielen in November of 2013, Volume 21, number 4. Theo mentions the possibility that this very early Kubasta nativity might exist because Dagmar remembered seeing it in her home as a child during that time. As evidenced here, it does indeed exist. Opus VK describes a 1967 edition with the same scene but this is the first 1953 edition, not the later one (As evidenced by type of paper, newsprint glued to heavier stock) . It was also reproduced again in 1991 (see below). 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 condition! No tears or missing pieces. Already put together.

The words on the roof are: pokoj lidem dobre vule (Peace To His People)

If you would like a better view of what this nativity looks like standing up, the following website pictures the (also rare) 1991 reproduction version:


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 1939 in the Czech magazine 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:

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 glossier paper (The one here is the original 1953 edition as evidenced by the newsprint type paper pasted to heavier paper.)

4. Moravské Jesličky - "Moravian crib" - 1954 (We have this one in our collection as well. With no re-prints known - few collectors know what it looks like. Please feel free to inquire.

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


Product Code: K-57