I've saved the best for last. This incredible German papier-mache Father Christmas/Belsnickel, ca. 1890, measures 25 inches tall and could possibly have also been a candy container at one time, although now glued shut. His coat and hat are trimmed in black curly cloth "fur," which is supposed to simulate Persian lamb trim. The buttons on the coat are of papier- mache, made to look like they were made of deer horn which were worn by the Germans in that time period. His basket is hand woven and very fragile.
Eyes and eyebrows are beautifully hand painted. Examining the coat closely, one can see when opening up the folds of the coat in the back that the original color was once light blue. It has faded over time to a light gray.
His beard is the most magnificent I've ever seen on a Belsnickel. It's not made from the usual rabbit fur that the Germans used on their early papier-maches. Some type of goat perhaps? In any event, it looks just like real hair, and the perfect shade of gray.
Oh, and by the way ...
Welcome to Living Tastefully’s “Antique of the Week” page. Our love of antiques is reflected in every aspect of our everyday lives. We are passionate about collecting and also love functional antiques that can actually be used and not only admired. Hopefully we can inspire you to incorporate antiques in your home and your life to add charm and beauty to your surroundings.