Christmas Collectibles

House of Fontanini Expands Line of Christmas Collectibles
For those who appreciate hand-crafted workmanship and breathtaking detail, the House of Fontanini is a Christmas favorite. Fontanini is renowned for their Christmas collectibles, specifically their nativity scenes. That’s why fans of Fontanini will be happy to see that Fontanini will be expanding their empire to include Christmas ornaments.

Fontanini started their handcrafted nativity scenes over 100 years ago in 1908. Originally, they created marble-based resin sculptures nearly 3 feet tall in the traditional style. There designs were based on the medieval and rococo wooden sculptures that decorate the apses of Italy’s cathedrals, Fontanini created Christmas collectiles that have a movement and vibrancy previously absent from nativity characters. For generations, European nativity scenes were often very large, displayed in front of cathedrals or in town squares. Fontanini was one of the first Italian companies to really focus on making small nativity scenes (known as crèches).


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Fontanini Christmas collectibles start as clay prototypes, then reproduced in a special chip-proof polymers. Once they dry, each Fontanini figurine is hand-painted for a beautiful finish. But it isn’t simply the fine workmanship that makes Fontanini collectibles so revolutionary. Fontanini figurines are more than just the manger: the workshop produces figures of Betheleham—everyone from fishermen to bakers, children to women fetching water. All the buildings are formed in highly researched architectural detail, creating a village. Those that love these Christmas collectibles can often find their collections spanning thousands of pieces. A full Fontanini village can easily take up an entire living room!

The company is still in the hands of the family who first founded it years ago. Emanuele, Alessandro, Luca, Marco, and Stefano Fontanini are the fourth generation of craftsman producing beautiful work in their ancestral village of Bagni di Lucca, Today, the House of Fontanini produces over 120 Christmas collectibles and 42 unique structures (ranging from tents to buildings to walls and roads). Each Fontanini piece comes with a collector's card, providing the buyer with details of the particular character they have pruchased. The figures normally stand around 5-inches, but carry a timeless beauty that seems much bigger.

Because Fontanini figurines are traditionally so expensive, they haven’t been open to everyone. But in recent years, the family-owned company has expanded their Christmas collectibles empire to include Christmas tree ornaments. Incorporating the same lifelike, serene figures and historically researched buildings, these decorative ornaments ad beauty and charm to any Christmas tree. From ornamental balls to figurines, Fontanini has expanded their line of ornaments to include a variety of sizes and shapes. And at almost half the rate of a Fontanini figurine, these ornaments are a great way to bring century-old Italian craftsmanship into your home, at a price anyone can afford.

For example, the card for Gaspar (also known as Caspar) states that he was the youngest of the three kings, but was about 109 when he set out with his companions to find the Christ Child, and that in deference to the oldest king, Melchior, Gaspar stood aside to allow him to enter the stable first.


Fontanini Heirloom Nativity sets have been distributed by Roman, Inc. since 1973. Roman, Inc. started the Fontanini Collectors' Club, which issued a quarterly newsletter, gave members an annual gift, and allowed them to order specially-produced figurines not available to the general public. However Roman, Inc. ceased their Collectors' Club after 2004.