Wonderful, distinctive wall hanging from the St. Andrews Abbey in Valyermo, CA. There is an interesting history on these handcrafted ceramics, which have been created by the Benedictine monks and other workers at the abbey since the 1950s. The original abbey was located in Chengtu, China but the monks were expelled by the Communist movement in 1952 – they later resettled the abbey in Valyermo.
The abbey continues to make this style of ceramics, which are easily identified by the large-eyed figures and flattened, rough clay used for the pieces. The individual sections are hand-glazed in different colors and there are two metal hooks embedded in the top for hanging on the wall. This particular plaque is a Nativity scene and is a larger piece than we usually see. We believe this to be an older production, possibly 1960s-70s.
In great condition with no major damage that we can see. There is both a price sticker on front and the word “Nativity Scene”. The back has three impressed marks that are typical of the abbey, as well as a card describing the work. It reads “Nativity: This ceramic plaque, high-fired to cone 10 (2350 deg F) is made by hand by the Benedictine Monks of Saint Andrew’s Priory, an offshoot of the Abbey of St. Andre, Bruges, Belgiium. Expelled from Communist China in 1952, the monks resettled at Valyermo in the high desert of California where they are fulfilling their motto of “work and pray.”
Plaque measures 12 3/4″ by 6″.
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