Friday, July 29, 2011

Traditional Costumes : Postage Stamps "Santons de Provence"

This week some lovely postage stamps with the "Santons" of the Provence. Santons are clay figurines that depict the colorful people, traditional trades, traditional activities and traditional 19th century costumes of the Provence. Santon comes from the Provencal "santoùon", or little saint. Jean-Louis Lagnel (1764-1822) of Marseilles, who made molded figurines for church crèches, decided during the French Revolution, to make the santons for the general population, at a price they could afford. Santons for the public became an instant success, and an industry and tradition was born. Next to the typical Nativity scene Santons like the three wise kings, the shepherds, Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus, the Provencal crèches depict typical Provencal village inhabitants, like the fishmonger, the lavender woman, the lumberjack, etc. The two stamps above are from the 1995 Red Cross series of France; they show the fishwife and the elderly couple.

The next three stamps are from the 1984 Christmas series of Monaco; they show the spinning woman, the garlic woman and the couple "Grasset and Grassette" (stands for kind people, nice and devoted grandparents).

And this last stamp is from the 1991 Christmas series of Monaco; it shows the Arlésienne. She is a native of the city of Arles. Young and pretty, she is always dressed in the very refined traditional costume of the region of Arles.

You can find the Provence on this map:

1 comment:

OnePerfectDay said...

Tthese are really nice!
I always enjoy your collections!