Vintage Made in Italy or Portugal Santo Nino de Atocha Santos Doll - Patron Saint of Prisoners | Handpainted Details Glass Eyes Wool Hair
What an item to have in the home today! I mean, don't YOU feel like a prisoner under COVID?
The Patron Saint of Prisoners, El Santo Niño de Atocha, is always dressed as a boy pilgrim from the 13th century. He usually wears a hat, a very ornate cloak and carries in his hands either a basket of roses or food in one and a pilgrim's staff in the other. What is unusual about the piece I offer now is that this Saint has no hands.
When I found this stunning piece of religious folk art, I assumed the hands were tucked under the cloak - they weren't. There is only a a small purse with gold hanging cord draped over the (what feels like wood) chest. There also was no hat on the head BUT I did manage to find a small French gilt metal crown with rhinestones and placed that on the head. The long hair is blonde, possibly a wool of some sort, the eyes are glass and yes, there are eyelashes. The wig comes off to reveal how the head was made - in two pieces; it appears to be made of an old hard plastic composite which has been handpainted. There is also about 40 years of dust, stray threads, chippiness to the wood base and just overall OLD AGE to the piece. In other words, absolute "ancient looking" perfection!
Nino stands about 14" high; width is about 10-1/2". The wood base is solid so it's also fairly heavy.
The crown is removeable as you can see and these little beauties cost a small fortune all on their own - upwards of $100 just for the crown is not unheard of. There are no stones missing and the back of the crown does have dust (yes, I have multiple dust bunnies leaving a trail all over my condo)! The crown is about 1-7/8" wide x 1-3/4" long; height is 3/4".
My best guess is that the doll was made anywhere from the 1930s to 1950s. Origin is possibly Italy, Spain or Portugal - certainly one of the most Catholic of countries. The crown was made in France in the early 1900s.
If you collect Santos, this one will fit right in with any collection! Again, DUSTY, DUSTY but BEAUTIFUL!
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