Brocade Santa with Gold Swag (VFA Nr. 14082)
Brocade Santa with Gold Swag (VFA Nr. 14082)

When thinking of historic Christmas traditions, we often find ourselves transformed to the streets of Colonial Williamsburg during the holiday season. While it is true that these homes were decorated with fruit, flowers, wreaths, and leaves, it wasn’t until the Colonial Revival of the 1900s—in the eighteenth century it would be considered eccentric to decorate with fruit that would rot or be devoured by animals.

The practice, which started in Williamsburg in the 1930s, is thought to be inspired from two historic sources: the first is the fifteenth-century Italian sculptor, Luca della Robbia, whose glazed terracotta roundels were adorned with the symbolic leaves and fruit. The second, the Dutch-British sculptor, Grinling Gibbons, whose delicately decorated Baroque garlands can be seen at places like Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Both sources of inspiration had been adopted and adapted by Colonial Williamsburg starting during the restoration period and has become a staple to Colonial decorations around the world today.

It is only fitting that when Judi began creating contemporary moulds with swag and wreaths that they started in a traditional Colonial color palette before being transformed into a familiar brocade series being embellished with gold leafing and metallic oils giving a true shimmer and glass-like feel.

This is no exception when it comes to the 2016 Brocade Santa with Gold Swag. Its delicate colors and luminance help to harness the works of della Robbia, Gibbons, and Colonial Williamsburg into an inspiring holiday Santa.

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