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When it was first introduced in 1988, the Santa on Pig was an instant favorite because of the quirky obscurity of Santa riding a pig. The truth behind the matter, however, is it’s not as random as it may first appear. Anyone familiar with designer, Judi Vaillancourt, knows that she is inspired by traditions, folklore, and history, which is why the Santa on a Pig is the perfect piece for both those who like quirky and those who are reminded of their own family’s traditions.
The Santa on a Pig is, in part, inspired by a Scandinavian gift giver, bearing a striking resemblance to the Father Christmas. This mythological creature, which is likened to a garden gnome, protects both children and animals from evil and is often seen helping with chores. Like Santa, he hands out presents and, according to folklore, is often seen with a pig. In the Vaillancourt Folk Art tradition, this gift giver’s feet are tired and has chosen to ride the pig while delivering presents.
Vaillancourt is a family owned business located in Sutton, Massachusetts and is best known for their handmade and hand painted chalkware figures. These figures are made using vintage and antique chocolate, candy, and ice cream moulds. The Vaillancourt’s have the largest private collection in the USA and have been creating these heirloom masterpieces meant to be passed down from generation to generation since 1984.