I always look forward to getting out at the weekend and one of my favourite places is the Station Mill Antiques Centre in Chipping Norton. My husband and I popped out for a visit there a couple of weekends ago and I couldn’t believe it when I came across one of my favourite stalls selling, not just one, but two Santos wooden cage dolls. I know some people find them scary but I think they have a particular charm. Sadly, my house is bursting at the seams and against my better judgement I foolishly decided not to buy them. They had a lovely old shabby time worn look about them although I know they probably weren’t original.
Throughout the following week, I couldn't stop thinking about them and knew in my heart that I should have followed my instinct. I could picture them standing either side of my fireplace looking gorgeous. Anyway, by Friday my urge to drive all the way to Chipping Norton (it takes me nearly an hour) was getting the better of me and I said to my husband that we would have to go early on Saturday morning. Bless him, he’s so used to just going wherever I want to go that he didn’t even complain. We got up bright and early and when we got to Station Mill, my underlying niggle was confirmed ~ one had already been sold. Still, I mustn’t complain, as I managed to get the other one and she is settling nicely into her new home, just waiting for me to make her an outfit. Her right arm needs a bit of attention but otherwise she's in good condition. Now I will have to keep my eyes open for another one to match.
The Santos dolls take their name from the Spanish word for Saint, and are also known as Santons (French) and Santibelli (Italian). Often found in Portugese or Spanish communities they were originally created to use as personal altars at home, particularly in small villages that did not have a priest, or where it was not possible to travel to church, such as during times of war. Their development flourished in Europe in the 1700’s and 1800’s, and they were often elaborately dressed and adorned with crowns. A variety of different items often religious were placed in the cage. For further information see http://www.santoscagedoll.com/. They also have a lovely range of cage dolls and accessories for sale.
Warm hugs ~ at this particularly cold time ~ x Haizi