World Nativity Traditions





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wood, paint

Exhibition Label

This six-sided music box ornated with nativity figures, the little musician-angels in particular, is part of the classical Christmas tradition of German culture. It was purchased in Germany probably in the early 1950s by Colonel Wilbur Showalter and his wife Lucile. Dating back to the end of the eighteenth century, today's music boxes recapture memories of an earlier era. At the time, music boxes enabled families to dance and enjoy popular music in the privacy of their homes. They were also an early and simplified version of mechanical crèches. Today nativity music boxes are a reminder of "what goes around, comes around," the annual remembrance of Christ"s birth.


Handcarved and handpainted wood music box depicting the nativity of Jesus, made ine Germany sometime in the 1950s. Exhibition label originally written by Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M. for exhibit entitled "At The Manger" and held at Roesch Library, University of Dayton.


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crèches, nativity scenes, nativities, At the Manger, figurines, Jesus Christ, music boxes, Germany

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