The hand-decorated Asinello Christmas Baubles made of mouth-blown glass are part of the Palle Presepe-collection (Italian: Christmas Bauble Crib) by A di Alessi. There it represents one of the classic crib figures, which displays the nativity play directly at the Christmas tree.
"Asinello" is the Italian word for "donkey".
A di Alessi explores Christian symbolism of a Christmas nativity play in a loving and elaborate manner and brings it to life in a charming Christmas bauble. The tradition of decorating Christmas trees with large and small coloured baubles of blown glass dates back to the middle of the 19th century, when a particularly dry year in the Vosges deprived the pine trees of their green needles. A glassblower from Goetzenbruck came up with the idea to blow many tiny glass objects and hang them up to counterbalance the sad sight of the bare branches. The shape of the Christmas decorations manufactured in the old traditional way changed along the years, with additional small decors or motives typical for the Christmas time like Father Christmas, bells, stars and sledges, being added.
Later, it was Marcello Jori, whose creative mind and irony created the "Palle Presepe", triggering a small revolution for Alessi. He said that there was a Christmas tree at his home every year, but that he envied those who put up cribs with figures that appeared so much more vivid than the decorative elements on the tree. The designer says: "And in the end, one night I had a dream of an angel, who hang up some new baubles at the Christmas tree, of a kind I had never seen before. The baubles spoke, sang and prayed.
Some of them were the Saints, stars or animals and one of them, lighting more brightly than others, was the Infant Jesus." Jori's dream came true. Now, hand-decorated baubles made of mouth-blown glass really exist. Apart from the shepherds and sheep, there are also many other different motifs of the Christian Christmas tale in the Christmas Bauble collection by A di Alessi