The hand-decorated Madonna Christmas Bauble made of mouth-blown glass is part of the Palle Presepe collection (Italian: Nativity Scene Christmas Bauble) by A di Alessi. There it represents Mary, one of the classic crib figures which enact the Nativity Scene right next to the Christmas tree.
The tradition of decorating Christmas trees with large and small colouredChristmas 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 spherical form was the easiest one to execute. That's the way the many colourful Christmas baubles, which would soon become a tradition in various countries and cultures, came into being. It was only in 1964 that the Goetzenbruck glass factory ceased to produce Christmas baubles on an industrial scale.
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. Marcello Jori:
"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, shining more brightly than others, was the Infant Jesus." Jori's dream came true. Today, those hand-decorated baubles made of mouth-blown glass really exist. The "Palle Presepe" consists of the ten classic Nativity Scene figures, which help to create a brand new Christmas tree with fantasy and a touch of irony: Mary and Joseph with the Infant Jesus, Ox and Donkey, the Angel, the Star and the Three Wise Men.