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The fashion for recreating Nativity scenes reached the height of popularity in Naples and Sicily in the early 1700s. Coral was a popular medium as it was thought to symbolise the blood of Christ. Red Mediterranean coral was plentiful off the coast of Sicily, and from the 1400s to the 1700s the province of Trapani was well known for coral craftsmanship.

Trapani Nativity Group 1650-1700 © Compton Verney

Trapani Nativity Group 1650-1700 © Compton Verney

Trapani Nativity Group 1650-1700 © Compton Verney

Trapani Nativity Group 1650-1700 © Compton Verney

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