Great American Collectibles
Christiaan Claus (South Africa)

Christiaan Claus (South Africa)

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Christiaan Claus (South Africa)
Released in 2017
Only 100 Issued
Designed and Painted by Mary Jo Gross from Aloha, OR
Original Carving by Rob Francis
All our collectibles are 100% Made in the USA
Approximately 7" tall

Christiaan is from Simon’s Town, South Africa. He is known for his big heart and his two helpers, Higgins and Lady. They are African penguins that Christiaan named after the famous South African rhinos of the same name. Higgins and Lady love to entertain the children when Christiaan is handing out candy to the townsfolk during their summer Christmas festival.

As you may or may not know, my family and I are on a 6 year journey around the world. Sometimes we strike upon a country or situation or what have you, that inspires a Santa. We got to spend 3 amazing months in South Africa this year and we came away for the experience with a whole new perspective on so many things. One of them was the rhino poaching and what happened to Lady and Higgens (google their story). So we decided to integrate them into our piece this year, along with our experience visiting the penguins in Simon's Town. And of course, we topped off the South Africa commemoration by naming him after one of the most famous South Africans, Christiaan Barnard. The first person to successfully transplant a human heart. And that happened on Dec 3, 1967. So we released Christiaan on the same date, 50 years later.

If you wish to read about our South Africa experience (or just follow us online) and see our pictures with the penguins and Lady and Higgins, visit our travel blog.

In the past, we had upgraded the presentation of our collectibles by mounting them on a custom engraved wooden base and we also included a separate wooden plaque of sorts (we call it a "story chip"), custom engraved with the character's story. But starting in 2017, we upped the ante. We are now (and this is a permanent change) mounting each Santa onto a stainless steel, laser etched base that has been treated with a copper finish to maintain the "Old World" styling. Wait until you see it in person. It's stunning. And we didn't stop there. We are also including a double-sided, laser etched story chip made from the same material as the base. This will be our standard moving forward. I have always striven to make our characters one-of-a-kind collectibles and I believe we've finally reached my ultimate vision for our pieces and for the company. I challenge you to find another holiday collectible that is more stunning in presentation than our Great American Old World Santas. And all this has been accomplished without sending one piece of the work overseas. It's 100% American Made.

Since 2013, each of our Old World Santas have had one of the most important documents in western civilization embedded into the center of each one. We fold up and encase into the center of each Santa, a copy of the Declaration of Independence. It is the bedrock of individual liberty and defines what is unique and, well... let's face it, great about America. We find it particularly befitting since we are, after all... Great AMERICAN Collectibles.

The artistry of our pieces has been stepped up tremendously since 2011. From 1988 (when the line started) to 2010, our pieces had a more simple, folk art (almost spartan) look to the artistry. However, since 2011, with the help of one of the most amazing artist I've ever worked with, Mary Jo Gross, we stepped up the look to an incredibly detailed presentation. Her work is jaw-dropping gorgeous, while still maintaining its folk art roots. Although the artistry is much more detailed and distinct than our old style of painting, they all still have the folk art carved appearance that we have all come to know and love about Great American Collectibles. But the time it takes now, to paint just one Santa, is orders of magnitude more than the older method. Hence the higher price points. But along with the higher price point comes a piece of art that retains even more value as time marches on. And with the addition, this year, of the copper base and story chip.... well... Our Santas are unparalleled in the collectible space. We hope you enjoy them for years to come.

He's brand new, in the original box with all the original accessories including his copper treated, laser engraved base and story "chip".

Depending on timing in relation to Christmas, your order will come via USPS Ground or Priority Shipping. If you wish to have it sent outside the US, purchase the item at the listed price and then tell us where you need to have it sent in the comments during your purchase. We'll come to a mutually agreeable additional price and solidify the purchase. If we don't come to an agreement, we'll just cancel the purchase and you won't be charged or will be refunded.

155 USD