Creation of ANRI Figurines

It takes three months to create an ANRI wood carved sculpture!

The entire ANRI figurine creation process, from drying the wood to finishing the figure takes about 90 days.

Original ANRI Florentin

The first model

Artists create original prototypes from the designs that are selected to become ANRI figures. The best master wood carvers are then hired to carve in wood or to mould the first model, which is made of bronze, in order to make a durable tool. From these prototypes, special models are prepared so that each figure can be accurately duplicated.


ANRI maple and linden wood

The suitable wood

Only the best slow and symmetrical grown wood species are suitable, such as maple, lime tree, alpine pine, ash tree and pear tree. Accurate drying is necessary so that the moisture content be reduced to the correct level. The process begins with the purchase of 80 year old maple or sycamore trees from plantations in France. The best and healthiest trees are selected and only about 20% of these meet the ANRI standards. The logs are then air dried for up to 3 years and cut into blocks, which are kiln dried to reduce the moisture to 10%. It is from this stock that the wood is sized for figures and placed in storage.

ANRI wood shaping

Rough cut

The first step in the carving process, cutting the contours, is mechanically aided. This helps to ensure that the figure is true to the model, and also prepares the work for the carver. With saw and shaper tools the woodblocks get the right proportion and appearance of the item they will be carved into. As this process is taking place, blocks of wood are roughly shaped to meet the requirements of that particular figure, then the special model is worked by hand to duplicate its form. From that stage, the figure is inspected and if approved goes into the hand finishing sculpture studio where details are completed.

ANRI hand carving

Hand carving

With very careful, delicate manipulation of chisels and knives, the talented masters supervise every single cut, down to the tiniest detail.




Hand painting

After each figure goes through a process of sealing the wood, it travels to the hand painting studio. Here the painters carefully detail each figure with pastel shades of transparent oil paints so that the wood grain remains visible. The special ANRI transparent colors are used so that the beauty of the wood grain is revealed. Gold leaf and silver sheet are often added to the Kings in ANRI Nativities at this point.



After drying, each figure is again inspected and the ANRI seal is applied. It then goes to a storage area where it is carefully wrapped in ANRI logo tissue and put into a box that is properly labeled and eventually starts its journey to collectors in every corner of the globe. Every figure passes through the hands of 16 woodcarvers and painters, and is then quality controlled four times before receiving ANRI’s quality seal. This seal and the certificate guarantee the perfection of the sculpture.

ANRI authentic seal

29 Responses to Creation of ANRI Figurines

  1. Celeste Wdowiak says:

    Hello, I brought a reddish brown and cream ANRI Borzoi dog statue marked on the back – ANRI, mounted with two screws on a wood base that has a metal round medallion on the bottom that saids ANRI ITALY. I was wondering if you could tell me if the the statue resin or wood? I could send photos. Thank you, Celeste

  2. Kisa says:

    I have a 6″ Kuolt collection. I already have the Dromedary with pack (#79700/21) and Resting Dromedary (#7900/25). I would like to add a third dromedary; after all there are three kings! Would the 5″ Dromedary with pack (#79740/21) look too little? I’m hoping it might just look like a smaller individual animal.

    Also is there any place to see the list prices for the figures. Or are the prices at German Clocks the list prices?

    Thank you, Kisa

  3. Deb Proctor says:

    Hello! I have several Anri music boxes and I always thought that Anri was 100% handcarved wood – but my daughter swears it looks like certain pieces on the music box (a figure’s head for example) looks like cast resin or some sort of plastic. Could that be correct? Are they a combination of resin/plastic and wood? Thank you!

  4. Michael Gallegos says:

    I purchased an Anri Rockabye wood carving but have a question about it. Was this piece carved in two separate pieces and then glued together? The bottom of the item appears to be have been made from two pieces of wood, one side supporting the infant in a crib and the other side supporting the young woman knitting. The bottom has an Italy sticker and an embedded metal Anri insignia.

    Thank you,

  5. Phillip Reisweber says:

    Help! I inherited a set(?) of five Anri figures. They are all about 7″ tall and are various type of doctors. They appear to have been purchased at the now defunct Marshall Field and Co. in Chicago for $26.50 each. The all have paper labels with serrated (postage stamp like) edges, describing’ in three languages ‘ the specific type of doctor the figurine is. Two of them have small green and white Anri paper labels and two have Anri brown and white labels one has only the remnants of a label. My questions are 1) What is the age of these five 2) Is this a complete set? Thank you. Hope you can help!

  6. Dennis Berg says:

    Dear Bernd,

    I have a 1968 wooden music box of Charlie Brown that plays “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”. The piece was made by Anri. Can you tell me what it retailed for in ’68 and what the value would be today? Thank you for your time.

  7. M. Stolarz says:

    I have an ANRI nativity set bought in 1969. On the bottom is a sticker saying “ANRI” and a smaller oval sticker with a large T – “o r i a r t” under the T — and Italy on the sticker. I am not sure if the pieces are actually wood. I thought they might be molded. Joseph is approximately 5-inches tall. The pieces cost about $5.50 at the time. What do I have?

    • Hi – that sticker would indicate it was manufactured in 1958. You could have a great set – if it is wood. Can you match the Joseph piece to any of the sets here:

      • M. Stolarz says:

        No I cannot match Joseph. He looks more like Kuolt’s than any other, but is not as bent over and his tunic is longer reaching the ground in back. It came with a stable that has a donkey head and a cow head attached to the back of the stable rather than an actual figurine. When I look at the bottom of Joseph, it is grained like wood. I liked the set because of the delicate facial features and the coloring is more muted that some of the traditional Italian nativities. I also have the stable box marked with the same letters.

  8. Lynda says:

    It’s after Christmas and I’m ready to pack my nativity away until next year. What is the best way to store all my Anri figures so they do not change color or get damaged. Tissue paper? Archival tissue paper? Plastic? Or ???

    • Hi Lynda, Light and moisture are usually the biggest threats. If you are going all out, keep them in a cool semi-dry place where there are no insects, like a closet in their boxes. If you don’t have the tissue paper that came with them, but some acid-free paper and wrap them.

  9. stephanie burke says:

    question: We recently received a “St. Anthony” F4514 anri figurine. Could you possibly tell us how old this figure is. My husband received as a gift in which his aunt tells him it is 100 years old. Please clarify?

  10. Martha Ross says:

    Has Anri ever made a Kuolt-style figure group of Mary and Joseph on the journey to Bethlehem? I believe I have seen groups that depict the flight to Egypt (Mary sitting on a donkey and holding Jesus, Joseph leading the donkey), but it would be lovely to have for Advent a similar group appropriate for the journey to Bethlehem. Does Anri every accept special commissions?

    • Hello Martha, The only thing I can think of would be the set. I don’t believe ANRI would do a special commission for a new series, but for an older one that was already out, they may be able to carve new pieces for it.

      • Martha Ross says:

        Thank you, Bernd. My daughters and I each have a figures from the Kuolt nativity set. Do you know if a Journey to Bethlehem group was ever made for this series? (Or a Flight to Egypt that might be adapted?) We all would be interested in having such a group.

  11. stacey spencer says:

    interested in purchasing additions to and ANRI nativity set.

    is there a phone number to speak with someone about this or do I order online?

  12. ALISON ROSS says:

    I have been given a small figure I belive to be ANRI. there are no markings but he is very finely carved and looks very similar to many of your figures . Is there a way to find out if he is a Anri figure?

  13. Dr Kathryn A Mangone says:

    Do you have a list od the 4″ nativity pieces by date? Bernardi

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