The vintage wooden collectible Saint Patricks Church, from the 1994 New Orleans Christmas Series is a classic example of Catholic church architecture. Since this is a retired piece it is no longer available at the “Official” Cat’s Meow Village website, but it is still available at other web sources. The best value source for this piece is probably ebay, but it can also be found at Appletreedeals or with a google search. Prices range from an ebay auction price starting at .99 to retail sales prices at online sites for around $17.95.
The 1994 New Orleans Christmas Series was retired in 1999. First year issues generally go for slightly more than later issues, but piece condition is always a major factor. Since these pieces are 12 – 22 years old, and were probably in someone’s collection, it is important to try to get as much condition info as possible. This mean pictures, so you can see for yourself what you are buying.
The production process for this series has the piece info and Faline’s stamped signature and date of issue on the bottom left corner of the back side of the piece. And as in all authentic CMV pieces, look for Casper the cat somewhere on the piece. On the St. Patricks Churck piece, Casper is sitting way up the steeple next to the tower clock, watching all the arrivals.
Occasionally pieces can be found that were in retail inventory and never collected or displayed by anyone, but even then, due to various storage methods, item condition still needs to be seen. Any good source for CMV pieces should be able to provide good clear front and rear view photos. That was the case with the Appletreedeals.com source, plenty of pictures and a good item description.
Saint Patricks Church is at 744 Camp St. in New Orleans. Construction began in 1838 and was completed in 1840.
St. Patrick’s is in the Gothic style, with a fairly simple exterior but a highly ornate interior. Doorways, windows, the organ, and the altar all conform to architectural design. The bell tower is 185 feet tall; some nineteenth century aerial views of New Orleans were painted from its roof. The interior of the nave is 85 feet tall. Slender columns support the fan vaulting of the ceiling, which is particularly elaborate above the altar, incorporating sixteen stained glass windows in a half-dome. Three large paintings above the altar depict, from left to right: Saint Patrick, the Transfiguration of Jesus, and Jesus Christ pulling Saint Peter from the sea.
The architect of St. Patrick’s was James Dakin, who designed a number of buildings in Louisiana, including the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge. Problems related to the city’s notoriously high water table drew in another prominent local architect, James Gallier, to oversee the construction
I will be posting more individual CMV piece pictures from my collection, and will include as much history and source locater information as I can. Feel free to comment or ask questions, particularly if you can add to the history of the piece.