1998 Mardi Gras Haydel's King Cake Baby St Augustine Marching Band Artist Proof
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1998 Mardi Gras Haydel's King Cake Baby St Augustine Marching Band Artist Proof:
When miniatures artist Alberta Grun Retif Meitin Lewis died just after Mardi Gras 2012, on Feb. 19, at age 79, Haydel's Bakerymourned, but the bakers knew they wanted to continue the tradition of hiding specially made collectible favors inside their confection. Starting in 1989, Lewis had created small ceramic dolls or favors in classic carnival shapes and forms, including Mardi Gras Indians and the St. Augustine Marching 100 band, for Haydel's Bakery. The shop released two or three every year, and they immediately became collectibles. One of the most sought-after was the FEMA trailer decked in purple, green and gold lights, which Lewis created after Hurricane Katrina, while she was living in one. Dave Haydel Jr. explained that Lewis' friend, porcelain sculptor Rick Devries, a self-taught sculptor, artist and master mold-maker, was the natural choice to replace the veteran artist. Devries worked with the Lewis from the beginning to sculpt and produce the favors, Haydel said. "She would make the mold, shape the doll to whatever idea we were doing," Haydel said. "He reached out to us - and we were going to reach out to him. We're going to continue to do the brainstorming at the bakery, and he will create them." For 2013, a streetcar and a parade ladder with three children sitting atop it are the two trinkets . They were part of a limited edition set of special pieces that Lewis made about 15 years ago, Haydel said, but they had never been put in a king cake. The response has been "overwhelming," Haydel said. "People are really fired up about it.""These were the most popular, very detailed," Haydel said. "We made like 30 sets at the most. They were very highly sought after. We thought why not bring them back in a cake edition, so we can make 50,000 of them, and all the people who were not able to get them 15 years ago will be able to get them now." The first Haydel's collectible was a "King Cake doll," called a Frozen Charlotte. Lewis had collected the small antique bisque dolls, manufactured in Germany from the 1850s to the early 1900s. Frozen Charlottes were widely used in king cakes and other baked goods as favors.