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About the Holy Herd Collection

The Holy Herd collection was crafted by an artist named Pete Apsit. Pete Apsit had an interest in sculpting from a very young age. This led him to the University of Southern California as an art major in the early 1960,s. He then did lots of work sculpting fountains and other free lance designs.

He was then discovered by Chi Van, the founder of Character Collectibles. Character collectibles served as the foundation for what we know as Vangroup today. Van had seen an artist selling animals at a craft fair and he set out on a mission to find an artist that could develop a line inspired by the animals he had seen. It is said that Van did not have Pete Apsit's contact information so he called every Apsit in the phone book all over California until he found him. Then Van and Pete Apsit set out to create many different gift ware items. Pete Apsit was a driving force behind many of Character Collectible's lines, including Barkley Crossing, Wee Wonders, Charming chickens and of course Holy Herd. He was also an important element behind the Vanmark Red Hats of Courage and the Blue Hats of Bravery series. These series commemorate the occupations that save lives. He was able to show the courage and nobility in the intricate details of this spirit. It struck a chord in collector's all over the world.

Sadly, Pete Apsit died in 1999. He was an artist and sculptor for over 25 years. He was primarily known as the "whimsical" artist and he brought joy to many people through his creations and he will be greatly missed. Apsit was an artist who gathered his inspiration from real life, studying his subjects carefully and thoroughly creating intricate detail. His craftsmanship and careful eye to detail can be seen with each sculpture he created. His items have always been greatly popular, but have become even more so since his death.

Pete Apsit was inspired by the story of the days before the great flood, when Noah built the Ark and invited the animals two by two. He created the Holy Herd figurines to celebrate the epic voyage of Noah and his family. The Holy Herd pieces are few and far between. Some avid collectors have been in touch with the Character Collectibles/Vangroup company and it seems that there are not many employees still there that remember the Holy Herd collection.

I love this collection and I do not want to see it disappear. My hope is that this site will help keep the collection and the artist alive in small way. There are many Holy Herd Hunters out there and I hope this site will help guide you a little in your quest for your collection...

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Are you searching for that certain piece that you can't find? Post in our WANTED section to let others know what you are looking for.


Do you have some extra pieces you want to sell? Or maybe you just need to find a good home for your collection. Post an ad in our FORUM for other Holy Herders to see.


Maybe you have that special piece you need and you are willing to trade with someone. Add a post in our FORUM calling all of those willing to trade.


Trying to locate a product number, or maybe just want to discuss how much you love this collection? Post or reply in our DISCUSSION AREA