This hamster has been handmade in our studio in Italy. The intricate and traditional carving skills have been passed down over several generations in a small town in the ‘heel’ of Italy. The ancient rare stone is called ‘Pietra Leccese’, a beautiful limestone found only in a small area in southern Italy. It is formed from the accumulation of many layers over 6 million years and contains shell, coral and algal fossils. This can result in the creation exhibiting various shades of white. The stone is not treated nor manipulated but carved in its beautiful raw state, so the finished sculpture can be rich in what may seem like insignificant bright white/grey lines, flecks or semicircles but these are in fact precious fossils. Colour variations, the presence of small fossils and any minor carving imperfections guarantee that no 2 pieces are the same. This is not a conveyor belt plaster of Paris Made in China creation. This is a piece of Italian history, heritage and beauty. The discolourings in the stone are simply proof of the stone’s history and authenticity. Minor imperfections tell you it was entirely handmade. Hamsters symbolise frivolity, fun and happiness. A nice gift for the animal lover in your life but also a thoughtful gift for many different occasions. Each animal comes beautifully packaged in an elegant gift box which includes the stone’s background and English and Italian statements highlighting that the creation was entirely handmade in Italy. We also include a lovely blank message card so that you can write in your own words what you want to say with this one-of-a-kind creation and another card with a map of Italy showing exactly where the animal was ‘born’. The animal is nicely presented in the gift box in a small cellophane bag and then protected by coloured shredded paper which comes in a variety of random colours. Please note, photos are for reference only. Each item is handmade so there may be slight variations in colour and size.