'Steinbach Nutcrakers, Ulbricht Nutcrackers History.', 'description' => 'An article on the history and uses of the nutcracker from Steinbachand Ulbricht.', 'keywords' => 'Steinbach, Ulbricht, Nutcrackers' ); ?>

The History of the Nutcracker

Nutcrackers were given as a keepsake to protect ones home and as a symbol of good luck. They represented power and strength and served as guard to keep away evil spirits. With their fierce demeanor they bare their teeth to protect the home and are a traditional figure of goodwill. Select the following link to view our Wooden Steinbach Nutcrackers and Wooden Ulbricht Nutcrackers

Nutcrackers were created in Germany as a tool for opening or removing the shells of nuts. In the 15th and 16th centuries European nutcrackers were simple and functional, over the years these beautifully crafted carved Nutcrackers emerged as a highly collectible figurine. Carved characters took on the image of birds, animals and human forms. Levers or screws on the back could be worked to push the lower jaw up against the upper jaw to crush the nut in the mouth of the Nutcracker doll.

The Original nutcrackers were first made in the German regions of Sonneberg and Erzgebirge. Mining was the main source of income, to make extra money the miners would carve wood during the winter. It was a hard life and many of the workers lived in poverty, quite often their superiors would take much of their earnings. Subtlety the carvers would design their nutcrackers to look like the soldiers and powerful superiors. Often the Nutcrackers wore a monk's robe or were made into the form of a mean-looking policeman, a watchman, a soldier or some other frightening figure with a long wooden nose. A representation of the region, these standing soldiers and kings were sold all over Europe. A bowl of nuts with a Nutcracker along its side made a wonderful and useful table decoration. Select the following link to view our Steinbach Nutcrackers & Ulbricht Nutcrackers

American Distribution
Using centuries-old techniques to create Nutcrackers with marvelous results, it should be observed that these figures are carefully planned. Artisans, with years of experience, create from wood caricatures that take up to three or four years to produce. Although many techniques have been automated, hand carving is still seen on modern figures.

Nutcrackers only became popular in the United States about 50 years ago. American soldiers returning from World War II would bring home a Nutcracker as a gift that represented protection and power. And so an American tradition was started and is still going strong.

The Nutcracker Suite:
The 1892 Nutcracker Suite Ballet by Tchaikovsky that we know and love so well was taken from a famous play written by the German writer E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816, entitled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” . This tale of an unhappy girl named Marie whose only love is a nutcracker doll became very popular in the US in the 1950’s. With it’s popularity the interest in Nutcrackers blossomed and are now considered a staple for Holiday decorating as well as a highly collected series of figurines.