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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
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: