The Nutcracker is perhaps the most recognizable example of handcrafted wood collectibles from the Erzgebirge region of Germany. This area is known in English as the “Ore Mountains” and is located along the Czech Republic border, between Dresden and Zwickau. The first Nutcrackers were probably intended to poke fun at the ruling classes. They portrayed kings, officers, and soldiers, and were actually used to crack walnuts and hazelnuts which were served as part of the dessert course at holiday meals.
The Nutcracker King is one of the most recognizable German Christmas figures. Other popular characters include the Chimney Sweep and the Nightwatchman. In an intersection of the two traditions of the Erzgebirge, miners in their formal uniforms are also often represented. Your Nutcracker’s components were carefully turned on a lathe before being cut, assembled, and painted by true artisans. It can actually be used to crack nuts, but most of us would rather not risk chipping the piece’s paint for a task better handled today by a metal nutcracker. Hickory Dickory Dock directly imports the German Nutcrackers we sell. Each year, we have the pleasure of travelling to Germany to buy from representatives of the Erzgebirge, and to meet the craftspeople themselves, who are often carrying on the traditional craftwork of previous generations of their own families. Whether this Nutcracker is your first, or joining a larger collection, we hope it will bring you joy for many years to come. We are pleased to be part of the journey from its traditional Erzgebirge beginnings to its new home with you.