When Hickory Dickory Dock opened 30 years ago, we sold only clocks. Our business has evolved in many ways since then, but our love of clocks remains. From dramatic grandfather clocks to simple kitchen clocks, we've got a full range covered.
Cuckoos are a genre of clocks, certainly - but they also exemplify much of what we love about selling German woodcraft. In fact, importing cuckoos directly from Germany is what opened the door to our selling items other than clocks decades ago. All of our cuckoos come from the Black Forest in Germany - where clockmaking was invented.
We carry a full range of cuckoos - chalets, birds & leaves, hunters, stations, and some modern - over a broad price range, from manufacturers like Anton Schneider, Hönes, and Rombach & Haas. We also stock quartz (battery-operated) cuckoos for those who appreciate authentic Black Forest cabinetry but aren't looking to bring a mechanical clock into their lives. If you don't see what you're looking for, we can also help you find and order a clock that suits your needs.
The best way to see what we have is to visit our shop. We can show you our cuckoo wall and answer any questions you might have. If you are new to cuckoos we can clarify 8-day vs. 1-day, musical vs. non-musical, walk you through the range of cabinet craft, and anything else you might need to know.
Our love of Christmas goods grew out of our appreciation of German woodcraft, much of which centers around Christmas and the Advent season. Our Christmas offering is displayed year-round, and includes fine glass ornaments by JingleNog and Inge-Glas, Santa figures by Lynn Haney, Ino Schaller, and Clothtique. Christmas Villages by Department 56, and much more.
We have a year-round Christmas gallery for those who appreciate a little dose of Christmas Spirit at any time of year.
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.
Smoking Men (or “Rauchermanner” in German) are a traditional craft 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. Smokers are made to burn incense, with the smoke often coming out from the figure’s mouth. In the rural tradition of the Erzgebirge, incense was burned to bless the home and bring good luck and good health to it occupants. Smoking Men first appeared in the early 19th century. These figurines represent the folk life of those early times. Many occupations, trades and rural activities are portrayed, most often as a male figure smoking a pipe. The mines are long gone, but Smokers are still lovingly made by hand. Although today the smell of incense curling up from their “pipes” is most closely associated with the Christmas celebration, they are a festive “good wishes” addition to any setting.
Founded in the 19th Century, the Schaller factory is one of the few family factories still in operation as such in the Coburg area of Bavaria, just on the edge of the Thuringen forest region. Known best now for the reproduction candy container Santa figures, Thomas and his sister are continuing also to produce antique style flocked ornaments and Easter decorations just like their father and grandfather made. We’re happy to visit Thomas once a year or so to see his small production factory and hand-select the finishes we’ll carry for the year. It’s always a joyous experience of discovery to see what’s been created new each year and we enjoy sharing that with our collectors.
Like Nutcrackers and Smokers, Pyramids come from the Erzgebirge (“Ore Mountains”) region of Germany. Heat rises from candles burning at the Pyramid’s base. This causes the fan and the top to spin, often spinning with it figures or a scene at the base.
The first pyramid designed in the Erzgebirge may have depicted miners descending into the mines with angels to protect them. Today, Pyramids are most closely associated with the Christmas season, though there are many craftspeople making Easter, Springtime, and Modern pyramids for a year-round experience.
The best thing about Autumn! Another opportunity for big-kid play, a fun & magical way to witness the season slipping into darkness for yet another year, with costumes and witches and ghosts from the engaging designers at Midwest/CBK, Department 56, Gallerie II’s Joe Spencer and more. And what fun to create a Halloween Village, peopled with ghoulies and ghosties and lounging skeletons… Come visit our year-round Halloween room, any time!
Stop by our garden space any time of year and you will find items that sing to your soul, brighten your spirits, or calm your space. It's hard to miss our tunnel of wind chimes from Bells of Vienna of Virginia, or Woodstock Chimes. You can also find Wind Spinners from Regal Art & Gift, Premiere Kites, and Germany's Colours in Motion.
Byers' Choice Carolers
These American made dolls evoke holiday celebrations of a time gone by. Byers Choice dolls are made in Chalfont, PA by those who love Christmas and all its wonder. From the "Cries of London" series which evoke different street vendors and their wares, to the beautiful "Colonial Williamsburg" series which remember the colonials, the sheer variety of characters makes collecting these figures fun and a personal experience. Each figure is the result of many artists' work -- from the crafter of the clay faces, to the one who makes the bodies from wire & paper, to those who do the careful dressing -- and so no two are ever alike. Many dolls come as doll "families" with a mother, a father, a young girl and a young boy, all clothed similarly with a unifying color scheme. What fun to find your family!
Like so much of German crafting, Beer Steins have a long history with deep regional roots. Steins – bierkrug in German – come from the city of Koblenz in central Germany. The clay in the surrounding hillside provides the material for all kinds of handicrafts in this region; steins are just one expression of this art form.
While today’s beer steins are most often appreciated for their complex decoration, many elements of original 16th century beer steins were practical rather than artistic. The quality and weight of the clay insulated beers and ales perfectly at cellar temperature in a time before refrigeration. The pewter lids were added as a post-Plague effort at hygiene, when German laws began to dictate that food and drink had to be covered to protect from the spread of disease.
But of course, as the centuries passed, the practical elements broadened and evolved into an outlet of creative expression. More traditional steins connect to authentic German folk history, telling the stories of the people themselves and where they came from. This might include elaborate scenes of the harvest and the hunt, romantic scenes of young love and wedding parades, or simply scenes of communities drinking together.
Many of the most popular steins in the modern USA are souvenir steins that came home with American soldiers stationed throughout Germany, which depict famous scenery and experiences of those cities. Another subset of steins draw their imagery from Catholic history in Germany, often featuring noblemen off to the crusades, knights in shining armor, even St. Georg slaying the dragon.
Art and imagery on steins was as personal as any other art and artistry. Even today, you can find differences between different factories’ productions. They are all unified, however, in their commitment to authentic methods and a celebration of Germany and its history.
We get excited about everything we sell, but The Hoptimist has taken us to a whole new level of excitement. It's not an overstatement to say that The Hoptimist's arrival in our lives has inspired us, made us laugh, and reminded us of the best things to come from human creativity.
All this from just some molded plastic and a spring.
With a gentle tap, these Danish creature begin to bounce with an infectious, undeniable glee. And we're perfectly happy to tell you: The Hoptimist serves no purpose other than to give you an instant burst of that feeling.
The Hoptimist encourages us to believe in the best. And he serves as a reminder that we can always choose to Feel the Joy. We have always tried to keep this in mind when selecting things to sell in our shop, and we are constantly reminded of this in our daily interactions with all of you. If you leave our shop with a smile on your face, whether that smile comes from an item or an experience, we are so pleased to be a part of that process.
Though Nutcrackers, Smokers, and Pyramids are easily recognizable categories of German crafting, Germany has produced a broad range of collectible crafts for centuries. Many years of selling German goods and traveling to German trade shows has brought many of these other crafts to our attention and into our shop.
The German style of Easter festing is a month-long celebration of spring! In this spirit, we take great joy in selling German woodcraft bunnies like “Stupsi” from Kuhnert, Wilhelm Schweizer pewter, and wood rabbits from Bettina Franke and Gotthard Steglich.
We also sell Austrian eggshell ornaments made from real eggshells, natural fiber decorations from Tom Floral, and a variety of small toys - perfect for a cavity-free Easter Basket!
Though we go all-out for Easter after Christmas is over, we always have some Easter items around the shop any time of year. If you’d like to see some Easter items off-season, feel free to ask!