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Nutcrackers at Christmas - A Small Gallery of Different Nutcrackers

Updated on December 8, 2011
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Basic Wooden Nutcracker, using a screw to crack the nut.
Basic Wooden Nutcracker, using a screw to crack the nut. | Source

Nutcrackers - A Brief History and Photos

Nuts have been a part of humanity probably since its beginnings. Thus, the need for nutcrackers to help open the nuts that human teeth couldn't break into easily. You can search a brief interesting history of how mankind has used creative and innovative ways to open the shells.

One of the oldest, if not the oldest metal nutcracker known currently, dates back to around the third or fourth century, and is housed in a museum in Tarent Italy. However, there is also a bronze nutcracker which is dated somewhere between 200 BC and 200 AD. It had been preserved by being buried for over 1800 years. It was found in 1960, and is housed in the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum.

There were actually some nutcrackers made of more fragile materials, but few exist today for what seem to be obvious reasons. They were made of bone, ivory, and porcelain. Some of these probably were very beautiful, and some still remain at the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. One thing is for sure, no one is using them to open nuts today!

The standing wooden nutcrackers in the form of soldiers and kings that many of us are familiar with, were shown in theSonneberg and Erzgebirge regions in Germany in 1800 and 1830. One could find the term "Nussknacker" in a Brother's Grim Dictionary. By 1872, a man named Wilhelm Fuchtner, became known as the "Father of the Nutcracker." He made the first commercial production of nutcrackers, which made many of the same design, using the lathe.

Of course, the popular Nutcracker Ballet has created a love of Nutcrackers, and Germany works hard to meet the demand for Nutcrackers even just for the collectors in the United States. From toy soldiers to kings to animals, you can find a variety of nutcrackers today.

The nutcrackers I share here are some fun and festive designs, similar to others I have seen come out at Christmas time. Its hard for me not to think back to happy memories of going to my first Nutcracker Ballet as a child during one Christmas season. It was at a local Junior College, the first time I saw it. I was very impressed and it was a lot of fun. Its a great thing to go and see if you never have before.

In our house now, we continue to use the simple metal nutcrackers. I can see why people begin to collect them however. It would be fun to have a neat collection and actually use them for their "purpose", but I imagine the die hard collectors save their most prized nutcrackers for decoration alone. Who could blame them?


Witch with Black Cat, and Mouse Nutcrackers

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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Samsons, thank you very much for the comment, votes and visit. :)

      Merry Christmas to you also~! :)

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 

      6 years ago from Tennessee

      What a wonderful and beautiful hub. No Christmas would be complete without the Nutcrackers. Voted up and beautiful!

      Merry Christmas...

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Anglnwu, I wish I did have a collection like these shown in the hub, but they do belong to someone else. I did get the opportunity to see and appreciate them and enjoy their festive nature. :) Its wonderful that you collect nutcrackers, I wish I could see the different collections out there.

      How absolutely wonderful, that you daughter dances in the nutcracker ballet every year! Wow, what a memory and a treasure for her, and to know that she is helping to bring joy to so many people. Merry Christmas!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your collection. I collect nutcracker too. My daughter dances in the nutcracker ballet every year. Rated up.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Laura, that sounds so fun, the way you guys put out the nutcrackers and have little notes and things! Fun stuff for sure, I think that is wonderful. :) So glad you found the hub, and thanks for the visit and comment, and votes. It is much appreciated.

      Hi Ann, so glad they made you happy, and they do that for me too. Thanks for your visit and comment. :)

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 

      6 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      They make me happy. Sets the mood for a good Christmas. Enjoyed the hub.

    • laurathegentleman profile image

      laurathegentleman 

      6 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      This is such a wonderful Hub! I love Nutcrackers - we have plenty around our house in the Christmas season, I have a cousin who collects them, and we also have a family-wide inside joke about them (we hide death notes with the nutcrackers in strange locations around the house... it's a long story...) but this Hub was a wonderful read and I'll be sure to whip out some of my new Nutcracker knowledge this year!

      Voted up, up, and away!

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Peggy, thanks for your comment and visit and votes. :) My photos were taken recently at a Christmas Show here in Saint Louis, though I think it would be cool to visit the Leavenworth Museum. I came across the information when I was doing some research on it, and they have some neat, older nutcrackers. I have a lot of collections, but none are nutcrackers. :)

      Thanks for the link, and I will do the same here for your hub. Yes, it seems we have a lot of the same topics, so interesting!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi oceansnsunsets,

      From butterflies to nutcrackers...we seem to write about many of the same things. Ha! I'm going to link this hub to my nutcracker hub. When we visited Leavenworth, Washington we did not visit the nutcracker museum. Is that where your photos come from or are they from your own collection at home? Nice hub! Up, beautiful and interesting votes.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Marriedwithdebt, I think they are great also, and I think its wonderful your daughter has a little collection going. Its a great memory maker to take kids (or adults for that matter) to the Nutcracker ballet. What a great thing! I hear you about the typical made in China knockoffs...they are so cheap looking and takes away somewhat from the special nature of fun Nutcrackers.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have fun at the ballet! I appreciate your comment.

    • marriedwithdebt profile image

      marriedwithdebt 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      Nutcrackers are great. My 6 year old daughter has a little collection going. She even has an Erzgebirge nutcracker that I found at an antique store. I'm taking her to see the Nutcracker ballet on Saturday. These are fun to collect, especially if you find one that isn't the typical Made in China knockoff.

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