The nutcracker is an iconic traditional Christmas figure from Germany. Today, most nutcrackers in this style are used just for decoration. But you can really use this one to crack nuts!
That’s right – our jolly nutcracker is not just ornamental. We’ve had him specially modified to crack your Christmas walnuts! A metal pin reinforces the head, and a groove inside the mouth holds the nut in place.
Do be aware that the pressure used to crack nuts and the hard shells will cause the paint in and around the mouth to chip, however we think that adds to his character. If you prefer him to remain in pristine condition it is best to keep him out of the kitchen, as an ornament. See fourth image to see how the inside of his mouth looks after cracking nuts!
Our nutcracker is made in Seiffen, in the German state of Saxony near the Czech border. The artisan company has been crafting traditional wooden ornaments and nutcrackers since 1958. Everything they make is carved, assembled and painted entirely by hand.
German folklore states that nutcrackers have always been given as gifts. Traditionally they were given to friends and family to bring good luck into their homes. Soldiers, dwarves and huntsmen were popular designs. The nutcrackers would bare their teeth at evil spirits, frightening them away!
Now, the soldier/ hussar design of nutcracker is probably the most recognisable form of nutcracker. It was popularised in the book, ‘The Nutcracker and the King of Mice’ by E. T. A. Hoffmann. Tchaikovsky’s ballet adaptation, ‘The Nutcracker’, catapulted the nutcracker into the world’s consciousness after its debut in 1892. The ballet became a Christmas classic, and the nutcracker is still loved as a Christmas figure to this day.
Please note – when used to crack nuts, the paint inside the nutcracker’s mouth will mark -- you can see this in the close-up photo of his open mouth. This is not a toy.
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