As early as 1800, standing wooden nutcrackers in the form of soldiers and kings were found in Germany and in 1830, the term “Nussknacker” appeared in the dictionary of the Brothers Grim. In 1872 Wilhelm Füchtner, also known as the “father of the nutcracker,” created the first commercial nutcrackers.
Today many wooden toy soldier nutcrackers are still manufactured in Germany. Each year interest is renewed by the productions of the Nutcracker Ballet. By the way, there are still tickets available to the San Francisco Ballet’s version - it’s excellent!
Today, collectors can now find hundreds of designs. Here are some of my favorite non-traditional nutcracker dolls. From left to right – White Rabbit, Beekeeper and Hamlet from The Nutcracker Christmas Shop and the Salty and Santa with Sleigh from Gump’s.
Crate & Barrel’s set of silver and gold nutcracker ornaments would look terrific on any Christmas tree.
How about a gingerbread nutcracker covered in holiday confections? yum.
These festive nutcracker place mats from Gump’s would make any table setting magical.
Holiday desserts would be served in style on these handsome set of nutcracker bone-china plates.
Nutcracker salt & pepper shakers from Lillian Vernon would make a great addition to any nutcracker collection.
Do you collect nutcrackers?
* images courtesy of Gump’s, Martha Stewart, Lillian Vernon, Crate & Barrel, SF Ballet, Williams Sonoma Home, The Nutcracker Christmas Shop and D. Blümchen & Company