Steinbach Folk Art from Marienberg in Germany. For more than 200 years we have been cultivating tradition, attention to detail, creativity and the finest materials in our world-famous nutcrackers.
What is the best brand of nutcracker to collect? The simple answer to this question is Steinbach. For around 200 years, the Steinbach family of craftsmen has been the industry standard for the finest nutcrackers. This is a family business and every President has been a Steinbach since the organization’s inception.
Traditional nutcrackers can be found all over Germany, but especially in the Ore Mountains. Cities like Seiffen and Annaberg-Buchholz are full of authentic nutcrackers. If you are looking in other regions of Germany, Käthe Wohlfahrt stores are Christmassy all year round and everything is made in Germany.
The Steinbach company (the full name is: Steinbach GmbH – United Workshops of German Folk Art) used to have two production sites in Germany. One was in Hohenhameln in northern Germany and the second in the heart of the German Ore Mountains in Marienberg.
The Kurt Adler company has been exporting German Christmas decorations to America for over 70 years.
Steinbach, one of the best-known German manufacturers of traditional wooden nutcrackers, has filed for bankruptcy.
Nutcracker dolls come from Germany in the late 17th century, particularly from the Ore Mountains. One origin story attributes the creation of the first nutcracker doll to a craftsman from Seiffen. They were often given away and at some point associated with the Christmas season.
Herr Drosselmeyer, Clara’s godfather in Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Nutcracker Suite”, grossed $3,000, according to the Steinbach Collector’s Club.
German nutcrackers from the Erzgebirge
They are sought after by collectors all over the world. Our Christian Ulbricht nutcrackers are timeless treasures that are perfect as gifts or to add to your home or collection. Many limited edition nutcrackers are available – see product description for details.
Collectible Nutcrackers can range in value from the store-bought version for around $125 to the 16th-century collectible type for over $5,000. These objects are decorative, historical and extremely interesting.
The wooden toy soldier nutcrackers were originally made for cracking nuts and as they were cracking nuts for the family it is very difficult to find an old nutcracker in good condition. Only after people started collecting the wooden toy soldiers did manufacturers start using them purely for decoration.
According to Arlene Wagner from the Nutcracker Museum, nutcracker soldiers were made around 1800 in the Ore Mountains region. (Although woodworkers were making nutcrackers in many character forms much earlier.) About the same time in 1816, E.T.A. Hoffman wrote the story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
The 2020 Nutcracker winners are: Peanut, Sutton, Old Duke, Fredrich, Hesketh, Meols, Hans, Sir Tom, Marmaduke, Rufus, Noel and Rutherford.
Initially, these nutcrackers, often made in workshops along with carved toys and puzzles, were not particularly Christmassy—although they were frequently given as gifts—and it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly when you took them seasonal importance.
Which nuts do you need a nutcracker for? Most commercially available pincer-shaped nutcrackers can crush nuts that have a moderately hard shell. Some of the most well-known varieties that should fit in a regular nutcracker include English walnuts, almonds, hard-shell pecans, and Brazil nuts.
Each of the four versions, roughly based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, emphasizes or alters aspects of the story. And yet each works more or less effectively, though none achieves the enduring enchantment of George Balanchine’s version for the New York City Ballet.