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What would the world of Erzgebirge figures be without its Nutcracker King! Besides other goodies, nuts are a part of the traditional Christmas. But if you actually wanted to eat the tasty kernel, you first had to crack your nut! And so a nutcracker was created, having not only a practical but also a decorative function as it represented a certain character, which soon became a decorative object. Already in 1735 in Sonneberg they were called the wooden "nut-biters". They were strong looking characters with large heads and a lever on their backs with which the nut was pressed against their upper jaws and cracked open.

 

In Grimm's Dictionary of German, we read under the word "nut-cracker" .. often in the shape of a bulky little man in whose mouth nuts can be cracked by moving a lever or by turning a screw..".

It achieved literary and immortal fame not only in E.T.A. Hofmann's fairy tale "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" but the stern looking fellow was also mentioned in Heinrich Hoffman's tale "The Nutcracker King and Poor Reinhold" (1871).

 

It is said that the first Seiffen nutcrackers, which are today known all over the world, were made around 1870 in Wilhelm Füchtner's little workshop and since then, nothing in their basic design has been changed, until 2001 when one maker placed two metal plates in the mouth to help crack nuts.

 
Wilhelm Füchtner (1844-1923)
"Father of the Nutcracker" ( Right )


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