50% off Storewide with code: MovingDay2019

A Tale of German Nutcrackers

November 20, 2018

A Tale of German Nutcrackers

So… if you love Christmas as much as we do, you probably already know that there is a new ‘Nutcracker’ movie coming to cinemas across Australia this week.


Where did this tradition come from?

Nutcrackers hold a special place in our hearts at Christmas but their origins were not necessarily Christmas related. 

In the middle ages in Germany, Nutcrackers were carved from wood to act as ‘guardians’ for homes. Their meaning teeth were designed to scare off evil spirits/the devil much like gargoyles are meant to do on churches.


Nutcrackers becomes increasingly popular at Christmas because of what the holiday represents in the Northern Hemisphere. Christmas marks the turning point where  days become longer, the coming of the light.

They are like a really cool version of a fairy godmother!


So where does our version of the nutcracker come from?


The original story of ‘The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’ was written by a German author E.T.A Hoffman in 1819. This story inspired other authors, such as Alexandre Dumas (think ‘The Three Musketeers’ and ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’) to adapt their own stories of the nutcracker also.

Of course, the most famous version is Tchaikovsky’s ballet, the music of which has been in everything Christmas-related ever since.


There is only one place that makes authentic nutcrackers.

It is a by-product of fame in many ways, but the humble nutcracker has been much maligned in recent times, mainly because of just how many horrendous knock-offs there are on the market. Most available on the Australian market look like cheap blocks of wood dipped in glitter.

The Erzgebirge Mountain region in Germany is the home of authentic nutcrackers and they are quite unlike anything you would have seen before. While they are built to be able to actually crack nuts, they are generally not used this way because an Erzgebirgisch nutcracker is a highly sought-after collector’s piece that is passed through the generations. 

We love the way each nutcracker is assembled, painted and dressed with meticulous attention to detail. The amount of effort that goes into each piece is astounding. In the home of the nutcracker, woodworkers have been honing their skills for generations, a factory in another part of the world can never re-capture that kind of magic.


Christian Ulbricht nutcrackers are amazing

We are proud of our partnership with Christian Ulbricht and are proud to say that, as the authorised Australian distributor for Ulbricht products, we have exclusive access to some of the world’s finest nutcrackers.

Almost all of the 30 designs currently available on our website are available exclusively through the German Christmas Shop online. No other Australian retailer has as wide a range of Ulbricht Nutcrackers, so you can be assured that when you purchase one of our premium pieces, you are getting something rather special and unique.

Over the next week, we will be showcasing some of our favourite nutcrackers so stay tuned.


Leave a comment