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Nutcrackers Buying Guide

Immortalized by the famous ballet The Nutcracker, nutcrackers have a much longer history as holiday decorations. Because of the ballet's popularity, nutcrackers continue to be a unique addition to a variety of spots in the home. Some can be quite valuable, while others are appreciated for their unique style.

Types of Nutcrackers

Types of Nutcrackers

As with virtually every holiday decorating element, nutcrackers are available in a range of types. Some are functional, like the nutcrackers created for households centuries ago, while others are purely decorative. The types of figures depicted by the nutcracker have also changed over the years, as have the materials used to create them and artistic style. Whatever your preferences, there is a nutcracker to complement your holiday decor.

Material

Many nutcrackers are carved out of wood, and some of the most prized are still created in Germany by a small number of artisans. Still others are made from metal, while some decorative versions are crafted from porcelain, glass, or other materials.

Style

Styles of nutcrackers vary from folk art-inspired to highly detailed and intricate. Some nutcrackers are elaborately painted and have fabric accents, while others are unpainted.

Figure Type

Centuries ago, most nutcrackers were created as soldiers, kings, and knights. Today's nutcrackers represent a much broader spectrum of personalities, including Santa Claus and historical figures.

Decorative vs. Functional

Many nutcrackers are designed as simple holiday decorating accents, while some serve their original intent: cracking nuts.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Nutcrackers vary widely in creation, and their origins certainly affect price. Before you purchase a nutcracker, investigate any care requirements, including its sensitivity to light and heat. You should also consider size in relation to its placement in your home, as well as any storage needs the nutcracker may have. All those purchase considerations will affect your enjoyment of the nutcracker.

Care

Many wooden nutcrackers are fairly easy to clean with a dust cloth; others may have finish elements, such as hand painting, that require special care.

Size

From petite to nearly life-size, nutcrackers can be found in all sizes. Before making a purchase, consider where you will place your nutcracker.

Storage

Many nutcrackers of small to medium size can be safely stored in protective wrapping and containers. Larger or more delicate nutcrackers may require additional shelf space and preservative boxes.

Holiday on sale
Zest Avenue
$49.99 $79.99
at Overstock.com

With his striped scarf, Black top hat and welcome sign, this fun little snowman is sure to get the attention of any nutcracker ent...husiast. He is painted in vibrant long lasting colors. Hand-painted and carved. Made of solid wood Size: 8.6 inches long x 7.5 inches wide x 36.5 inches high Comes fully assembled read more

White Snowman Nutcracker (36 inch)
Ulbricht
$61.00 $93.00
at Wayfair

Nothing says the holidays are here like new decorative nutcrackers! Christian Ulbricht Natural Wood Finished Nutcrackers are exqui...sitely constructed and offer a new and creative spin on the traditional holiday favorite. The Natural Wood Finished Small King Nutcracker is finely crafted and offers rich, bright colors! Features: Natural Wood Finish Small King Nutcracker Nutcracker is finely crafted with rich wood finish! Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 6.5 Inches Overall Product Weight: 0.5 Pounds Special Offer: 51 Issues of Billboard Magazine Included with your purchase - a $10 value (Subscription and Rebate Info) read more

Small Natural Wood Finish King Nutcracker
Alexander Taron
$127.99 $160.99
at Hayneedle

Artfully crafted and perfect for display, the Ulbricht Small Forest Ranger Nutcracker depicts a fully outfitted Forest Ranger from... Ulbricht/Seiffener Nussknacker. In his full faux fur cap, this ranger cuts a handsome figure. He is handcrafted in Germany and beautifully finished in natural wood stains. A striking addition to your nutcracker collection, the superb detailing include his luxurious hat, braided cording, and smart rifle. This Forest Ranger is so well-crafted he's sure to become an instant family heirloom. About Alexander Taron, Inc. For more than half a century, the Taron Company has been delighting customers and collectors with traditional European gifts. These exquisite hand-crafted products range from nutcrackers and incense burners to ornaments and cuckoo clocks; unique and collectible, they make unforgettable gifts regardless the occasion. Originally founded in 1949, Alexander Taron remains dedicated to providing high-quality items at great value. read more

Ulbricht Small Forest Ranger Nutcracker
Santa's Workshop
$27.00 $35.00
at Wayfair

Features: White stocking Nutcracker design Branches and leaves Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 18 Inches Overall Width... - Side to Side: 11 Inches Overall Product Weight: 1 Pounds read more

Nutcracker Hooked Stocking
Alexander Taron
$76.85 $144.00
at Wayfair

Features: Small pilot nutcracker His goggles and binoculars are ''tools'' he may need for his next flight He lives to fly, and avi...ation is his life Handmade Made in Germany Natural wood finish Show Additional Info Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 12 Inches Overall Width - Side to Side: 5 Inches Overall Depth - Front to Back: 4.75 Inches Overall Product Weight: 1 Pounds read more

Ulbricht / Seiffener Nussknacker Small Pilot Nutcracker in Natural Wood
Ulbricht
$30.50 $51.99
at Wayfair

Nothing says the holidays are here like new decorative nutcrackers! Christian Ulbricht Natural Wood finished Nutcrackers are exqui...sitely constructed and offer a new and creative spin on the traditional holiday favorite. This line of nutcrackers offers specific options for every interest! The Natural Wood Mini King Nutcracker is finely crafted and offers rich wood colors! Features: Natural Wood Mini King Nutcracker Nutcracker is finely crafted with rich wood colors! Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 4.5 Inches Overall Width - Side to Side: 2 Inches Overall Depth - Front to Back: 1.5 Inches Overall Product Weight: 0.15 Pounds read more

Natural Wood Mini King Nutcracker
Horizons East
$49.99 $69.99
at Hayneedle

About Horizons East Established in 1974, Horizons East continues to build on over 30 years of experience in creating quality holid...ay gift items. They specialize in music boxes and wooden nutcrackers and have taken the lead in these key markets. Offering an extensive selection backed by strict quality control, Horizons East is well-positioned to meet the needs of discriminating collectors and casual customers alike. read more

Velvet Prince Nutcracker
Alexander Taron
$116.06 $160.99
at Hayneedle

A charming addition to your collection, the Ulbricht Toymaker Nutcracker is artfully crafted and ready for display. This is an ori...ginal Christian Ulbricht/Seiffener Nussknackerhaus nutcracker that is hand-crafted in Germany. The toymaker is made of wood and beautifully painted and decorated. Exceptional details start with his cap, friendly hand-painted face, and kindly gray hair. He holds a beautifully rendered toy hobby horse and paint brush in his hands. A blue canvas apron is tied with real twin. This toymaker is so well-crafted he's sure to become an instant family treasure. About Alexander Taron, Inc. For more than half a century, the Taron Company has been delighting customers and collectors with traditional European gifts. These exquisite hand-crafted products range from nutcrackers and incense burners to ornaments and cuckoo clocks; unique and collectible, they make unforgettable gifts regardless the occasion. Originally founded in 1949, Alexander Taron remains dedicated to providing high-quality items at great value. read more

Ulbricht Toymaker Nutcracker
Simply Steinbach
$141.29 $199.00
at Casa

Kurt Adler Troll Blue King Nutcracker 11-3/4 Part of Steinbachs collection of troll sized nutcrackers, this piece features a king ...in a wonderfully-appropriate regal blue and gold outfit, complete with a golden crown, sceptor, and collar. His blue tunic is embellished with a golden crown pattern. Like all of Steinbachs creations, he is crafted in Germany with the finest care and attention to detail. Made in germany Wooden steinbach nutcracker Crafted with the finest care and attention to detail read more

Kurt Adler Troll Blue King Nutcracker 11-3/4
Alexander Taron
$86.50 $151.00
at Wayfair

Features: Chimney sweep nutcracker Handmade He is a traditional good luck symbol, especially if he touches you! Made in Germany Na...tural wood finish Show Additional Info Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 12 Inches Overall Width - Side to Side: 5 Inches Overall Depth - Front to Back: 4.75 Inches Overall Product Weight: 1.5 Pounds read more

Ulbricht / Seiffener Nussknackerhaus Chimney Sweep Nutcracker in Natural Wood
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