Nutcracker Museum

Bavarian Leavenworth, Washington

October 2016 Newsletter

 IVORY AND BONE NUTCRACKERS

Although ivory is relatively easy to carve, it is not strong enough to endure the continued rigors of cracking hard-shelled nuts with lever type nutcrackers.  Therefore, nearly every all-ivory nutcracker is of the screw type, where pressure to crack the nut is gradually increased.  Even more common are nutcrackers trimmed with ivory, such as metal nutcrackers with ivory handles, or wooden nutcrackers with ivory trim.

Tyrol Circa 1870
 

This unusual nutcracker was made out of an L shape piece of stag horn.  The narrower part shows a figure of a faun, a mythical figure which is half human and half goat with elongated head, pointed ears, and horns.  This nutcracker comes from Tyrol, circa 1870.


 

This magnificent ivory nutcracker depicts a country boy sitting on a pile of rocks that form a natural seat.   It was carved in Italy, circa 1830 and measures 5.5 inches when screw mechanism is closed.

Note the pointed shoes, stitched vest, and hat that falls down his back.

 

The Narwhal lives in northern Arctic waters and, with its single ivory tusk, is often referred to as “The Unicorn of the Sea”.  This nutcracker is from France, mid 19th century, and its greatest length is 4.5 inches.  Note the three dimensional sculpture of flower and acanthi leaves.


This incredible piece depicts the full figure of a Japanese Samuraui.  He is dressed in typical Samurai costume of the 19th century with long kimono that is decorated with inlaid ivory medallions and bamboo leaves.  A medallion on the bottom states “Paris, 1897”.

 

This swashbuckling Pirate’s stern expression seems at odd with his love of the little dog.  Made of walnut circa 1870 and trimmed with ivory this French nutcracker attracts much attention in the museum.  Note also the ivory boots, goblet, and hat plume.


More often ivory is used as handles of silverware, with the working part of the nutcracker made of silver plated iron or brass.  These shown are from England, 19th century.  The boxed set is unusual because it contains 4 nutcrackers instead of the more common 2 which are included in such sets.


 

Arlene Wagner, The Nutcracker Lady

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum

Email: curator@nutcrackermuseum.com

 

 

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Federal ID #91-2143303

A Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization

 

Contact Us

735 Front Street
P.O. Box 2212
Leavenworth, WA 98826

(509) 548-4573

MUSEUM HOURS
Open 7 Days a Week
1:00PM - 5:00PM

Nutcracker Museum Mission Statement:

"To foster and encourage the interest of the general public of the importance of nuts in the diets of humans throughout history and in the evolution of the nutcracker. No other tool or collectible has shown such a wide diversity of material and design as the implements used to crack the hard shell of a nut".

Museum Admission:

Adults  - $5.00  (Ages 17 - 64yrs)
Seniors - $3.50  (Age 65yrs +)
Youth   - $2.00  (Ages 6 - 16yrs)
Child    - FREE   (Ages 0 - 5yrs)
Military & Families - FREE