Nutcracker Museum

Bavarian Leavenworth, Washington

The Story of Karl

Karl is our icon, our mascot, our ambassador....he probably gets his picture taken more than any other person in this Bavarian Village. He is our star-power, for he has been on national television, and in many articles in newspapers and magazines over the years. He came from Germany, carved by Karl Rappl.

My husband George and I knew about Karl Rappl of Oberammergau. He had previously carved a 6 foot clown nutcracker for Hal Davis of Santa Ana California that delighted us when visiting him to see his vast collection. He saved the original drawing that is shown to the left (photo 1) with the finished nutcracker that now resides in the home of his daughter, Claudia, of Hayden Lake, Idaho. Claudia has cared for the entire collection since the passing of her father. See Photo 1 and 2 (Click on photos to enlarge)

We visited Herr Rappl and asked about making us a nutcracker, and said that we wanted a Bavarian. He immediately created several designs on a notepad. We chose our favorite, and he started to work. It was 18 months before the nutcracker arrived in the US.
See Photo 3 and Photo 4 (Click on photos to enlarge)

The nutcracker was stopped by the Customs Department who sent us a large bill. Luckily for us, Herr Rappl had mailed a newspaper article from Oberammergau showing a picture of the nutcracker as it was being made. The accompanying article said it was to be shipped to the Wagner family in the US. After sending the Customs Department a copy of the article, proving it to be an original work of art requiring no custom fees, the nutcracker was released and sent on to us.

The nutcracker, named Karl in honor of the maker, is carved of Linden wood, and was crafted completely in one piece except for the lever which opens the mouth.

Come in and meet Karl---have your picture taken with him and you can tell all of your friends about your new friend!


Quick Links

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

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