Nutcracker Museum

Bavarian Leavenworth, Washington


This nutcracker appeared about 1860, when anti-slavery sentiment was very strong.  It is carved in the likeness of a newly captured slave, and images such as this helped to bring attention to the movement to free the slaves.

At this time there were 4,000,000 slaves in America and most were 3rd, 4th, or 5th generation Americans.  The 13th Amendment to the Constitution was passed by Congress and ratified in 1865.

This is a screw type nutcracker.  Because the arms are bound together in the back of the figure, the aperture is in the front rather than the back as is usually done.

This nutcracker is carved entirely of ebony, an exotic wood that matches the subject.    Note how the chain continues from the around the head down to the bound wrists.

The feet of the slave are hobbled to prevent his escape.  It is interesting that the carving shows the loin cloth smooth and the chains finely done despite the roughness of the figure itself.


The nutcracker is large in size, measuring about 15 inches including the base.  It is on loan to the museum from the private collection of Arlene Wagner.


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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

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)
Active Military - FREE (Spouse & Children Free with ID)