Steinbach Nutcrackers

The Art & Character of Nutcrackers Book

Item Sku: 933112

by Arlene Wagner
192 Pages Full Color.
10 x 12 1/4”


Collectors Press Inc., the award-winning pop culture publisher, is proud to announce our newest consummate art book, The Art and Character of Nutcrackers. Beyond visions of sugarplum fairies and wooden men with white beards, the nutcrackers featured in this stunning art book are elegant, sophisticated, rustic pieces of usable art steeped in history and tradition. Beautifully photographed, rare, and valuable, these nutcrackers from around the world are collected and celebrated in one place for the first time ever. What began as an innocent purchase during a production of the Nutcracker Ballet has blossomed into a world-renowned collection almost 40 years in the making. Arlene Wagner (also known as the Nutcracker Lady) and her husband have amassed more than 5,000 pieces. Housed in the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which is also a National Heritage Foundation site, the Wagners' collection is on display to the public.

About The Author

Arlene Wagner became interested in nutcrackers in the late 1960s when she purchased some for her dance studio. She and her husband George have been collecting nutcrackers ever since. In 1995 they founded The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, a National Heritage Foundation. She lives in Leavenworth, Washington, where she serves as president of Ms. Arlene Inc, and manages the Nussknacker Haus and Tannenbaum Shoppe. An accomplished dancer, Arlene has held several prominent positions throughout her career including director of Ballet Les Jeunes in Renton, Washington, and president of the Pacific Northwest chapter of Dance Masters of America.
Steinbach Volkskunst from Marienberg in Germany.
For over 200 years we have maintained long-standing tradition, passion for detail, creativity and finest materials in our world-famous nutcrackers.

The history of the Steinbach Nutcracker family starts in 1284 with Erwin Steinbach, a famous architect and master builder who lived in Strasburg, Germany. As this was a tumultuous time in Germany, the Steinbach family was forced to move many times and eventually settled in Erzgebirge, Germany and worked as silver, iron, tin and nickel miners.

As the supply of metal to be mined dried up, the Steinbach family had to turn to their other skills to make a living. Most of them had previously worked as wood-carvers, so it only made sense for them to return to carving to create practical use items.

As time went on they began to master the art of ornamental carving and the women began to hand-paint these decorative creations. Today the Steinbach family stills hand-carves and hand-paints these beautiful nutcracker creations from their own forest from wood cut in their own sawmill.

Steinbach's high standards and resourcefulness are what have helped make our Nutcrackers world famous. The subjects of the Steinbach Nutcrackers are also unique and are taken from art, literature and folklore from all over the world and along with their limited production makes them highly collectible.

Today, Rico Paul is the owner of the Steinbach Company, which is still located in Erzgebirge, Germany. When he is not traveling the world participating in promotion events, Rico works as the CEO for the beautiful Nutcrackers Steinbach offers.

We are proud to offer these beautiful hand-carved and hand-painted creations that will certainly become a cherished holiday decoration for many years to come whether for yourself or as a gift for a friend or loved one.
Erzgebirge Solders

Erzgebirge Solders Late 20th/Early 21st Century Germany, 12"
WWI Soldier 1930

WWI Soldier 1930, United States, Aluminum, 8"
Horse, 19th Century

Horse, 19th Century, India, Brass/Iron Blade, 5"
EErzgebirge Solders

Erzgebirge Solders Late 20th/Early 21st Century Germany, 12"
Happy Couple, 19th Century

Happy Couple, 19th Century, Switzerland Conifer, 9.25"
Book Description

Nutcrackers have been in use for thousands of years; in fact evidence shows that it was one of the first chores done by mankind. However, the stereotypical white-bearded, sword-toting nutcracker common to Christmas decor is only one chapter in The Art and Character of Nutcrackers. As the official book of The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, it showcases the largest collection of nutcrackers in the world — photographed and preserved in one place for the first time ever.

Whether carved, molded, or mechanical, the diversity of nutcracker styles and materials reflect the social status of their owners and present a time capsule of the period in which they were created. Steeped in history and tradition, collectors and average folks alike will appreciate the beauty of this book and its subject.